The life in the tide pools was amazing- but it paled in comparison to watching Roxanna moving about the cave.
The light reflecting from outside played along the walls, giving the illusion of dancing bands of light. Where they struck her skin, scintillant rainbows shot back. I committed the scene to memory, knowing I would want to paint it some time.
She turned around then, catching me. I put a grin on my face; she rolled her eyes. I reminded her of the painting I gave her all those years ago. She skipped into my arms, and then did something I haven't heard in a long while.
She called me "beautiful."
It was wonderful to hear. There was a strange moment, then it passed as she egged me further into the cave. Smiling, I followed her.
The cave wasn't too deep, but deep enough that the back part barely got any light. The water didn't reach this far, and we were standing on moist sand. Our eyes had no difficulty in the dark, and I still saw the beauty that stood to my side- the way she gracefully moved about, how her hair fell across her shoulders...
I couldn't take it anymore. I took her hand, spinning her to face me, and pressed her gently against the cave wall. But there was nothing gentle in the way I kissed her- driven by need and desire. Her hands flew to my chest, and I broke off immediately, hands against the wall on either side of her chest. I hung my head, panting, mumbling "I'm sorry- so sorry... I don't know what came over me..."
((Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream in 1944. He accomplished this development by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife's stove.))