my friend chers left a comment in the poll page that nobody thought that etienne would refuse so see kiel. i knew everybody thought i was irresistible! hah! as my previous entries indicated i have been away so this post is way past delayed. apologies. anyway, that kiel will stay the rest of the weekend with etienne won and, well – read on because this actually happened.
to those who have not followed this series, please read part 1 and part 2 before proceeding.
The corals waved at me in slow motion. Maybe a thousand tropical fishes were swimming around me, blinking with curiosity at the strange creature within their midst. In that blue green light, they look like multi-coloured confetti floating in a space without gravity. It’s a world I can imagine being a part of. Getting lost. Happily.
My anti-Ariel-moment was interrupted by my merman and Prince Eric-for-the-weekend swimming from underneath me, the whole length of his body grazing mine. Etienne had the grace of a water sprite. He swims in bursts, diving deep, swimming beneath the surface considering the underwater life and then emerging fast, like he found something he has to take quickly to the surface.
We rented a boat for the day. In the first snorkelling area, we were happily swimming by ourselves for a while. This gave me time to study his snorkelling style before getting lost in my own dream world. That is, until he did that swimming-underneath-me trick. I couldn’t have let that pass without reciprocating in kind.
I swam to him and for a while we were swimming as one, framed by the tropical fishes and corals moving in harmony in this fantasy world. It was so f-ing cinematic I wish I hadn’t watched that Jeff Bridges movie that looked just like it so I wouldn’t think that at some level it was contrived. But hey – I get to play Rachel Ward for a day, so who am I to complain? (For those who are not old enough – it’s Against All Odds – where that Phil Collins song came from)
We did this for hours. We repeated the same scene over and over, in different snorkelling sites. At one point, Etienne tried to kiss me. I swallowed so much sea water, I had to surface quickly and unceremoniously – breaking the mood. He didn’t try it again.
By early afternoon we were both beat and hungry already we decided to go back.
Earlier that day, I was walking away from my colleagues their faces a mixture of amusement, disbelief and embarrassment (each person in different proportion) over my behaviour. We were walking towards Station 3 to catch the next ferry when I stopped and told everybody, “You guys go ahead. I think I’m going to stay the rest of the weekend.”
They looked at each other. I think they can see I surprised even myself. Nobody dared to make a comment except Lara, “Go and have fun! I’ll see you in the office when you get back, OK?” She kissed me on the cheeks and took away the work folders in my hand leaving me with just my duffel bag. “Go.” She said, as if she can read that a dissenting word from somebody will probably get me to the ferry with them. So she pushed me lightly away with a sweet smile.
I walked a few steps and looked back. Lara was getting everybody to stop staring at me and head off to the Station. She waved. I smiled. Each step, my smile grew wider.
I walked into his room when I found his door unlocked. He was sleeping on top of the sheets on his stomach, one of his leg around a pillow, revealing parts of him that I wouldn’t tell my mother about. From the doorway, it was a very sexy sight.
I quietly dropped my bag on the floor and lay on top of him. I started kissing the back of his neck and nibbling his earlobes, rubbing my excitement suggestively against his exposed ass. He started to wake up, “Hey... you came back,” his voice still growly from sleep, but he was smiling.
“Yeah, and you’re still sleeping,”
“Thanks for coming back.” He said and he kissed me.
After some time, he asked out of the blue, “you want to go snorkelling today?”
It was exactly what I wanted to do.
We spent the whole day, being with each other. There was not much talk. No what do you do, no how many brothers and sisters, no where do you live. His boyfriend was never referred to again. He didn’t ask if I had one.
We talked about the now. The patterns on the shell we found in the beach, the music we like, his skin burning in the tropical sun. His smell. His foreskin. My skin. My smile. Nothing important. Or maybe the only things that are truly important.
While eating late lunch we find ourselves looking at each other and smiling. It was the Indian restaurant and we were the only customers. We took all the cushions, ordered beer and let the afternoon pass us.
“Too bad the weekend is ending.” He said looking far into the sun which is just about to set, "I wish this could last longer”.
“So do I,” I said looking at him, “So do I.”
That night we did not go out to the bars. We made love until we fell asleep.
We were walking towards the main road the next day to flag a tricycle to take him to the airport. This is where I planned to say goodbye. He asked if we can take a short walk to beach.
“Take my picture – then I’ll send you a copy.” he said, fishing out his camera from his backpack. “I want you to remember me as I look today.” I took the shot.
When I gave him the camera he just stood there his shoulders suddenly hunched.
“Etienne, are you OK?”
He didn’t make a sound but I saw tears running below his sunglasses.
“I feel like I’m losing somebody I have known for a long time.”
I pulled him to me and hugged him as hard as I can.
I don’t know how long we stood there in the beach holding each other but at some point he said, “I have to go.”
I was looking at Etienne get on a tricycle when I heard a familiar voice calling out. Bong.
“Kiel!” he was alighting from another tricycle and already started talking as he was walking toward me. “Man, I was looking for you guys last night in the bars.”
“We were tired and decided to have an early night.” He followed the direction of my eyes.
“Is that Etienne? Where is he going?”
“He has a plane to catch.”
There was awkward silence for a while. I noticed I stepped on a gum and was looking at my flip-flops curiously. Bong stood there, looking at me looking at the gum.
“Isn’t he your boyfriend? I could’ve sworn that you guys were in love.” He asked with some hesitation.
“What?! No.” A little surprised that he can be so forward. I took off one of my slippers and started picking on the gum. When I noticed he was looking at me strangely it was only then I realised I was doing a truly disgusting thing in public. But there was something else in his eyes. I think it was compassion I didn’t know I deserve, “I don’t know. I don’t even really know him.”
I dropped my slipper and threw the gum I picked for someone else to step on. Bong gave me a conspiratorial smile.
“Come, let’s have a beer. You look like you can use some cheering up.”
He put his arms around my shoulders as we walked to the bars in midday.