The breeze stirred the trees, the branches caused strobe lights beneath her closed eyelids as she listened; to birdsong, a waterfall and his breathing as she lay on his dozing chest.
On impulse she said: “I’m going in.” She stood and started to strip off her clothes until she was only wearing her shift. She waded in to the river along a convenient shelf of rounded stones towards the waterfall. The first impact of the cold water was shock, then it became silkily smooth.
A few minutes later he followed in his Y-fronts. “I don’t know why we’re being so coy” she said, it’s not like we haven’t seen each other before”.
“Leave it on, it’s more revealing, I think you wear it as armour against my lasting appeal. You don’t like to admit we are destined for one another.”
“As we were thirty years ago, after the war. You went home to America. I never heard from you again”
“Until fate brought us back together” he smiled hopefully.
She swam away from him, whilst he dithered, thigh deep knowing the next step would be the most alarming in the cold water.
“I came back to ask you something”
She was sat on a rock now by the tumbling fall. “I guessed. Picnic basket, our old haunts. Like a romantic novelette. All jam and no bread. I will save your time; I wouldn’t marry you if you were Adam and apples sixpence a pound. You are not in love with me Peter, just marking time for a better offer.”
“I came to make amends.” And then; “Better late than never”
She stood and took a perfect swallow dive, when she emerged, she said: “Then I shouldn’t be here. Make amends with our son. It was him that tracked you down.”
© Steve Goodlad