Island Paradise? (Part 5)

A man and a woman wake up separately, seemingly alone on a deserted island with no memory of how they came to be there, no memory of their pasts, but drawn to each other… even though they can’t remember why. And things aren’t quite what they seem…

Part One: Him

Part Two: Her

Part Three: Remembering Rachel

Part 4: Remembering Charles

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.

Towards him.

She stepped out of the cool shade of the trees into nearly blinding sun and scorching hot sand under her feet. Her hand came up to shield her eyes as she scanned the surroundings for him. She heard her name called again and turned to see him running towards her.

A sob broke from her throat and she hurled herself at him, jumping into his arms, her legs wrapping around him. The tears were pouring down her face as she clung to him like he was a life preserver in the middle of the ocean as wave after wave of emotion poured over them.

He clutched her just as hard. He was no longer wondering where they were or how they had gotten there. All he needed was in his arms. He couldn’t explain it and probably wasn’t even aware of it, but everything in him settled as he continued to hold her.

Neither of them said a word for a while, they just stood there on the sand, clinging to each other with a need that was absolutely unavoidable.

After a time, she wiped her eyes and realized that she was hanging onto this man she hadn’t even said a word to. She turned a bit pink and slid to her feet. Taking his hand, she led him back to her little cove with the shade and the pool. She felt a bit awkward, because although she knew he was the one she had been looking for, she wasn’t even entirely sure that his name was actually Charles. She was beginning to wonder if this was just a dream after all. Or if maybe this man was real and yet a stranger to her. She sat down under the tree next to the pool and slipped her legs in the water.

“The water is nice and cool. It will help your burning feet,” was all she said. He sat down next to her and rolled up his pants so he could soak his feet as well.

They sat in a bizarre kind of comfortable stillness. It was odd that they both felt entirely comfortable with each other, they felt like they had found their purpose, but the memories were still missing.

“So how did you?” They both started speaking at the same time. She motioned for him to speak first.

“How did we… or you? How did you get here?” He searched her face, waiting for a clue as to what had happened to them.

She looked at him, feeling more lost than before. “You mean, you don’t know either?”

He shook his head, “I just woke up like…” he gestured to his ratty clothes, “like this. Yesterday, I think. I am pretty sure it was just yesterday.” He met her eyes. “Is your name Rachel?”

“Rachel” she said, feeling the familiarity of the name as it rolled across her tongue. “I… I think it is my name. How about you? Is your name Charles?”

A big grin lit up his face, “Yes! I couldn’t remember, but that’s absolutely it! So, Rachel and Charles.” He turned that smile towards her and she felt the heat of it down to her toes. There was definitely something between them. She slipped her hand into his and returned his smile.

“So, Rachel, do you remember anything at all?”

“No, I don’t even remember how I met you or why we know each other. My mind is feels like it’s drugged or just filled with… something that seems to be keeping the memories just out of reach.” She felt him squeeze her hand and knew that his touch was something she’d always found comfort in. She couldn’t have said why, but it was very real. “I remember this. I mean, this feeling. I know that I trust you and that I…” she didn’t want to say love. Not to this man she couldn’t remember. “I find it comforting to be with you.”

Charles smiled at her again, “I feel the same way. I woke up and at some point, your name just came to mind. I felt like I just had to find you. I can’t begin to say why. I don’t know how to explain any of this.”

“Well, I seem to remember things when I stop trying to think about it. Maybe we should just try to rest. I suddenly feel like I could sleep for a week.”

“I feel the same way, although this pool is pretty inviting. I’m covered in salt water and sand. Do you mind if I soak for a bit?” She shook her head and looked away when he started undoing his pants. She didn’t actually feel all that awkward about it, but it seemed like she should, so she looked away until she heard him splash into the water and groan.

Smiling, she asked, “It feels like perfection, doesn’t it?” Charles just nodded. She leaned up against the tree and looked up through the leaves while she listened to him singing to himself quietly. The calm splashing of the water in the pool was soothing. Just knowing that she was no longer alone made an enormous difference. She found her eyes growing heavy and her weary body soon fell asleep.

She didn’t stir much when he came and lay down beside her. His arm naturally slipped around her waist and she took his hand and pulled him closer. They curled up together and fell asleep feeling safe, secure and at home in each other’s arms. The darkness wrapped itself around them as their minds rested and recuperated. Being together was generating a new energy and memories were percolating just there, under the surface… getting ready to bubble to the surface.

Cover Photo Source