Alone with this visionBeen a while, Bumblebee, he says as he pours sparkling water into my glass. There is a blanket held down by four big rocks and on it I have laid out a feast that I brought from the top of the cliff. In stages. It took FOREVER, especially to roll the rocks over to anchor the quilt.
Alone with this sound
Alone in my dreams
I carry around
I will not take from you and you will not owe
I will protect you from the fire below
It’s not in my mind
It’s here at my side
Go tell the world that I am alive
We have cheese and crackers and caviar and potato salad and roast beef. French bread. Chocolate cake. Cookies too.
I light the lanterns that I brought too, shoving candles hastily behind the little glass doors before they're blown out. The wind is light tonight. It's getting dark. It's mild out but I even brought extra blankets in case we get cold.
The tide tries to reach us but it won't. We're just above the high water mark on the dry sand where the larger rocks eat the beach for dinner. The seagulls are calling. The sun is going down and I am stalling.
Just have to wait for one more thing, Benny.
He sits back against a log and picks up his glass and smiles. I watch him and sip my own water and then I hear a yell.
And there's Loch coming across the beach. Wearing a really nice shirt. And a tie. He's got a cooler bag over his shoulder and a big goofy grin on his face. Matched only by the one on Ben's face when they see each other.
In the cooler there are steamed vegetables, salmon, plates and cutlery and a thermos of tea. And the radio, as per my instructions to PJ and Lochlan didn't know what he was bringing until just now. He sits down to unpack the bag and hands me the radio. I find a quiet station and leave the music on low, propped on top of the two logs to the side.
Ben takes a plate and asks me what I would like. I point to things and he ladles out a little of each. Too much food. I take my plate and sit and wait for them to fill their plates and glasses too and then I make a toast. They have their glasses ready.
To love. I could only hope to give you both a memory like some of the ones you have given me. To more of this and less strife. To a better life. To loving without limits. To life. To the here and now.
To love. Ben says.
Here and now, echoes Loch.
They both look touched. I'm going to cry and choke on my potato salad. I can't eat. I don't know what I'm thinking. Too nervous. Too anxious for everything to be perfect. To a casual observer it's a picnic dinner. To me it's everything I can never give back to them because they won't let me and this was a huge operation to try and surprise them.
Loch is wearing a tie. If I were standing, my knees would be jello. I left a card for him with his instructions on the dresser. Meet me on the beach. Dress nice. PJ will give you what you need to bring.
I brought Ben with me down to the beach on my last trip with supplies. He took the bottle from me, tucking it under his arm. What are you up to, Little Bee?
This. This is what I was up to.
But Ben hasn't stopped staring at me like I'm the most fascinating thing he has ever seen and I don't want him to ever stop but at the same time I'm staring back because I hardly ever get to see him anymore. He works too much. He refuses to take breaks sometimes even when he is supposed to. He smiles so big and there's an epic Pacific sunset going on right behind us and I don't plan to turn around because looking at him is better.
He finally stops and looks at my plate. Eat something, Bee. Loch nods. He's missing the sunset too. Gosh. I have it all right here.
The plate swims on the other side of my tears and the sea roars in waves washing over my soul and I never ever ever want to go a minute further in life. We can stop right here, freeze it like this. They both look so happy. Just please, just this one thing right here.
Nobody pinch me, I whisper.
They can't hear it.