And now… Part Four:
She was fast asleep when she heard him call to her. She felt him reaching for her and the sensation was so vivid that when she finally opened her eyes, she was disappointed to see that he wasn’t actually there, standing above her. She called out to him, “Charles?” but there was no answer.
She sat up, still feeling the haze of sleep sticking to her like spider webs. Rubbing her eyes, she looked again, searching the trees for any sign of Charles. It wasn’t until she was actually back on her feet before she realized that she was finally remembering something. Charles. She remembered him. She could almost see him in her mind, but even as she had the thought, he faded from her mind.
“Charles?” She called out again. More in the hopes that he’d appear before her than from the fact that she apparently knew him. She had a vague sense of knowing, of longing for this man she almost remembered, but that was the extent of it. She stopped looking, feeling defeated and suddenly desperately alone. Emotion was clawing at her, making her feel a driving need to go, to move.
To find him.
She shook her head, as though that movement alone might clear her head. How odd that this man had appeared to her just now. As her first ‘memory’ when she really couldn’t remember him at all. Just that her entire being seemed to long for him. She wrapped her arms around herself as a chill seemed to race through her in spite of the heat. She looked around her and saw the little pool again. A bath sounded like the perfect thing just now. It was just a little pool, but baths were always calming things for her. She decided that if she needed anything right now, it was calming. The thought of anything feeling normal or just relaxing felt like freedom to her in that moment. She needed to feel something other than confusion and panic.
She stepped out of her dress, letting the somewhat tattered fabric fall to the ground. Stepping out of her underthings, she dipped one foot into the clear pool of water. It felt divine. She lowered her foot further until she realized that it was so deep that she needed to sit on the edge and just slide in.
The pool was bigger than she’d thought at first. It was perfect. It felt like the perfect personal jacuzzi tub. Water was flowing around her from some source she couldn’t see, surrounding her, caressing her skin as she let herself sink deeper into the water.
A satisfied breath escaped her mouth as she slid into the water nearly to her chin. Her eyes closed and she just revelled in the feeling of escape. Thoughts of being stranded disappeared, the stress of trying to remember faded into the background and she was only feeling the right here, the right now. The water and the soft breezes blowing in the trees. She let her head fall back onto the pillow of leaves and took in a long deep breath of air that was fresher than anything she’d experienced before. Being surrounded by greenery, fresh air and no pollution felt like breathing pure oxygen.
Her hands held onto branches along the sides of the pool as her body floated in the water. Her mind drifted and calmed even further. A smile crossed her face and she thought, ‘Charles would love this.’
Her eyes popped open. She lifted her head, looking around as though someone had physically been there, in her presence to put that thought in her mind. She felt it again, that need, the longing for this man she could barely remember. He was close. So close.
She felt an urgency she couldn’t explain as she pushed herself up out of the water. There was no towel, so she pulled her clothes back on over her wet body, wishing suddenly that she had something clean to wear. She had the urge to check her appearance in a mirror as she combed her fingers through her tangled, wet hair.
Butterflies were in her stomach as she felt him getting closer. Her skin almost tingled with anticipation for something she couldn’t have possibly defined. Her breathing was shallow as she turned towards the beach and took a step.
She heard him call her name and she raced out of the trees without another thought.