2009 -- 1.2 (Spring) Fiction

Love Is Blind by Adam Smith ~ep

      As I stood out on the beach, my eyes fixed on the shoreline, I could feel the cool morning breeze of spring brushing against my face, running through my hair, penetrating my jacket, making the hairs on my body stand up, sending a chill down my spine. I could feel the sun’s bright warm rays beaming down on me from the east. I come here often to think and relax. Oh, I’m sorry; you’ll have to forgive me. I’m not used to speaking to other people. My name is Max, Max Walker. I’m 42 years old and I live with my dog Apollo in a small beach house off of Montauk Point. It’s 9 am on March 21st and I decided to take Apollo for a walk on the shoreline. Apollo is usually a very tame dog that stays by my side all the time, but today of all days was the one time he decided to run away from me. He ran ahead of me barking loudly over and over, so I followed closely behind. After a good three minutes he finally stopped as did I. I walked up to him taking hold of his leash asking him why he took off on me. Then I realized that there was someone right in front of me. I stood up, brushed the sand off my pants and began to speak:
      “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there. Are you ok? I hope my dog didn’t startle you too much.” They didn’t say anything back. I felt kind of awkward and embarrassed. I tried again to apologize, a little more formally this time:
      “Look, I really didn’t mean for him to scare you if he did. He’s usually a very tame dog, I don’t know why he rushed off, and I really do hope you’re ok.” They still didn’t say anything. I could feel them staring at me, yet no words what so ever. At this point I felt offended myself and decided to leave. As I was walking away they grabbed me by the arm. They finally spoke, or at least tried to by saying ,”Iths okey. Noo hawm Dun.” I was a little surprised to hear that it was a woman, even more so that she had what seemed to be a speech impediment. Not that it bothered me at all, I guess it had been too long since I’ve interacted with others. Usually I tend to make small talk and go back to my business but something about this woman struck my interest. I really wanted to stay longer, but I decided it was best not to say too much, since it seemed like she wasn’t very comfortable talking. So I gathered up some courage and asked her, “Hey, this might sound weird but would you mind if I walked with you for a bit? I don’t really have anywhere else to be and I’d really like the company.” She didn’t say anything back, so I decided to try again.
      “If you don’t mind my staying with you just pull on my jacket sleeve once, but if you’d like me to leave pull twice.” As I said this I decided to motion this out, shaking my head yes and no for each option. I then felt a gentle tug on my jacket sleeve. I smiled and sat down on the sand and she followed my lead. “I’m Max by the way. Max Walker.”
      “Cathwine Sonnet.” She said to me.
      “Well Catherine, it’s nice to meet you,” I said with a smile on my face. We sat there for hours, our eyes to the horizon. We didn’t say a word to each other. I know this is going to sound strange, and I don’t think you could possibly understand, but those hours seemed like sheer minutes, and even though all we did was sit beside each other it was truly the best day I ever had. I’ll admit I was constantly worried that she was going to get bored and leave, but she stayed with me the whole time. As the sun set I could feel the air around me getting colder and the wind picking up. I didn’t want to go, but I knew I had to, not to mention I’m sure she had to as well. I turned to her and asked if I could see her again tomorrow? I could feel her eyes upon me, and I felt her tug against my jacket, and at the same time I could swear I could feel her smile. I stood up and helped her up, and we brushed ourselves off. She walked in one direction as me and Apollo walked in another. The whole way back to the house I couldn’t stop smiling thinking of how amazing I felt. As I got inside and got ready to sleep, I was considering telling her how I felt tomorrow. She could be completely freaked out by it and chose to leave and never come back. Or she could embrace it and maybe feel the same. It was very risky but I was tired of being alone. I was tired of never knowing if I could ever find someone who would love me and all of my flaws. Maybe I was crazy. Hell, I’ll admit it, I know I was crazy to feel this way, but I had to try. Tomorrow I would tell her how I felt. 
      The next morning, around the same time, I went back to the beach hoping I might run into her again. I walked to where I thought we were yesterday and waited for her to show up. After an hour had passed, I became a little concerned. Maybe I was just being impatient but I couldn’t help how I was feeling. Just then I heard tires screeching on the road off the beach. I knew this area well enough to know that hardly any drivers came around here this early unless they were coming back from party fishing boats, so naturally they’d be drunk. Apollo ran from me again, barking furiously, I followed confused at first, but then as I was running I became more and more conscious as to what might have happened. Could she have been hit by that car? Could she have been in that car? My mind was racing as was I. I heard Apollo run up some steps so I was sure to grasp the hand rail so as not to fall. I got to the sidewalk and followed Apollo into the street. I was sure Catherine was hit. Just then I heard someone call to me:
I recognized her voice, and my spirit shot up. I turned and yelled her name. I could feel her in front of me and I’m sure she could see me. At this point I was too excited to care about anything else. I took what had happened as a sign, and began running to her voice, as she ran to me as well. I thought this was it. This was fate. What we were destined to do. To be. Together. However, I was wrong. Because the sun was bright that day, and the wind was blowing fiercely, and the waves were crashing hard. That’s why she couldn’t see the car racing around the corner, and that’s why I couldn’t hear it.