I’ve spread my wings, and now I’m jumping off the cliff. That was how I felt when I originally posted the first chapter of Sunsets.
Maybe some day I’ll post the story here, but for now here will only be the first chapter. The rest of the story – still in progress – can be read at Fanfiction.net. I’ve also started posting it on TWCS – but the story there is not as far along yet.
That evening I felt uneasy; like there’s something nagging on me, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to get rid of that feeling. It’s like I’m waiting for something, but I don’t know for what, and for how long I have to wait.
I had been working all day, locked up in my office at the beach house. God knows why I thought it would be a good idea to come to the beach house when all I do is work. I could just as well be working at the office with all the people around me. My mother is concerned about me, I guess, that’s why she suggested I would take some time off to relax. But face it mom, when you are the head of a billion-dollar company, you can’t take time off to relax.
Everything just seems to be happening to me; like I’m just observing what’s happening around me, but not actually participating in it. Business is good, but I can’t find any joy in it. I used to be happy flying, or out on the boat, but recently I’ve been avoiding both, I don’t quite know why, I just feel like there’s something missing in my life.
I was hoping that a change in scenery would help me get rid of that un-named feeling that’s been bugging me for the last few weeks. I took off my shoes and went for a walk on the beach. The sunsets are amazing here, I thought. I enjoy the feeling of sand between my toes and the gentle breeze of the late-summer evening on my skin.
I just walked mindlessly along the deserted beach, there’s no people here, just me and the nature around me. I breathe deeply, trying to absorb the salty air of the beach, the smell of warm sand and sea mixing in my head reminding me of childhood summers that we used to spend here.
My childhood started so very wrong, born to a woman who loved me but couldn’t take care of me, nor of herself. After my birth-mother died I was adopted by the doctor who saved me. She gave me a family that loved me unconditionally. I never told them how I felt, I always felt undeserving their love. I blamed myself for what happened to my mother. I know it’s unrealistic that a small child could have done anything to prevent what happened to her, or myself for that matter, but nevertheless I blamed myself. I grew with my new family, I love them, maybe I have a strange way of showing it sometimes but it’s the truth. I just don’t deserve their love.
I saw a seagull dive into the water and then fly away with a small fish in its beak. It flew up to the cliff where it has a nest, the seagull’s mate sitting on the nest. I just observe the small things Mother Nature wants to show me. The story of my life, just observing life happening around me, here just with a more leisurely pace than in the city. I find myself lost in some emotion I cannot name. It’s just feels like me against everything else.
I start to stroll back to the house, I have no idea of how much time has passed. The sun is about to dive into the ocean, painting the clouds amazing shades of pink, orange and blue. It’s breathtaking.
Suddenly I notice that someone is standing on the cliff, looking at the sunset. How long have they been standing there, I don’t know. This is private property so there really shouldn’t be anyone else here.
The thought of someone unknown being here, makes me feel uneasy and a bit angry. Like someone just came and burst my bubble of solitude. I continue walking in the direction of the house, keeping my eyes on the figure on the cliff. There’s no point in shouting from this distance.
When I get a bit closer I notice that it’s a woman. She’s just standing there looking at the sunset. She’s in a long white dress, her arms wrapped around her body, the breeze playing with her long hair. It’s an amazing view.
I stop to watch her, watching the sunset. The spark of anger I felt has melted away, and oddly now I feel that I’m intruding on her. Afraid to burst her bubble. I turn my head towards the sea, just to catch the moment when the sun disappears below the horizon. I turn my head back to look at the woman on the cliff but there’s no-one there. Again I’m all alone on the beach. I want to run to see where she went, was she even there, or was it just my imagination.
Finally I have the weekend free, it’s about time I would say. I’ve been working extra shifts at the homeless shelter. It’s volunteer work so it’s not for the money, but for keeping myself busy. My life has been hectic lately, I should probably cut down on the hours spent at the shelter, but I feel that it is something I have to do. A shelter helped me, so the least I can do now is give some back.
For this rare weekend off, I’ve decided to drive to the beach to watch the sunset. It’s been too long since I’ve been there. When I was a kid I used to spend the summer at my grandparents place not far from that beach. Those days the summer was always filled with sunshine, lazy days and happiness. That was before. Now summers are just hot, crowded and stressful. Happiness is somewhere around the corner, just out of my reach. There has been too much sorrow and pain in my life since those childhood years. I can’t help but wonder if the beach is still same or has it also been torn apart like my soul.
I park my car by the road, as there’s no parking at this area, the only house – if you can call it a house, it’s more like a mansion – on this road has it’s parking somewhere inside the gates that close of the property from outsiders. I know my way around, as a child I used to come to this place often, I even remember playing with the children of the mansion once. I never told them about my secret path to the cliff, maybe they knew about it, I don’t know. I look around, walking the small path past the large oaks to the cliff by the beach. Everything looks the same, even it has been at least 15 years. The trees are bigger, but it’s just as beautiful as I remembered.
I breathe in the sea air, I listen to the seagulls screaming and just enjoy the breeze on my skin. I look at the colors of the sky, the amazing masterpiece painted by Mother Nature. I watch the sun slowly descend into the horizon. Beautiful – doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I just close my eyes for a moment and breathe. I don’t remember when I would have felt this serene the last time. I wrap my arms around myself, the evening breeze coming in from the sea being a bit cooler than I expected. I watch the sun dive into the water and I feel calm.
I drift away to childhood summers, being with my grandpa on the porch, listening to him playing the mandolin and singing songs, picking berries with my grandmother and just walking barefoot through the wet grass early in the morning. All was perfect. But then the house of cards collapsed.
My father died in a car accident, my mother soon got married to a man who destroyed my spirit. But worst of all I lost my grandparents. Everything went bad so quickly and there was nothing I could do. I start to feel the same horrible pain squeezing my chest, just as it did when I first got the news about my grandmother being ill. Breathe Ana, breathe. I try calming myself – I take one more look at this amazing beach with the beautiful sunset, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale…
I just can’t be here, the smell of the place just brings back too many memories of days long gone. I turn to leave quickly, I run all the way to the car. I unlock the door and sit behind the wheel, but I can’t start the car – the tears are burning in my eyes and for the first time in years I cry. I cry because of my father, my grandparents, and my mother who basically abandoned me after her husband tried to take advantage of me. I cry until I cannot cry anymore.
I start the car and drive. I decide to come back the next day, it will be therapy for my soul if not else. These feelings have been bottled up too long, it’s time to let them go and try to live again.
The following day goes by just as the days before, only difference to the ordinary being that I’m still at the beach house. I’m still working all the time, thank god for the time zones so I find someone awake at any time. Only my housekeeper and personal security are with me at the beach house, they are here to keep me company, and to keep me alive I guess. I’m sure my mother has talked to them, trying to find out how I’m doing without having to ask me personally. I guess it’s for the best that no one else is around, as I’m not much company, to be honest, not in this mood.
Many times during the day I find myself thinking about the woman I saw at the beach yesterday. At times I convince myself that it was just my imagination, and at times I’m considering asking Taylor (head of security) to check if the cameras had caught her. I just wonder who she is, was she even real?
I’m slowly realizing that I’m trying to keep my mind busy with work, so that I don’t have to face the facts about my teenage years. I recently understood what had been going on then, and I can’t believe how blind I have been. How many years I’ve tried to tell myself that it was what I needed, that I was special, that I was different. But the truth was, that I was once again the victim of abuse, I just didn’t understand it.
The realization came a few months ago when a teenage boy was found bound in the house of Elena Lincoln. The shit hit the fan at that point, media going crazy about one of Seattle’s socialites being a pedophile. Thank god I had ended all business agreements with her before this, I don’t know how Grey Enterprises Holding (GEH) would have survived if we would have been linked to a pedophile.
Elena was eventually sentenced for multiple charges. She had been doing the same thing to other boys as well – I was not special – in fact I was just one horny teenager amongst others that fell into her trap. I was her submissive, or that’s what she told me, hell – that’s what I told myself – but I guess the reality was much uglier than that. I never officially came forward with me being one of the boys she molested. I did however tell my family about it, and I think I got them to understand that for my future and my company’s future it is vital that what happened to me stays in the past.
As the sunset approaches, I find myself again walking down the beach, just like yesterday. Only today I keep on looking at the cliff, maybe to see the mystery woman again.
I wake up in a strange room, at first I can’t quite comprehend where I am. But then it dawns upon me, I’m at my grandparents old house – not too far from the beach. The furniture has changed – among almost everything else, the new owners have made it a home for themselves of course.
The Rodriguez family, who bought the house from my grandpa soon after grandma passed away, has let me stay here for tonight. I can’t say we are friends, just people who know each other from a long time ago. I guess the Rodriguez family had hoped that there would have been some kind of relationship between me and their son Jose. But there was never really any chance for any relationship, by the time we were teenagers I was a total wreck, after my so called stepdad tried to touch me and then finally beat me when I wouldn’t let him. I ran away from home, I sought refuge in a shelter for abused women, they let me stay there until I could figure out how to continue my life without my mother’s influence. Jose found his soul mate and is by now married with a child on the way.
My head is aching, it has to be from all the crying yesterday. I put my head back on the pillow and close my eyes. I try to get back the calm feeling that I felt yesterday, mentally picturing the sunset and the waves hitting the shore. When I open my eyes again, an hour or so has passed, and I’m pleased to notice that my head doesn’t ache anymore. I get up and make my way to the bathroom, just passing by Luisa who is preparing something that smells divine in the kitchen.
“Good morning Ana” she says” did you sleep well?”. I just reply her with a polite nod.
“I slept very well thank you” before closing the door behind me. I’m so not in the mood for talking.
The day goes by basically doing nothing, I’ve been to many of the places I used to go to with my grandparents. I have tried to avoid being at the house too much, I’m not comfortable spending time with people that I have practically nothing in common with. They just happen to have been there in my childhood – but that’s about it. I’ve already decided to drive back to town after the sun has set. I would leave sooner if I could, but I just have to see it again.
I drive my car to the same spot as yesterday, I pull my hair back and braid it quickly. I take off my sandals and walk with bare feet up the same path as yesterday. When I reach the cliff, the view is breathtaking. I just try to memorize every detail of the clouds and the colors on display. When I get back home I will for sure try to capture this feeling on canvas.
As I’m standing there just watching the sunset I get the feeling that I’m not alone. It’s a feeling that I didn’t expect to feel here on this secluded beach. I glance around and notice a pair of amazing grey eyes looking at me. I know I’ve seen those eyes before, but I just can’t place them. The eyes belong to an unbelievably beautiful man who is walking on the beach – just looking at me.
The man gives me a small smile, so I do same. Then I turn my eyes back towards the sea, wanting to see that special moment when the sun touches the horizon. I feel him near me, there’s a strange energy between us, and it’s almost comforting. It’s a feeling I have not felt before, it feels like home. That’s a really a strange feeling to have, I tell myself, as I’m standing next to a complete stranger on a beach far away from anyone else. I know, I should be afraid, but at this moment I just feel at peace.
The man stands beside me, the energy between us growing.
“It’s beautiful” he says. I glance at him and reply “Yes it is.”
He steps behind me, puts his hands around me, his fingers running down on my arms. There’s this small electric current between his fingertips and my skin. It makes my heart beat a bit faster. I can feel his breath on my neck as we just stand there in this half hug, his front to my back, watching the sun sink below the horizon.
I could swear that in this moment of time, everything is right. It feels like I’ve finally come home. We stand there quietly not to break this special moment, for how long I don’t know. Then I step away from him, turn around and say “I’m Ana”, “Christian” he replies me.
“Sorry, I don’t usually go around hugging strange people on my beach, but I just couldn’t resist it…”
“Well, I don’t usually enter private properties and let strange men hug me, so I guess that makes us two of us”. I really wanted to add that I don’t usually let anyone hug me, but decided to leave it at that. Because for some reason this hug just felt right.
Oh my god, there she is, she came. I can’t believe my eyes, I didn’t expect her to come, even though I was hoping for it. How can she have me caught in her spell, when I don’t even know who she is? She’s again just standing there watching the sunset.
I can’t keep my eyes off her, I feel myself moving in her direction, without even thinking about it. I don’t want to scare her, I just want be near her.
I feel this connection between us, I guess she feels it too as she turns to look at me. Those amazing blue eyes filled with some unknown emotion looking straight into my soul. For some reason I don’t want to hide my soul from her, and I can’t help but smile at her, and she returns my smile before turning her gaze towards the sunset again.
Just a few steps and I’m standing next to her, there’s this energy flow between us, and I bet it could be seen shining in the dark. I look at her, she’s still looking at the sunset, her focus somewhere beyond the horizon.
“It’s beautiful” I say, even though I’m thinking it should have been, you are beautiful. She just replies “Yes it is” without looking at me.
I have to feel her, I don’t remember ever feeling this way, it’s like she is a piece of me that has been missing. I step behind her, I just want to hold her so I put my arms around her – because it just feels right. I run my fingertips down her arms, and there are butterflies in my stomach. I swear to god I have never felt like this before. I hug her lightly, breathe her wonderful scent, and watch the sunset. It feels like we are one. We are inside our bubble, without any intruders or worries.
Suddenly she moves, I feel afraid that she’ll run away – but she just turns around and says “I’m Ana”. “Christian” I reply.
I try to explain that I usually don’t go on hugging strangers, and she says that she usually doesn’t let strangers hug her, even though I feel that that’s not exactly what she wanted to say.
I look at her beautiful face, those blue eyes looking straight through me, I lift my hand to put a few stray hairs behind her ear. The feeling of her skin against my fingers is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. She leans against my touch just a bit and I cannot help myself – I gently kiss her lips, and she kisses me back. The kiss is like a dance of our souls, for a moment it feels like we are flying through the galaxies, just two souls waltzing around the stars.