Episode Eight In the Gulf of Mexico
They walked a short way down the shore to the water's edge. The beach was deserted. She kicked off her shoes and picked them up, letting the water lap her toes. They strolled silently, listening to the calming sounds of the ocean.
“I’m going in. Are you coming?” she said.
“No. I’ll take your things and wait for you on that chair right over there, see it?”
“Why don’t you want to go in the water?”
“It’s wet. And it bur… oh, I just hate the water.”
“Brr! You HATE the water,” she stifled a giggle, “and we bought a condo on the beach? Why on earth?” she laughed out loud.
“Yes, why on Earth. Because you love it here. And you love the water. And I… I love you.”
“Jakson Blake, you are too good to be true!”
“No, Babe. I’m not.” He looked at her with a deep sadness in his eyes for a moment, and then it was gone. “Go! Swim a little. But don’t go out too far. I’ll get some sun. I do like the sun! Look for me in the chair over there, so you don’t drift off too far south, okay? There’s a bit of a current today.”
She nodded and handed him her shoes and cover up. Again she saw the sadness in his eyes once more just as she turned away to run into the water.
“You okay?” he shouted to her as she bobbed around, only her head showing.
“Yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”
“Is it cold?”
“No! Not at all. It’s almost like bath water. It feels wonderful! Are you SURE you won’t come in and join me?”
“Only to save your life, My Love, would I brave that water and come in there! Have a good swim. Be careful. Watch my chair. I’ll wave. You wave back. You shout if you need me. But try not to, Love.”
“I’ll be fine, Jaks,” she laughed. “Quit fussing!” Samantha bobbed around for a little longer. She swam up toward the public beach, then back swam down the other way. Every now and then she looked for Jakson and waved to him. He waved back, ever watchful.
She loved being in the water. It took all her cares away. It gave her a layer of insolation from the real and hurtful world. It strengthened her, made her feel stronger, so she was better able to deal with whatever the hell life threw at her. It made all those very frightening dreams she had seem less real, less threatening. She slowed down in the water, like her life was a slow motion movie, in this case a very lovely but completely unfamiliar one. This place was so beautiful. The weather was perfect. The condo was gorgeous, furnished and decorated to suit her taste. Her closet with filled with beautiful clothing and accessories. Jakson was handsome, sweet, and attentive. He seemed genuinely concerned about her and was very romantic. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that all this was some elaborate set-up. But why? And by whom? About an hour passed.
“Sam, are you ready to come out yet?” Jakson stood and shouted at her. “I’m starving, and you have to be getting all water-wrinkly by now!”
“Okay,” she laughed, swam toward him, and walked up from the beach. He held out a towel and helped dry her off. He helped her on with her blouse as she slipped on her shoes. They headed back upstairs, hand in hand, in silence.