The crowd dispersed, chatting away about what transpired a moment ago. It's not every day you can meet someone, who stands up to fight for what she believed in, against an influential person.
"Okay, I'm on my own again. Just how I first arrived in this isle," Zoe sighed as she started walking.
She's tired, both physically and emotionally. Her extremities were sore. She paused for a minute and breathed in the bitter night air.
"Brr… I didn't realize it was this frigid. That woman made my blood reach 50 degrees Celsius there!" Zoe shivered as she realized that she was up to this time in her bikinis. She rubbed her arms to heat her up even for a short while.
She removed her ponytail and let her long auburn hair, currently with beach waves, fall loose to cover her body in some way.
Zoe smiled as she tilted her head up to gaze at the stars. They were all gleaming as if they had kept a pocket of the daytime to shine throughout the midnight.
It's not spectacular for her to come across such a stressful rendezvous. She constantly managed whatever she experienced in her life because she knew she was not alone.
"Whenever you see the stars at night, always remember that your ancestors might actually be one of them, watching over you." It was Zoe's mom with her kind and angelic face, smiling fondly of little Zoe and stroking her hair.
Zoe embraced herself and gave permission to the breeze to caress her as if it was her mother.
"Mom…," Zoe whispered through the wind as if it would possibly fulfill her longing heart to the heavens and answer her prayers.
She faced the sea while its gentle ripples hummed sad music as it splashed on the shore, making the place more melancholic. She stayed for a moment as she closed her eyes and recalled her memories with her parents.
They were having a family vacation on an island when it happened. Only Zoe, their only daughter, her cousin, and uncle came out alive. She was so young and traumatized, she wasn't able to recognize the name of the island and the incidents that happened then.
Her uncle seemed to be hiding the events too. He just told her that they died in an accident on that island.
Even though Zoe was supported by his Uncle in the first years, she has been living her life independently alone ever since.
"I should have been enjoying my time here. I better get back."
She was leaving when she noticed a man's shadow closing on her from the sand. She was so absorbed with her thoughts she didn't notice another presence approached her.
Her heart pumped in a frenzy as he drew near her.
"Oh, no!" Zoe exclaimed as she wrapped herself with her arms with all haste. She remembered her image with two minimal pieces of cloth covering her nakedness.
Similar to an arrow from a bow, Zoe's memories flipped to when she studied self-defense. Before his assailant could grab her, Zoe swung towards him as a scalded cat.
With a sharp move, she strode one leg at the back of the man's and seized him by the shoulders. In double-quick time, she shoved him backward while sweeping her leg around and at the rear of his ankle as she pushed.
The man behind her fell onto the stand at breakneck speed. Zoe placed her fists on her hips. "Piece of cake!" Zoe grinned as she slapped her palms. She got near and inspected his attacker.
"L-lifeguard?!" The realization staggered her.
Raigon was flat on the ground with his right hand holding Zoe's things, including her robe. He stayed there for a few seconds, still shocked at her sudden actions toward him.
'What just took place? I searched for her items, mostly, her garment, to cover her. I reached her to give it back to her and leave.' Raigon contemplated.
'I have more serious matters to attend to. But she bounded me to the ground as if I am a perverted maniac trying to molest her.'
His kind and considerate face a while ago changed into a scowl as the incident dawned on him.
"I-I,"Zoe unconsciously stepped backward.
Zoe was not easily agitated in the presence of a man. She is always the fierce type, strong and undaunted. But with his demeanor in the present circumstance, she knew this would not be under the rug.
She was correct. He threw her pieces of stuff such as pebbles at the ocean and jumped up resembling a bullet from a gun.
"Do you even know who I am?" He growled.
In a split of a second, he grabbed her elbow and trapped her arm to his chest. Then he used his foot to pin hers, lifting his hips he turned over onto his knees and pivoted on top of her.
Now it was the other way around. Raigon was on top, and Zoe was under him.
"Let me go!" Zoe thought of screaming these words as she struggled to fight him off. But when she gazed at him, her arms gradually surrendered and let go.
At first his eyes bored into her. He scrutinized every part of her soul with his brows knitted together. Then the tension in his face melted little by little as his eyes opened wide.
Then they became full of longing, joy, and compassion. His gaze upon her made her feel that he knew everything about her and her ugly past and yet embraced all of it together with who she was now...
All traces of vengeance left in her body melted away. A teardrop fell on her cheeks.
"Who are you?" She whispered.
He is a stranger to her. Why does he have an effect on her like she knew him for a long time?
At that moment, she wanted to hug him and cry her heart out. She wanted to let him know how the world treated her believing that he would take her side.
Zoe crumpled her forehead and tilted her head, trying to remember who he was.
"She didn't remember me," Raigon thought as he saw her beautiful ethereal face scrunched up.
He relaxed his hold on Zoe and turned over to his side. They were now at right angles on the sand.
"I'm glad that you're alive." He whispered.