“Will you always be in my dreams?” asked Kyla.
“Yes, Kia. I may not always be with you here, but I will always be in your dreams. Now go to sleep.”
Kyla sighed and let the suns rays fall upon her as she sat upon the beach drinking the sunlight in. Orlando was near specifically surfing the waves, and Kyla said she would join him soon. The Caribbean Cruiseline was stopping at the other side of the island, and they could catch it later before it left. In the meantime, Orlando promised to swim, snorkel, and explore the island with her as much as she desired.
She grabbed her surfboard and wandered down the beach towards the water. Orlando grinned when he saw her coming and rushed out to meet another wave. Kyla had not surfed much so she would do the best she could.
Just as she prepared for the high wall of water crashing toward her, the surfboard flipped from her hands into the air and landed several feet away. She then felt something bud into her causing her to lose her footing. When she came up, Orlando was laughing. Kyla smiled as the beautiful creature neared her and butted into her again. There was only one dolphin, which surprised her since they mostly traveled in pods, but this one seemed overly curious and playful. The dolphin flipped into the air impressing her with its jumps and powerful body. Orlando approached Kyla from behind loving the way the dolphin made her smile.
“Seems you made a friend,” he noted.
She turned her head slightly. “I guess I did.”
“So what will you call him?”
“Indigo,” she answered quickly. “I’ve always wanted to name a dolphin Indigo.”
“Then Indigo he is.”
The dolphin butted into her again gently this time, but knocked her into Orlando. She laughed until his hand touched her waist. She looked down at the hand for a moment and then into his eyes. His hand traveled up her arm and then to her shoulder where she finally stopped him.
“Maybe we should go exploring. It’s getting late,” even though it was only the morning.
“He’ll be fine,” she answered.
They turned back to the dolphin which was swimming on its side blowing out spurts of water with his mouth toward the couple. Kyla stroked the creature’s soft underbelly and then turned toward the shore.
They decided to go snorkeling on the other side of the tiny island where they discovered many beautiful tropical fish and coral reefs. A stingray skirted past Kyla, and she stroked the creature’s soft wing. The water was completely clear and turquoise allowing anyone to see anything, which is how she discovered something glowing within the sand. Kyla took a deep breath and dove further until her hand touched the object. She pulled it from the sand with ease and realized it was a ring. She returned to the surface and examined it. It was indeed glowing, though she didn’t know how. It was a pale golden but riddled with strange silver runes. The ring seemed to lure her. Though she hardly wore jewelry and had never seen it, the ring seemed strangely familiar to her.
She jumped at the voice and quickly concealed the ring by slipping it on her finger. He motioned to her arm, and she saw fresh blood dribbling from an open wound.
“I must have cut it on the reef.”
“Well, come on then. We need to get it bandaged before it attracts sharks.”
Orlando and Kyla returned to land where be brought out the first aid kit he had packed with them incase of emergency.
“Here,” he poured a few drops of alcohol onto a piece of gauze. “This will sting especially because of the sea water.”
Kyla braced herself as he placed the gauze on her arm. The sting lasted several moments but finally dissipated. He dressed the wound tightly and then took her hand observing the glowing ring.
“Where did you find this?” he asked her his eyes widening, and she could see the light of the ring reflected in them.
“Just where we were swimming,” she drew her hand back and twisted the ring. It was still warm upon her finger, and the glowing had only increased.
“Perhaps we’ll try to find the owner later. Would you like to go exploring now?”
“I’m actually quite tired. I think I’ll take a little nap if it’s all the same to you.”
He handed her a towel and placed another under his head beside hers. Kyla didn’t know why she was so tired all of a sudden. It seemed strange. She slowly drifted off into dreamland…
Kyla, come to me. It is time. Do not ignore my heeding…
Kyla looked around her. She stood in the middle of a tranquil lake a thin layer of fog and mist still drifting over it. Even though she was fully clothed, a chill ran through Kyla’s body as she turned and met a figure standing upon the shore behind her. He wore a black cloak, which veiled his head, but he held a glowing golden orb in his hand, which seemed to lure her.
I know you Kyla. Come to me.
I returned to reality nearly screaming. I sat up and wiped the sweat from my brow and tried to calm my frazzled nerves. Yet another terrifying dream with the same figure. Did this mean it was more than a simple dream? It was evening, but Orlando was not beside me, and I could not see the ship. Instantly I stood hoping he had not left me stranded here. Orlando had my passport. No! I shook my head. He would not do that. I knew he wouldn’t. But where was the ship? And where was Orlando? My question was answered when I heard a voice calling my name. I turned breathing a sigh of relief when he came running toward me carrying a box in his hands. I raised an eyebrow.
“Orlando, the ship…” I instantly spoke and he raised one hand carefully balancing the box in the other.
“I know. I know. I spoke with the captain. I wanted to stay another day, but he said no but that he would come back for us after he docked in Miami.”
“How long are we here for then?” I widened my eyes in disbelief.
“They’ll return in three days.”
“Three days!” I raised my voice. “Three days!” I nearly screamed. “I can’t believe this! I can’t believe you would do this!”
“Kyla, don’t worry. That’s why I was gone so long. I went to get us accommodations. You were too tired to do anything, and I knew you wanted to see the island. I thought it would be nice for you.”
“What accommodations?” I asked.
“I’ll show you. We’re right on the beach, Kyla. It will be beautiful and exciting. I know you said you wanted a thrill. But first, I have something else to show you.”
Perhaps staying on the island a few extra days wouldn’t be harmful. I did want to explore it, and I have to admit I wasn’t ready to leave. So, I sighed and nodded for him to continue.
Orlando set the box on the ground and opened it up slowly. I gasped raising a hand to cover my mouth as he picked up a small but beautiful white retriever pup and placed her gently in my arms. The week old pup opened its eyes and sweetly licked my neck and face. I was too stunned to even speak so I sat on the beach and caressed the puppy in my arms. Orlando smiled watching us and then took my hand.
“Do you like her?”
“Like isn’t even a word I can begin to express right now.”
Orlando grinned when he saw a joyful tear roll down my cheek. This far surpassed anything he had yet done for me, and I couldn’t contain my happiness. Before I knew it, I had thrown my arms about his neck and was thanking him over and over again. He grinned crookedly when I pulled away, and I caught a blush in his cheeks.
“What will you name her?” he asked.
I looked up at the sky and thought to myself for a moment. I could name her Star, but it seemed to common, and then I wondered aloud. “What are the other names for the Northern Lights?”
“The Aurora Borealis?”
“Yes, that’s what I’ll name her, Aurora. Orlando, thank you so much really. This is better than anything I could have imagined. You’ve done so much for me this past week, and I can’t express my gratitude.”
“I’m just happy you’re happy. Come on,” he took my hand and raised me up. I cuddled the pup with my other. “I want to show you where we’ll be staying.”
He led me further down the beach, and we walked for some time but not in silence. I was too happy for silence, and so was he. We talked about Bermuda and what a beautiful place it was as well as the Bermuda Triangle and the mystery surrounding it. Aurora by now, had fallen fast asleep in my arms and I sidled my cheek against her fluffy white head and closed my eyes briefly. I remembered the last time I had a dog, it was a border collie since we lived out in the country and needed it for a sheepdog. He grew old, and we unfortunately had to put him to sleep at fifteen. Daddy had not bought me another dog after Duke died.
“Here we are,” Orlando interrupted my thoughts.
I looked before me seeing a tiny cottage nestled softly within the blowing palm trees. A white picket fence surrounded it, and I noticed a hammock swinging in the front yard or rather front beach. It was quaint and would be perfect I knew for the next three days. We walked up to the blue door, and Orlando took out a key and fitted it into the lock. Well, the place had no electricity, but it did have running water, and I knew this would be an exciting experience. There was only one bedroom, but there was a sofa in the family room where Orlando said he’d sleep. I supposed this place was once a house, but because of the many tropical storms, only adventurers like us would dare to stay in it.
We ventured into the kitchen, and there was a small icebox in the cellar where Orlando placed the food from our earlier picnic. He also brought his portable radio and placed it on the kitchen counter and turned on some soft music for us to listen to. I placed Aurora in the former box she came in, and he set some blankets at the bottom for her to lie on. Then he offered me some water.
“Well,” Orlando sighed, “it’s not the Ritz, but…”
I interrupted him. “It’s perfect. Sometimes luxury isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, and at times, this can be even better. It’s more cozy and quaint down to earth. I was raised in the country, and I’m used to it. I’ve missed it.”
“Well, then I’m sure you can teach me a thing or to this time.”
“Perhaps I will.” I paused for a moment and then looked up at him meeting his eyes. “Orlando, I think it’s time we talked about something.”
“Hmm, and what is that?” he asked.
“About us and why you really brought me along.”
“What do you mean?” he scooted himself onto the counter, and I did the same.
“I want to know why you really did all this–why you’ve been doing all this. There’s been this chemistry going on between us, and I want to know what you think about me.”
“Well,” he let out a deep breath. “You don’t beat around the bush do you?”
“I want to know the truth.”
“Kyla, when I met you, I was at first intrigued. I was fascinated by you, and I wanted to know you more. You were different than anyone I had met. You still are. The way you talk about your faith, the way you smile, the way you speak about your family and life. It’s all so…normal. You don’t pretend like everyone I normally see. You don’t pretend to be happy and put on fake smiles. You’re not always happy, but you have a different kind of happiness, which seems to make you different make you better than everyone else. There is always this perfect joy about you. In Hollywood, everything is so fake, artificial. I have felt like a fake. I realized when I met you that there is a world outside Hollywood. There are greater adventures in the real world as well. I realized I was trying to build my own world, but somehow, I always knew it could collapse, and I would have nothing left until I met you. The walls fell down, Kyla. I didn’t hide behind them anymore. You saved me you might say.”
“I’m glad you realized that, Orlando, but I don’t want to be just a savior. I shouldn’t be. I really am not, Orlando. And I don’t want to be just a toy. I first thought you were treating me like that, but I know you’re not like that now.”
“I never was. I won’t pretend I love you now Kyla. You are a beautiful, bright, vibrant young woman, and I would be a fool not to be attracted to you. I know it’s still too early to be talking of love yet. I’m sure you would agree. But I hope you will also agree that there is something there.”
“I won’t deny it,” I answered.
“Then would you allow me to continue?” he asked drawing closer to me and taking my chin gently in his hand.
I opened my mouth to speak but no words came. I looked into his eyes those big beautiful eyes, which seemed to stare straight through me, I guess they did because I did want him to kiss me, and before I realized it, he had. His lips felt soft and warm as he kissed me while his hand delved into my hair. He pulled away gently but kept his hand upon my cheek stroking it and then running his fingers through my curls again. I guess he could tell I was afraid…afraid of what might happen between us. Could I really do this? I asked myself in my thoughts. I knew I couldn’t, but did he? And would I tell him? It didn’t matter; he already knew.
“We’ll take it slow, Kyla. One day at a time. I want you to trust me. Will you trust me?” he asked me.
“I’ll try,” I replied.
“All right then. We’ll begin tomorrow. But we need some sleep tonight. Goodnight, Kyla,” he brushed his lips against my forehead and stood up.
He took me by the waist and lifted me off the counter as I returned the goodnight. I crawled under the warm quilt in the bed and sighed contentedly. This day had been wonderful.