Travel Vignettes are fictional works with a romantic twist. They are incorporated in Exploring Romantic Fiction.
Frozen in Time
Greece – Summer 1986
The pristine water of the Mediterranean Sea felt refreshing from the scorching sun. The water was so clear that I could see the fish swimming between my legs. I could feel Aphrodite’s presence everywhere, as lovers affectionately frolicked on the beach.
Watching them splashing, caressing, and sensually kissing made me wish for my heart’s desire. I had only hoped he could have been here, so he and I could be like those lovers frolicking on the beach. But like the calmness of the sea, I had to wait patiently for his embrace.
Dipping myself into the water and coming up feeling cooler, it was time to wade-out and head back to the white-washed stone house. I came to know the house because he brought me. It was rather quaint, with its lovely blue gate, that led into a marble patio. He and I shared it with his brother and a friend. It was nothing fancy . . . simple but sound. He brought me to the house to keep me safe and close to him.
We fell in love back at university in Buffalo, New York. It was our plan for me to come to Greece and for him to show me its beauty. It was also more than that. It was for him to announce our engagement to his parents, who were hell-bent on him marrying a Greek girl from his village.
Looking back on that particular day in Piraeus, I remember feeling that we might miss each other. It was our rendezvous point for us to sail to Heraklion from Athens. The port was terribly crowded. And with the hustle and bustle of the crowd, I couldn’t make sight of him, which caused me to feel frighten and anxious, particularly since I wasn’t fluent in Greek.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t be on the same ferry as I because he had to be with his platoon. He had to fulfill his conscripted duty like all men in Greece. So, he asked a friend who was in the same platoon to answer his name at role call when docking in Heraklion. He did all that, just so we could be together on the same ferry. He was smooth like that, always taking chances.
Patting myself dry and readying to head back to the white-washed stone house, I could still picture us on the top deck, watching the bold red sun descend into the sea. His gentle kiss and hug took all my worries away. It all seemed so insouciant. But little did I know, what was yet to come once landing in Heraklion.
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