The One Who Got Away

The memories rushed fast at me as the ferry approached Nantucket Island. The Brant Point Lighthouse was as familiar to me today as it was ten years ago. Curling up in the sand under a warm blanket with the passionate touch of a loving man was a distant memory. The secret smiles, the passionate kisses, the intimacy we shared, it was such a long time ago.

I had convinced myself that I wasn’t in love with Lucas. I’d been in love with Nantucket Island, not the man I once knew who lived there. Ten years ago I decided it was over.

For the two years that we dated, his work came first. He said he loved me and wanted a life with me “off-island”. It was obvious though, that he would never be able to live away from the island. I said good-bye to him, and to the island, for what I believed would be forever.

I stayed in touch with my island friends, Rich and Cindy. They visited me often after my breakup with Lucas. They were like my second parents. Cindy was funny and kind. She kept me current on island gossip. She talked often about Lucas. She told me he asked about me, calling me “the one who got away”. Rich gave me career and car advice. They often invited me to their home on the island, but I never went. I wanted to forget the love and passion I’d felt- and lost.

I understood that Lucas was dedicated to his work as a fine artist, but I knew I’d never be his priority. I was passionate about him. And he was passionate about painting. I said goodbye to love, affection, and passion. I needed to be first.

It was springtime in Boston ten years after I left the island when I found a letter in my mailbox from the Law offices of Brian Bosworth on Nantucket Island. As I spied the envelope I realized that I hadn’t heard from Rich and Cindy since New Year’s Eve.

I cried, knowingly, as I opened the letter. Rich and Cindy had perished in a car accident while traveling in Florida. They had planned a trip in February to escape the bitter New England cold. Rich had been driving their new Range Rover. It rolled over avoiding “debris on the road” as the letter from Brian had read.

I missed them instantly. I missed Nantucket. I even missed Lucas.

I continued reading the letter, finding that my precious friends had bestowed upon me their entire Nantucket estate. I gasped. My friends were no longer alive. And I had to return to the island. I felt the walls closing in on me as I poured myself a glass of wine.

Wednesday morning’s light brought the realization that I would be island bound by Friday.

On the ferry I ordered clam chowder, and a glass of chardonnay, and then another as I watched for the familiar lighthouse. I missed the rush of anticipation I used to feel when I was meeting Lucas on the dock. I wanted to be greeted. I wanted his soft, warm lips. I needed him now as I mourned the death of friends I’d only known because of him.

Brant point came up fast.

I drove off the boat once we docked. No one greeted me.

I headed to Surfside, to be at a place where I always felt love. I walked from the sandy parking lot with my blanket. I found the once familiar path. We used to park our shoes in the sand and wander among the dunes. We’d bring our coffee in the morning and our wine in the evening.

Today I parked my shoes. I found the place in the dunes where I’d shared my first kiss with Lucas more than a decade ago. I lay in the cool sand, wrapped up in the blanket. I just lay there, listening to the waves crashing, remembering those days and nights of being in love. Lucas and I used to curl up together here. We’d gaze into each other’s eyes. I felt him. I knew him. I could see his soul.

I didn’t hear the approaching footsteps over the crashing waves on the shore. The sun was bright and blinding as I peered into the face of man. I heard the exclamation, “Oh! You came back! You’re really here!” It was Lucas. I lay still in the sand as he knelt beside me. He’d heard about the accident this morning. He came here to mourn.

I lifted the blanket and let Lucas lie with me. His smell was familiar. I could feel his soft warm breath on my neck and I felt loved. We lay quiet under that blanket. He whispered to me, “Thank you, for coming back to me. I thought you got away”. We were truly in love.

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