“How much longer do you think we have?”
I kept walking, looking down at our feet. As I picked my head up, the last waning minutes of sunlight glowed in front of me.
“I’m not sure — maybe ten minutes.”
We had been walking for hours, hand in hand, out across the ocean on an endless strip of land that cut the blue blanket of water completely in half. I don’t remember how we got “here,” wherever “here” is, and I don’t know what will happen when the sun finally sets, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it will be an entirely comforting event.
But that is for the future, and this, this stroll across the ocean, is for now.
“What’s on your mind?” she asks, even though she already knew.
I mean, I could give her a recipe of things on my mind.
1.) Two heaping cups of confusion
2.) Four tbsps. of melancholy
3.) One-fourth cup of meaninglessness
4.) One whole stick of ‘an-unttainable-desire-to-hold-on-to-this-moment-forever’
So naturally, I repeat all of that out loud.
She giggles. The breeze dances across both of our faces.
“Listen,” she says, suddenly gravely serious, “this is not the end.”
“But how do you know that?” I ask, letting go of her hand.
But there’s no reply. She’s gone. I put my hands into my pockets and keep walking, alone, across the lonely strip of land that cuts through the middle of this lonely ocean. I still feel the warmth of her hand. I clench my fist to not let any of it escape.
Why are the words coming to me now? Why couldn’t I just say them moments ago while you were still here?
I would have turned to you and told you that I find it strikingly beautiful that, on an infinite spectrum of moments, there exists one such that your hand and my own were intertwined.
That for just one moment in time, there was nothing but connection between two people trying to find their way in a disconnected world.
I turn to look behind me: an endless ocean with an endless strip of land. I don’t know where this path on the water is taking me, but I hope you’re there when I arrive.