If You Were Here (Part I)

Tropical Sunset

It started raining at sunset tonight.

I looked up at the sky and it brought me back to that night. There were crashing waves and mojitos. The rain was coming down in buckets, we had to shout to hear each other over the noise.

If you were here, we would look up at the rain falling down on our faces and laugh at the perfect way in which it paralleled a 90s romantic comedy.

We would pause as we took our eyes away from the oncoming storm to notice the graceful way the falling sun framed our faces, our glances lingering a second too long.

The slight breeze would move around us, finally cooling us down from the hot day.

If you were here, I would grab your hand and sprint toward the sea, still laughing at the moment and life, and how this is what makes it meaningful.

You would run after me and grab me by the waist as soon as we hit the water, lifting me into a salty embrace. Maybe you would kiss me, or maybe you would let me back down, our laughter fading into a delicate silence.

We would face toward the sunset and stand still, hands clasped, looking out at the technicolor sky. We would breathe it all in, appreciating these few minutes without having to say anything.

Maybe we would be happy to just be free.

If you were here, you would invite me to a bar down the road for a dance in the fading light. I would wrap my arms around your hips, pressing myself into your body, taking in the smell of you, the curves of your back and waist.

We would dance that night like nothing else existed but this moment, right now. We would dance until our bodies grew sore, and we craved the comforts of our humid beds just on the other side of the coast.

If you were here, you wouldn’t stop at my place just yet. We would continue down the winding roads of the island, the cicadas would be our symphony as we fell deeper into the night.

You wouldn’t stop because you wanted to feel the moonlight on our backs. You wouldn’t be ready yet to give into sleep.

If you were here, we would grab a bottle of cheap wine and slowly get drunk until the softness of a new day came to us. We would be left dancing to no music, just holding each other in unison, using each of our senses to take in our flawed souls.

The thunder would grow loud overhead, it would make me jump. But you would already be there to hold me and carry me to bed as the sky lit up with one last resounding crack.

———————

I’m alone as I look up at the dark sky from my little patch of sand. I laugh at the awesome beauty that looks down on me, washing away the day.

I run into the ocean and let the water soak me to the bone. I feel every particle of sand between my toes, let them run through my fingers as the rain beats down on me.

I watch the lightning overhead, the rays behind the storm making it look like an ethereal painting I was fortunate enough to stumble upon. My thoughts turn to the pink streaked clouds and how they’re a perfect contrast, a tropical version of the green-hued northern lights.

I’ve never felt more alive.

I leave as soon as it gets dark to ride my bike to the bar down the road. I tap my feet in tune to the live music, watching the old couple in front of me dance in the dim yellow lights. They hold each other tight, oblivious to the world around them.

The music stops abruptly and a slice of feedback cuts through the mic, making the woman jump. But the man is already there to hold her and they continue their waltz with no sound. There’s a timeless smile left on their faces as I turn to leave.

I ride toward my place, but I won’t stop. I’m not ready to give into sleep just yet.

I want to let the night envelop me in its darkness, to feel the humid air and heavy breeze. I stop on the side of the road to listen to the cicadas in the wind, their music is all around me now and I eagerly turn in place to witness their sound.

I pick up a bottle of wine on my way back home to drink out on the porch. The storm has cleared, it’s a perfectly luminous night and I look up at the stars.

I close my eyes and take a deep clean breath. The second glass of wine is already going to my head. I have work and deadlines to meet tomorrow, but for now, I am completely at peace in the wild beauty of this place.

I drink half the bottle and leave the rest for another night, another time, another moment as bright as tonight.

 

If You Were Here is a series of love letters about life, and the people and experiences that make it what it is. 

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Mimi McFadden
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Mimi McFadden

Travel Writer/Blogger at The Atlas Heart
Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer.
Mimi McFadden
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