Romance Non-Fiction posted March 7, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
First romance?

The Boy At The Sandcastle

by amada

The summer I was ten, I met a sun-flecked boy while vacationing with my family at the beach. It was at a popular place favored for its quietness and affordable rates. Folks of the neighboring region came in hordes. The main attraction: the hotel backyard was the beach!

After breakfast, I would run through the wide open doors to sink my feet in the sizzling sand and dip my toes in the embracing waves. I was fearful of the water rushing above my knees. After that, I searched for a spot near my folks and started building a sandcastle.

I was an only child. My family wasn't very communicative. I was to be seen, not heard. I thought that was the normal way. I grew up silent, somehow noiseless, playing by myself, planning and following the ideas of my own. It's the way I am, even today.

Then it all started: as if by divine command, a boy appeared by my side. Without saying a word, he went back and forth bringing pails of the freshest, moist sand to my side. At one point, he started adding a venue to the castle....I liked it! Not a word was spoken between us but our hands were in perfect connection, our spirits in unison, our minds on the same intangible idea, and we communed with the feel of that pliable sand flowing through our fingers. The sound of the waves blared like our own background music. The salty wind tickled our noses. We built passages and roads leading to the castle, delighting in the magic of a malleable world right in the power of our hands.

We held full agency of our lives. Maybe he was just hungry for companionship, the same as I was. Besides, I liked being liked.

After we shoveled sand, we stopped, admired our work and, without saying a word, he ran back to his parents with the tacit nod that we would meet again the next morning. This daily occurrence lasted for a week. We created our own wordless charmed schedule.

The last morning as we were kneeling adjusting the last details of another brand new castle, he stood up, his eyes moving back and forth from the waves to my eyes, and, just like that, as if reciting a brief summation, he told me that he loved me and that he would look for me when he grew up, and we would be married! I just stood there dumbfounded, without being able to say anything. My mind often goes blank when spoken to. In my mind, I shouted: "What's your name?" But not a sound came out.

We didn't exchange names or addresses-as if destiny would bring us together again and we would continue building sand castles.

Years later, growing up and at times when I felt lost, insecure and unloved, I thought about his words and I felt warm and lovely.

I didn't know his name. I don't remember the beach's name. My family from that time is gone. I am grown up, and I don't build sand castles anymore, but I still relish that time, its candor, sweetness and innocence.

Writing about this, I feel a caress. That beach, the playful sand, the salty scent, the mischievous wind, the majestic sight of the waves. Maybe I would like to build sand castles again...maybe all I want is to go back to that fairytale place and to a time when I was grateful to be alive. It feels like magic revisiting this other world that somehow shaped a part of me.

The main question is still raw: I wonder if he would remember me.

~ * ~ * ~

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