Given all the people on the beach that day it was a miracle that their paths crossed. Though that is how fate is supposed to work. Love itself is a miracle so perhaps it was inevitable that time would have eventually drawn them together.
If you combined eternal optimist and a hopeless romantic the end product was Raysia. While she may never have exactly planned her dream wedding per se, she had never for a moment doubted the fact that she had a soul mate who she would eventually meet and fall in love with.
She just had no idea that the fall aspect would be quite as literal as it turned out to be.
It was a typical dry season Sunday morning. She had woken up at her usual Sunday time of half past seven. It was late enough to feel like a sleep in but early enough to not waste the day ahead. During the week Raysia would greet the day well before six. While on some levels she may have been inherently lazy she was also disgusted by the idea of wasting the day away on something as pointless as sleep. Especially if the alternative was laying in the sun and reading a book.
Raysia loved the simplicity of the seasons in Darwin. Wet and dry. As their names suggested the wet brought with it endless rain and the dry sees not a drop. In between the rains of the wet would come heat, a sticky clammy atmosphere that made the air thick and heavy. Clothing would stick to damp bodies and tempers were short as the scorching sun sucked life from all it shone over.
The dry was the complete opposite. Just a glimmering blue sky under a sun that still shone brightly, just a lot gentler. How Raysia loved that sun. The powerful goddess that could be invoked from the sun helped Raysia maintain her happy disposition. It was the reason she still lived in the tropics. She needed to be near the sun. She loved watching the golden ball sink into the distant horizon as the day come to an end. Some days, when her mind was still enough she was sure she could even hear it sizzle.
Grabbing her sunglasses, book, favourite sarong and a big bottle of water she shoved them into a bag and headed for the door. The beach was only ten minute walk away but she much preferred to ride her bike.
It wasn’t long before Raysia hit the foreshore. In totally it stretched out for around 7 kilometers and and Raysia could always find a part of it that suited whatever mood she was in. There were cliffs to sit on and watch waves crash about on when she was sad or angsty. There were sand banks and rock pools to explore when she wanted to take her mind off things and even a few little alcoves for when she wanted to hide from the world at large.
Today she felt like being around people. She had felt very removed from the world of late and just needed to gently blend in for a while. Be in a crowd but not actually part of it. There was a nice flat part of the beach that was popular with sunbakers so she headed towards there.
It just so happened to be the same part of the beach that the surf life savers patrolled on the weekend which meant there was the prospect of some eye candy for Raysia to enjoy. It had been a long time since she had been on a date and she was starting to long for some male company. She never for a moment doubted that she would one day find Mr Right though she was a little curious as to when he might show up. There were only so many more terrible dates that she could tolerate.
Locking her bike up to the railing she looked down at the beach below the cliff. Scoping out how busy it was. It was still fairly early so except for a few dog walkers the beach was nearly empty. The surf life savers were just setting up their shade structure and flags. It appeared as if there were a few promising glistening bodies for her to admire while she pretended to read.
The tide was on the way out and the sun on the way up. By all accounts is was going to be another day in paradise and Raysia was pleased to be spending it at the beach.Slipping off her shoes she started walking out onto the sand. Before long she could feel the dampness of the sea seeping through from the receding tide.
Raysia carefully selected a spot not too far from the surf life savers and began to spread her sarong out. Giggling about the fact that there were surf life savers despite the fact there was no actual surf to be seen. Unless there was a cyclone coming the water was always as flat as a pancake.
Spreading her sarong out on the sand she started to set herself up for the morning. Slipping her singlet and shorts off, she felt a little daring standing there in her bikini. As much as she was comfortable with her body she always felt a bit brave wearing so little.
The sun was slowly starting to warm up and little and the rays felt delightful as they engulfed her bare skin. While the tide was still relative high she decided to take a quick dip in the water. It wasn’t until the water was up to her waist that she became aware of just how chilly the water really was. It had felt quite mild when she first dipped her toes in, now not so much.
Diving into the water she sent tingling shivers through her body as every inch of her felt awakened by the freshness of the water. Just the kick start she needed. Pushing her body through the gentle waves she felt the freedom of the open water. Swimming towards the empty horizon she felt like the only person in the world.
Deciding she had swum far enough she flipped over and floated on her back for a while. The rocking sensation of the water lulling her into a sense of security she had not felt for a very long time. Closing her eyes, she let her mind wander.