Looking out the window, Maeve sees a flower bed exploding with colour. Pink, yellow, white, bright orange. Long stemmed flowers waving in the breeze. A meandering brick path leading to the hills beyond the gate of the neat yard. Hills calling out to be climbed. A sunny blue-sky day.
Sighing she let the curtain fall as she turned from her window. Such a pretty view. But whose view was it? Where was she now? Looking around for a clue, she spots an envelope on the side table under a large silver framed mirror and picks it up looking for a name. Finding it, she searches her memory. Yes, that’s right. That’s his name. Her husband. She looks around and notices now the coffee mug in the sink, the track jacket hanging on the bannister. The sound of the shower upstairs finally registers and she realizes. He must have gone for a run while she slept.
These times of being lost have been happening more frequently and she wonders what might happen if she wakes up one day and it’s all gone. Her whole life. What if she never remembers again? She hears him on the stairs and wipes away her tears just in time. Slipping his arms around her waist he pulls her to his hot bare chest, still damp from his shower and kisses the top of her head. Her arms go around him automatically and she runs her hands up and down his back trying to assure herself he’s there, he’s real, and he’s hers. She leans back and looks up into his smiling face looking over every detail of his eyes, his cheek, his mouth, just before he leans down and kisses hers.
“Did it happen again?” He whispers into her ear and she shudders and nods. He knows. She’s told him. Months ago, when he found her at the sea wall frantically searching through her backpack for her phone, her ID, something to tell her who she was and why she was there. He had called to her then, walking his bike up the sandy path but she hadn’t responded. She’d just looked at him with wild searching eyes until the clouds seemed to clear and she knew him again. She’d collapsed against her bike crying with relief and they’d sat there the rest of the day on that seawall trying to make sense of what they couldn’t understand. She undergone test after test and the doctors had finally agreed on a diagnosis. Temporal Lope Epilepsy. Probably as a result of oxygen deprivation at birth and something they would have to learn to live with.
Now, he gently pulled away and tilted up her chin as he bent down to look seriously into her eyes. “Do you know what this calls for?” he asked wriggling his eyebrows suggestively. She laughed. “An adventure!” he crowed. “Get dressed my love, let’s go meet the world!”
An hour later, they jumped into their SUV and headed out of town. The road wound up and around hills passing blue green lakes and stands of poplars shaking their leaves in the breeze. Finally, they pulled into the parking lot. A sign at the trail head pointed the way. Keiran strapped the packsack containing their lunch and cameras to his back and lead the way, Bonnie, their faithful retriever pushing past him to sniff the trail ahead. Tall cedars stood sentinel on either side of the needle strewn path. Massive roots snaked their way across it. The wind made the trees sway and looking up, Maeve saw the tops bending back and forth. She took a deep breath. This was good.
“Wow!” Keiran said from around the next bend. In seconds she joined him to stare open mouthed at the waterfall cascading from the top of the tree covered hill before landing in a crystal-clear pool far below. Bonnie immediately splashed in and waded out to shake herself all over them. Where the tree line stopped, large granite rocks lined the shore. Keiran bounced from one to another, his long legs easily reaching across where he had to jump. He finally climbed to the highest point and set down their pack on the smooth surface of a giant boulder right on the edge of the pool. Standing up, he smiled and pulled his shirt and shorts off. He stood at the edge looking into the water, assessing its depth. Satisfied he gave Maeve a last glance and jumped off. “Whoo!” he called, plunging deep into the pool and surfacing with a big grin.
“Cold?” she asked, already adding her top and shorts to the pile.
Keiran smiled mischievously, “Nah, come on in.”
Maeve laughed and jumped; her squeals cut short as the icy cold water took her breath away. She pushed to the surface, pumping her legs and swirling her arms in the water as she turned to look for him. Where was he? She saw him then, his arms slicing through the water to reach her side.
“Nice, eh?” he laughed.
“It’s freezing!” Maeve swatted him playfully.
Keiran’s teeth were chattering. “I know, the water must come from the top of the hill,” he said unapologetically. “But, you gotta admit, this is beautiful!”
Maeve looked around. They were alone. The breeze sighing in the tress and the water crashing were the only sounds. She nodded and wrapped both arms and legs around her husband. Pulling him close she sunk into his warmth.
Bonnie barked joyfully from the shore making them laugh. Pulling away from him, Maeve stared into Keiran’s eyes. “Please don’t let me ever forget this day.”
Love it, beautifully written. I felt as though I was there. Sad but beautiful at the same time.