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A Moonlit Evening

“I don't want to go home tomorrow, I can't believe how the time's flown. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday today. We hardly have been here for five minutes." Elsee said quietly.

“Well don't think about it now, I'm going for a dip. Do you want to come?”

"Not just yet but I'll watch you."

Elsee lay languorously under the shade of a tree and looked across the shimmering bay towards El Cache Island, just a few kilometres across the water. It was long and flat and arid. In the distance she could see the mountains of the Venezuelan mainland shrouded in dark menacing clouds. The occasional plane droned across the sky and the odd rhythmic thud of ship's engines pierced across the water.

Elsee had never experienced so much in so few a number of days. She'd tried windsurfing, taken a trip across to Angel falls, the highest falls in the world, deep in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest. They’d flown over an endless lush canopy for what seemed like hours before they got there, flying over the Orinoco river and it's tributaries.

There was no one else on the beach, and the few people in the scraggy fishing village up the road didn't seem bothered by them. They thought they weren’t going to make it out here and at one stage they thought they had lost the road entirely, so rarely was it used. The beach was only about four kilometres as the crow flies from El Yaqui, the small resort where they were staying, but it felt like four hundred.

They were, alone in paradise.

Elsee entered the water and it circled around her like silk, as Jack watched her graceful body and smiled.

The day trickled by: frolicking in the water, building sandcastles, burying each other in the sand, telling each their life histories, their fears, their hopes and their dreams.

At one point Elsee lay on the beach crying and Jack mopped her tears away from her eyes, holding her like a child until she felt better. He told her that she was more beautiful than ever when she cried, which made her laugh and she stopped crying.

They walked along the golden shores together, counting the pelicans scooting across the water, picking up shells, exploring little caves, waving at fisherman, taking dips in the water to caress and kiss and then chase the fish.

Jack put Elsee on his shoulders on the way back because her feet were tired. He set her down on her towel and massaged them until they felt better. Eventually she couldn't bear it anymore because it was tickling and she collapsed in a giggling heap.

As the sun sank to the horizon they opened a bottle of wine and watched the sky change from yellow to orange to red to pink to burgundy, until it became the colour of dark ink and the stars became less timid in the sky.

Jack sat upright and Elsee lay on him trying to spot a shooting star. As the moon came up they drank their wine, and ate their grapes until they felt for all the world like two Roman emperors with the world at the feet. It was then and only then that Jack asked Elsee a question and it was then and only then that Elsee felt she could reply.

They returned to their hotel very tired and very happy.

And then Jack told Elsee some other things. At first she laughed, then she cried and then she grew angry and threw his clothes and belongings out from the balcony so that in the morning the pool cleaner was left bemused and perplexed.

Insects and leaves he was familiar with but not shirts, shorts and other items of clothing. Now they were a novelty. Beside the pool he also found a woman, cold and crying underneath a towel, crying and crying and crying.

He also found a man looking into the pool and his eyes looked as if his soul were battered and attacked by the demons of hell.

"I'd better make up my mind," said Jack, "I'd better make up my mind."
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