(Short Story Competition)
Illustration Courtesy of Roberto Oran
The Nile Took Me There
Her love was my perfume, more than a scent it was euphoria. Her silhouette invades my memories of lust and desire. When or how we met I do not remember, it was the most exciting journey of my life.
The night of the journey was lovely, clear skies, the glimmer of the stars and the full moon shone brightly. We met at the rivers edge and we both saw the canoe scuttling along the waters.
The Nile was the name painted elegantly on the starboard side. We held hands as we boarded together with no real unease, what a gentle moment. I remember how strange it felt to board at night. I recall having seen many people board at the rivers edge, mostly during the day.
Families and children men and women of all ages and sizes gathering at the dock with personal belongings at hand longing to see their loved ones. Chatter and laughter sighs and tears were to be expected at the moment of arrival.
Departures are different for so many reasons. I do miss the exclamation of “all aboard!” the captains signature phrase.
I feel a slightly chilled hand caressing my head and neck and just like that, I’m back in the present. That’s why I love her. Without saying a word Natalie can sense when I’m not in tune with the present and she knows when and how to respond. I am so glad she is taking the trip with me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be on The Nile, I could not make this journey down stream.
As The Nile slowly drifts into the currents I grab my beloveds hand. She rests her legs across mine and rests her head on my chest. I hug her and cradle her how lovely this feels. I lose all sense of time in this embrace.
No words are spoken but all is felt. As we drift in and out of alertness, i’m jolted by the heavy fog that surrounds us.
And as I stare into the night, I rest my tired and withered bones west of the Nile. It hasn’t escaped me that this journey was the last time I saw my beloved Natalie.