by Michele Lee blog
It was late and the human sounds that hummed during the day had retired, inviting the frogs and cicadas to fill the silence with their nighttime melodies. He had given up on sleep and decided to walk down to the lake. He slipped on his boat shoes but left his crumpled t-shirt on the unmade bed. He needed to breathe the honeysuckle scent filling the night air. He needed to feel air on his skin. He needed to feel her on his skin. He tried to push those thoughts aside and think about his work – the reason he was in the southern state of Georgia. His attempts failed. He was tired and had no control over his wandering mind.
The rhythm of his sturdy steps along the pier added a steady beat to the sporadic sounds of the night. Stepping into the muggy night did give him an escape from the four walls that had contained him and his laptop all day, but not from the heat. The gentle rolling beneath the pier sounded like quiet sobbing. Reaching the end of the pier brought him more frustration. He wanted to keep walking to the most southerly point in Florida to walk away his thoughts of her. The edge of the pier did stop his body from falling, but not his mind that was drowning in the muddy deep. Resigned to his limitations and the whims of the night, he sat down.
He noticed the moon swaying on the calm water. He had been in Georgia working on his fourth book for three months and it was the first time he recalled seeing the moon. Why tonight? Seeing the moon’s reflection brought back memories of their last night together. Last words shared before he threw his two suitcases into the trunk of a taxi headed for LAX. A taxi that took him away from her and toward his next writing assignment. He remembered seeing a reflection of the full moon in water pooled in the gutter when he held his head low to avoid looking into her tear-filled eyes. Maybe he had been avoiding looking into the night sky since leaving her. Now, at the end of the pier, there was no escaping the memory of her suspended tears.
Sleep was calling him or perhaps taunting him. He said goodnight to the moon, stood up and began to walk back to the guest house, his temporary home for the next nine months. He took one step then stopped. On the grass, under a willow tree, was a figure that made him question his sanity. Maybe his lack of sleep was causing his mind to create ghosts or fantasies. How could this be? He watched her rip his agent’s business card and toss the pieces into the air – his new address, written on the card, also flew from her hands. She had not returned his calls, texts, or emails in three months. He rubbed his tired eyes, but he could not rub away the vision in front of him. A woman wearing a white dress that matched the color and gentle sway of the moon’s reflection. He resisted the urge to sprint toward, grab, twirl, and embrace the vision, afraid that his passion might vaporize the dream that seemed to float in front of him. He began to walk toward the vision with slow and steady steps that did not match his racing heart.