One Year Later: Chapter 4
I pulled into the drive of the beach house and trudged up the steps just as the sun was coming up. I walked out the back door and caught the sun rising over the ocean and my breath caught in my throat at the sheer beauty of it. I felt lucky then that I could witness such beauty. Eric spent many years unable to see such a sight, and I felt like it was my duty to appreciate sunrises and sunsets and life in general in his honor now. I’d continue on for the both of us. I sat on the beach until I got too cold, and went up to shower and crawl into bed. As I fell asleep, I wondered at how strongly I felt Eric’s presence in this house and knew that this would be a painful time for me. I woke after a few hours because I was so hungry, so I dressed and went to the grocery. After making and eating my omelet, I called the realtor and told him that I was here and would like to meet with him in a few days to discuss listing the house. I wanted a little time to myself to say goodbye to the house, to the beach, to Eric again. The realtor and I had a laugh at the perfect weather in spite of yet another Gray Man sighting the night before. I went out in my bikini and sat in the sand all day enjoying that perfect weather, thank you, Gray Man be damned.
At the end of the day, I was exhausted from the lack of sleep, being in the sun, and crying most of the day. I went inside, ate a salad and showered and then cried myself to sleep in the hammock. The sound of the waves was so soothing. The balmy breeze was a perfect temperature. Eric had the right idea when he said we should live here. I was drifting in and out of sleep and dreaming of Eric. His hands were gently rocking the hammock. I could sense he was watching over me. I could feel him in the bond again. I had this dream a lot, and I guess it was my little brain’s way of comforting me. I felt his hand brushing the hair from my face, and I instinctively reached up to touch his hand. And I touched his hand. I touched Eric’s hand. His voice broke through my dream and I heard him say, “What took you so long, lover?” My eyes flew open, and there he was. Suddenly I was crying and he was holding me and we were kissing, and I just kept thinking this can’t be real, but yet here he is. I must be finally losing my mind, but no, here he is.
For nine months, Eric had been hiding on Pawley’s Island. When he could, he would stay in the house, but if there were renters in it, he would bury himself in the sand where the sea oats grow between the beach and the houses. He glamored the renters to keep True Blood in the house. Sometimes he would appear on the beach as The Gray Man as he did last week to keep the house free for me. He knew of course, that it has been one year since we bought the house, and he hoped that that occasion would bring me back here. He knew it was too dangerous to risk going back to Louisiana or contacting me or Pam, so he waited. He always said that a thousand years on the earth taught him patience and he wasn’t kidding.
We made love in the hammock, on the sofa, in the bed. I cried a lot, but for the first time in a very long time, they were happy tears. I don’t know what we’re going to do. I don’t really care what we do. All I know is that I have a second chance, yet another fresh start with Eric, and I’m going to take it and run with it and never look back. Wish us luck.