Every anxiety is a mild form of premonition, and from that point the shade deepens till we get the forebodings and hauntings that merge into lunacy.
~Arthur Alfred Lynch
The arrival and first days in Sulani were … hard to put into proper terms.
The air was heavy with warmth and the almost too sweet scent of the local exotic flora, the sounds around us felt strange.
The neighbors were incredible nice people, even though Blaine and I being mostly loners, it did get a bit much sometimes, but very different than Penny, our overbearing neighbor at the small apartment in San Myshuno had been.
It took both of us a few days to get acquainted with the island and its different ways, sounds, scents, the heat, the constant sun, … but then we learned to appreciate the beauty and how to make the best of it.
Stunning sunrises, water activities and the most beautiful, romantic sunsets you could imagine, enjoyed cuddled together, more often than not followed by late night romance to the sound of the ocean until we finally were tired enough to not let the still noticeable heat keep us awake.
Blaine had to fly out again just a week after we arrived and I couldn’t go with him this time. Sometimes it happened, since the studio he was signed with paid for it, they got to make the rules. Luckily only for a few days, then he was already back.
That trip was soon followed by several more, some lasted just a couple days, one an entire week.
Knowing he’d have to travel with fair frequency and that I wouldn’t always be able to join him was rough, but unavoidable for the next year or so, so we chose to instead be grateful for the many hours and days we had together in this tropical paradise and made the best of it, enjoyed our time together, exploring, swimming, finding new and even more amazing views and locations – and just living our lives.
Since there really were no office jobs to be had on the islands I wasn’t working at the moment, aside from being Blaine’s advisor and critic, to make sure by the time he submitted new pieces to the studio, they were solid.
The few times he had traveled before without me had always left me feeling odd and lonely, abandoned, but the knowledge he would always be back after a few days helped deal with it.
Tomorrow he’d have to leave again, this time he would be gone for at least two weeks. Two long weeks. I was miserable. Two weeks might have just as well been two years, felt equally as long. And I worried about him.
Our last evening together we spent with just each other, no distractions, no neighbors, we didn’t even go to one of the small island restaurants. I cooked, as I usually did, and didn’t mind it one bit. I hated Blaine leaving. Maybe I was subconsciously hoping if I smothered him with good food and affections enough he just wouldn’t go. I really can’t say for certain.
We ate, I cleaned up, Blaine did the dishes, just like most nights together, everything seemed so normal at first glance, but somehow everything was overcast with his departure at the crack of dawn now. Two weeks!
“Don’t go, Blaine. I have a bad feeling.” I launched my plea, as we sat on the back porch where we had watched the sunset, like so many nights before.
“You always have a bad feeling when I go anywhere without you. Yet, like herpes, I always return. Always. Look at me, babygirl. Always. Copy that? We may still be young, but I am too old to change that habit now.”
“Then take me with you, herpy. We’ve done that before.”
“We have, but won’t this time. It’s gonna be a real rough schedule, and that’s only the beginning. That’s before we even get to the jungle with the creepy crawlies and damp heat. Something tells me their bugs are gonna be plenty and the size of goats, which would mean you’d be tired by the time we get there and already miserable, you’d run amok at the first bug you’d see while complaining your hair’s fucked up. No, babygirl, your cute butt will stay here to nurse me back to sanity when I get back. As tight as that schedule is booked, Imma gonna need it.”
There! For the flash of a second I could see worry in Blaine’s eyes. He was feeling it too! So, stay goddammit!
“Blaine, I am not joking. I mean it, I am worried. You’re worried, I can tell! I have a bad feeling. Just stay.”
“Yeah, I am worried about how the hell I am supposed to get my ass up at 4 AM to catch that flight. I am a night-owl not an early bird like you, always have been. And you have a bad feeling because you are not used to not having a real job. I traveled a lot when we still lived in Del Sol Valley, but you had a job then and barely noticed me gone. Well, how about you start looking into planning a wedding? That should keep a girl plenty busy, as I hear.” Blaine suggested smiling.
“What wedding? Ours?”
“No, babygirl, the neighbors’. Of course ours! When have I ever been known to give a single fuck about anybody but us?” he chuckled.
“So you really want to get married?”
“Someone didn’t read the fine-print when they accepted that shiny ring, did they?” Blaine laughed.
“Very funny. I meant the timing. I thought we were gonna wait a few years with that?”
“We can, but I really don’t see how it makes a difference. Not like we need to get to know each other’s quirks or something. Save a few years where I ghosted you and your mom because I was a teenaged dumbass with hormones running wild, we’ve practically lived together since I was 7 and you were 6. That’s how I know you’ll make a great mother one day. You have been nurturing me and mothering me ever since we were kids.”
“Now you’re talking kids again. No offense, but that just still sounds so … utopian.”
“Tell me about it. All my life I thought the last thing this world needs is another one like me, and as much as I got around other chicks’ most private bits and as unreliable as I may be, I always made very sure I wasn’t accidentally putting lil Blaines out there. But our baby would mostly be another one of you, I’d just supply the necessary … ahem .. manufacturing tools and supplies to create that mini-you. The world could always use more yous. And knowing what a piece of work I am, you could definitely use backup. I am kinda liking the younger parents idea. If that kid has even a little bit of me in it, Imma gonna need all the strength, physically and mentally, that I can muster.” he chuckled again.
I didn’t know how to respond. I didn’t really want any kids, I think. Maybe. Not sure. Hearing Blaine talk like that, the way only ever I heard, the soft side of him nobody else was privy to, usually carefully hidden by his explosive, tough, snarky and crude ways, made me want to consider it. Later on down the road. Waaaaay later.
Still, I didn’t want him to go, but he would anyway, after we finally drifted off to a deep, albeit brief slumber, once again comfortably exhausted after a wonderfully romantic and passionate night together. It seemed like we had just fallen asleep when the dang alarm clock screamed us back awake.
I saw him off to the small local airport on the main island. His flight left so early in the morning, it was still practically night, and I remember standing there staring at the tiny jet getting smaller and smaller against the starlit skies until it faded from view and the all consuming tears blurred everything for me.
The first two days and nights without him I didn’t eat or sleep a wink, the next few I slept an hour or two at a time, simply because my body was just shutting down. Counting down the days till his return.
Then finally, FINALLY it was time. Tomorrow he would come back to me.
He was just as eager to see me as I was him, we texted as much as we could throughout the entire time since he had left, that ‘ding’ from my phone announcing a new message had literally become the highlight of my days, we even managed a few phone calls here and there, way too brief for my taste but understandable, his schedule really was tight and he was very busy and very exhausted, I could hear it in his voice. He was working as hard as he could so he could come back to me on time, as they had to retake several shots due to increment weather in the jungle, dragging it all out further.
They had just finished part two of a three or four part video shoot, filmed wholly in Selvadorada, meaning he’d have to go back at least twice. Yikes! First though, he was coming back home, he was gonna get on a plane from Selvadorada to Del Sol Valley first, then change planes and head to Sulani to the main island, where I would meet him, so we could take the shuttle boat back to the small island we were now lived. I literally checked my phone every few minutes, without fail.
Since there was always a chance for delays, he had told me to wait for him at home until we could be sure the plane from Selvadorada had taken off. He would only have a very short layover in Del Sol Valley to catch the plane to Sulani, and the flight wasn’t that long, so he wasn’t sure he’d have enough time to let me know then.
I had waited for his text like for the winning lottery numbers and when it finally came in, I squealed out loud.
Finally! Three more hours and then I would head on over to that airport, getting there would take me about an hour, maybe a little more if the shuttle ferry had already left, and wouldn’t leave until he was in my arms again. Then he would learn that he would never leave without me again. And if I had to sell organs to afford the tickets.
It was still way too early to leave now, even if the flight from Del Sol Valley would be on time, as the island’s airport was a small one, and there wasn’t even a cafe, so I was sitting on hot coals at our little bungalow.
I decided to doll myself up to the T, had bathed, put fragrant, shimmery lotion on, my favorite perfume, sexy lingerie, carefully applied makeup, done my hair just right … even though I knew us and that all my work would be destroyed as soon as we walked through that door together. And I looked forward to that! I was giddy and so very excited.
Man, I had missed that man, his laughter, his stunning eyes I loved to get lost in, his singing, his teasing and bad jokes, his touch, his experienced ways to make a woman feel every inch a woman. I always felt so special with him. And gawd I had missed him so. How could anyone love another person this much? Who cares?! I loved him and he me and he was coming home!
A knock on the door startled me. Not now, neighbors! I thought. Hiding would be futile in the small island style homes so I answered.
I found no neighbors, but two unfamiliar islanders, who very unusually serious.
“May we come in for a moment?” one of the men introduced them as island police detectives, flashing badges, then it all became a big blur to me.
All I could hear over and over again were a few bits and pieces that pulled the rug out from underneath me and would change my entire life forever as the words they had said, but which just could not be really real, resounded in my head while I stared at Blaine’s guitar which he had forgotten to take with him for the first time ever.
“… Mr. Blaine Cameron was confirmed to have boarded a plane … plane went down just outside the coast of Selvadorada … no survivors found … crews stopped the search, military is taking over … explosion … all aboard the plane presumed dead due to foul play.”