At the edge of a steep cliff with the sea a hundred or so feet directly below, waves extending as far as the eye could see, there was a single wooden bench to which I returned each evening and sat alone to watch the setting sun paint its silent death throes all over the sky in shades of deep purple and red. Starting a few feet behind the bench and stretching back far into the horizon was a meadow of motionless flowers in riotous colors atop tall unyielding stalks. A solitary bonsai cherry blossom tree adorned the edge of the cliff to the left of the bench, a carpet of lilac petals surrounding its base. Nothing stirred on land, the only sound a faint din of the waves reaching up the face of the cliff from the sea below. There was a quiet madness in the air that captivated me; it was as if everything stood still with bated breath awaiting something or perhaps someone.
It was the most incongruously beautiful place you could
imagine and since discovering it I had had it all to myself. This
evening was no exception and I sat at my usual spot at one end of the
bench playing with shadows. She must have come out of the meadow and sat
down wordlessly at the other end of the bench. I don't know when she came
and I didn't look at her, unsure what her arrival meant both for this
place and for the madness in my heart. In my thoughts she sat
cross-legged, her bare feet and ankles visible below the long silk skirt
that embraced her legs. I thought that her neck was unadorned, that the
swell of her breasts arose and fell with each breath in steady harmony. I thought that in
her downcast eyes was an image of me. I thought that I knew that she must be
humming my name over and over in her mind and that I was the cause of
the smile at the corner of her mouth. I thought that her hands ached to
be in mine and that her heart was calling out for me. In that strangest of
evenings I thought that she must have sat with me for every sunset.
"Will you hide me within you?," she asked. I turned towards her.