I finally sat up and rubbed my eyes, immediately regretting it. My head was pounding, and my mouth felt full of cotton. Beer cans and trash were everywhere; the remains of a wild bash last night. I fell back into the sand again, only to find myself looking up at the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes on.
She looked down at me, her face framed by thick auburn hair that went behind her shoulders. Our eyes met, and we gazed at each other for a moment.
"I'm sorry," she said, in a soothing low voice. "I didn't mean to bother you. Are you alright?" As she asked the question, she bent over me, and a cape of hair fell off her back to the sand, no more than a foot from my head. I sat up, and turned around to face her. She stood back up and pushed a mass of hair behind her shoulder. Suddenly I wasn't hung over any more.
"No, I'm fine," I said, staring into her eyes again. "I just had too much to drink last night."
I stood up and faced her, my senses alerted, my headache gone. She was about five-six, and on the healthy side of slim. She was wearing a brightly colored ankle-length flower print dress. Our eyes met, and I know hers penetrated me to the core. Poetic brown eyes that seemed a little sad. A round face, button nose, sensuous lips, and a small mole under one eye, next to her nose. She had a few wrinkles, so she looked to be in her late thirties or early forties.
We looked at each other for a long time. I don't know, it seemed like we should know each other. She was just so beautiful. I felt like I could look at her for the rest of my life. I could tell she was giving me a similar look. It was just like we were connecting or something.
"I was just out for a morning walk, and am heading back to town," she said. "Care to join me?"
I agreed, happy to accompany such a beautiful woman for a couple of miles up the beach, and stunned that she wanted to walk with me, an average college student. As she turned around, I saw her hair, and stopped in my tracks. I was looking at the most spectacular hair I had ever seen. Thick, silky, and with just a little wave. But it hung down to between her knees and ankles like a waterfall. It didn't thin out a bit. Tendrils floated off in the breeze, but otherwise her hair was just a thick auburn column that was almost as long as she was tall.
She turned around and gave me a look. I said "I'm sorry, it's just your hair- it's incredible. I'm speechless..." I couldn't believe I said that, since I'm normally not the type to say something like that unless I know the person pretty well.
She said "Thank you," and smiled. I knew I'd follow that smile anywhere, and we started walking. I lingered behind for a moment, watching her hair sway back and forth as she walked. Pure heaven!!
For lack of any other topic, and since I had already broken the ice, I asked her about her hair.
She had been growing it since she was a child, and just liked it long. "I like how it feels, and how it makes me feel. It helps me feel like a child."
I kept asking questions. Did it get in the way much; how long did it take to wash and take care of; what did her friends and family think of it. Finally she stopped and laughed. "Why the interest in my hair?" she asked.
I stopped and blushed. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry. I just really like long hair on a woman, and yours is just the most beautiful hair I've ever seen. I guess I'd say I can't help myself!"
"Well how about telling me about yourself?"
We talked for what seemed like hours, but was really only the length of time it took to slowly stroll the 3 miles back to town. Every once in a while she would stop and do something with her hair. Just something minor, like pull it to her front, then flip it back again. I'd stand there spellbound until she had started down the beach again.
It was like talking with an old friend. We laughed, we joked, we connected. I told her about last night- what I could remember, anyway, and what I was going to do to my friends when I found them.
Just before we got to town, I asked her what she was doing on the island.
"Looking for my fiancee," she said, stopping me in my tracks.
All I could get out was a stifled "Huh?"
"You know, the guy I'm going to marry."
"I'm sorry, I figured if you were here you would be with him."
"We got separated last night at a party, and he didn't make it back to our room, so I figured I would just walk out on the beach this morning. Like you, he had had a bit to drink. Maybe he just wandered out to the beach and fell asleep."
"Well, I hope he is okay," I said.
"I think he is fine," she said, with a smile on her face. "Thank you for walking with me, keeping me company. You are a very nice young man."
I thanked her for rescuing me from the tide and getting me back to town. "And my name is Jay, by the way."
"I'm Elena," she said. "I think I will check our hotel room again. Good-bye!"
With that, she turned and walked away from me, her incredible hair bouncing with her step, the morning sun playing with it. I stood and stared, until she turned into town and disappeared. I found a tree at the back of the beach and laid down again in the sand, and dozed off, dreaming of a beautiful, auburn-haired lady.
That night was to be our last on the island before heading back to the Tech campus and the rest of the semester. The beachside bar, called the Blue Lagoon, I think, was having a final blast for this group of spring break revelers. It was everybody's idea of a perfect tropical bar. Palm trees, thatch roof, sunset view, and lots of drinks with little umbrellas. We got there at 6:00, about a half hour before sunset. I was taking it a little easy on the booze, as my head was just clearing up from the night before. The place was filling up, waiting in anticipation for a last tropical sunset.
On my may back from the men's room, just before sunset, a glimmer caught my eye. I looked to my right, and saw the same shade of auburn hair, with the sun shining on it the same way I remembered from the morning. Just then, she turned around, and our eyes met. She was beautiful, dressed in a floral print bikini, showing off smooth tanned skin on a great body. Thick hair fell to her elbows, and framed a face that I could have sworn I'd seen before, but younger. I walked towards her and smiled. She said hi, in a seductive voice.
"This is going to sound cliched, but have we met before?" I asked.
She laughed, and said "Funny, I was thinking the same thing!"
I introduced myself, and she said "I'm Elena Castro."
This was getting strange, I thought. We started talking, but our eyes never left each other. She had such expressive, brown eyes, and a wonderful smile. I asked her what brought her to the island.
"I'm on spring break from State," she said.
Then I saw the mole. Under one eye, next to her nose. It all started coming together, but still didn't make sense. Finally, I had to ask.
"By any chance is your mother here?"
"No," she replied, with a quizzical look on her face. "Why are you asking me that?"
"I don't know- never mind." I paused and shook my head. "I thought I met someone this morning that looked a lot like you, but that doesn't matter. Forget I ever asked."
"Well, I look more like my father, for what it's worth."
We continued talking, and soon got past the slight uncomfortableness that I caused with my questions. Next thing I know, it was morning, and we were walking up the beach towards town, arm in arm. We walked and talked all night, and in the process fell in love. I know it was fast, but I don't think I ever felt so comfortable with someone.
As we approached the town again, I complimented her on her hair.
"You like it?" she asked. I said very much so. I thought long hair was incredibly beautiful, and hers was so thick and soft.
"It has been long since I was a kid." I think I knew what was coming next. "I like how it feels, and how it makes me feel."
I asked her if she was growing it longer.
"You must be reading my mind, Jay," she said. "I recently kind of decided to let it grow some more. I've been wondering what hair to my knees would feel like."
"I think it would be beautiful beyond belief, Elena." She stopped and looked at me, and we kissed.
It is now twenty years later, to the day, and my wife and I have spent the night walking around the same island. The sun is rising, and we are standing just outside town on the beach. She is wearing a ankle length flower print dress. My hands are on her hips, hers around my neck. I am staring into her brown eyes, her round face, button nose, sensuous lips, and that small mole under one eye, next to her nose. Her glorious auburn hair, her pride and joy, frames her face, and falls to within a few inches of the sand. The most beautiful hair I've ever seen, on the most perfect woman in the world.
I can see tears welling up in her eyes as she says quietly, "Thank you for walking with me, keeping me company. You are a very nice young man."
I respond, saying "Thank you for rescuing me from the tide. And my name is Jay, by the way."
We embrace, oblivious to the world.
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