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He looked up and saw the simple elegance of the lamp on the boardwalk by the beach. It reminded him of a girl he had known many years earlier. She was elegant and willowy. Her eyes were the brownest eyes he had seen before or since. Her voice, a little hard to remember it, but he knew it had once caused his heart to pound. The sea was calm tonight. Calm as her demeanor had always been. Why tonight? Why was she front and center in his mind tonight? He hadn't thought of her in months and hadn't seen her for 12 maybe 13 years, but here she was walking around his mind and leaving a hint of pain wherever she stepped.
He rested his hand on the lamp post and leaned into it as thoughts of her floated and settled. She was magnificent. Her body, her hair and her hands. Oh, those hands were perfection. Small and slender fingers with a perfectly manicured nail at the end of each. He preferred she wear red polish; her choice was often purple or blue. Her style was ultra high fashion in his mind. She never dressed in jeans or shorts. She wore dresses, skirts and jackets or sweaters and heels. Always heels. She nearly met his 6'2" frame wearing her heels, but fell short of his chin without. He loved the way she fit into his arms. Snug against his chest and thigh to thigh they simply fit together.
Had he loved her? Had she loved him? The words were never said aloud. He thought they were in love and yet when she disappeared, he oddly didn't really miss her. Oh, he noticed she was gone, so to that extent, he missed her, but his life was not affected by her absence. He found that peculiar even yet today.
Shaking his head slightly left to right in an attempt to move her on her way, he continued his stroll down the beach. Ahead he sees his wife coming from one of the little seaside bars. She sees his silhouette approaching and remembers why she fell for this big guy. The saunter. The hair falling in his eyes as he strolls. The way his clothes enhance his body. A big and manly body. The kind a girl can get consumed by. Eight years married, still madly in love with him she walks towards him in hopes of sharing the evening in yet another seaside bar with the man of her dreams.
All thoughts of her are gone. This woman is the woman of his dreams and the woman he will spend eternity loving. He was suddenly aware of how much he had changed from the man who maybe loved her. That man was a cad. He didn't value anyone or much of anything. He lived for the moment only. The man who married this woman whose kiss he had just returned, this man is a strong and loving man. This man is loyal and financially supports his family. Loves his family, 3 children had been entrusted to them for raising and loving and he relished that role of father and husband. Responsibility could have been his middle name. Life and love often changes who you are and what you give the world.
Hand in hand they stroll the beach and she resting her head on his shoulder suggests a side trip to Benny's Bar at the Beach and a couple of beachy drinks. He orders a cute little umbrella bearing drink for his love and a bourbon on the rocks for himself and then requests an umbrella because it will make her smile. That man from before would never be so silly and he would never be so happy.
Over her lovely head he can still see the outline of the lamp on the tall post against the sea in the moonlight.
"Cheers, Babe. To all of our yesterdays and a million tomorrows."
Clicking glasses, sipping and kissing. This man is content.