Winter is all over and the smell of smoke coming out from the chimneys makes it so obvious. The sun shines for couple of hours and tries to warm the frozen earth, but it’s cold, especially in mornings. To leave the bed and the soft, warm duvet that kept me comfortable all night, to get up and adjust to the unpleasantly cool floor … one of my biggest “I don’t want to do it”. The thought of a very, very hot shower sometimes gives me the motivation to start the daily routine without saying again and again: “Five more minutes”, until on the end I am so late, that I get up anyway.
Today is Sunday and I had an extra heater in the bathroom, it was probably 35 C in there but I loved it. I couldn’t see myself in the mirror, because of the steaming hot air, but it was so relaxing, so damn good, sitting for a while in the water with bubbles and after that walking around with the fluffy towel without the need to hurry out to work.
My eyes stopped on the little scar I have on my ankle. Someone once said to me that I should be more careful, because scars make the skin looking scratched. But this someone doesn’t know how much I love my little scar. For me the noticeable mark left on my foot is not just a damaged skin that took time to heal, it’s a memory that right now in this winter day warms me more than any heater and not so much my body, but my heart.
Few years ago I was having a bit of a rough time, we all do sometimes, because life can be a “bitch”. Trying to end a relationship that was leading me to nowhere, changing work, moving house I must say one very good stressful combination. Taking decisions was so hard, because when attached with feelings and used to everyday same life for a very long time, saying “good bye” is not exactly easy, even though I was completely aware I’m doing it for a better change. The strong personality I usually have, couldn’t take the pressure then, couldn’t face the bumps on the road.
One day I was struggling with job interviews, nasty phone calls from the man who couldn’t accept the fact I’m not there anymore, but I’m trying to set new home for myself with no space at all for him in my new world. And the next day I found myself in a tourist agency booking me a ticket to Santorini, excited that is time to pack my bag again and escape. Troubles would still be there when I come back, but I decided I will leave them behind for a while. I will take a break, because I really needed it.
I always wanted to see this island with someone I love, I couldn’t imagine that the first time I’d go there I will be alone, but somehow my inside was sure that even alone I’d be just fine. I took the express ferry, I lost myself watching for hours the blue of the sea, brings unbelievable peace to me.
Once the boat stopped at Santorini’s port and I went to look for the”pick up” people the hotel had arranged for me, it felt great, just breathing the air, just being there proved me so right that I came. The hotel was a normal hotel made to have a well-organized and pleasant stay, nothing too special, but once I opened the window… The view out there made me still. I am not sure if I have words for it. Breathtaking, beautiful to say? Will it be enough though? What I saw is one of the things that I will probably never find the right words about to describe. It is something you have to see yourself, sense it yourself so you could really understand how nature can make you feel like flying.
Touched from the view I dropped my bag, changed quickly and went out. I found out that I’ve missed all the trips for the day and the museums and the churches are already closed, but I could go to the beach or walk around the town, as for the rest I could sign up early next morning. Street after street I went nearly to the other end of the town where I found not exactly a beach, but let’s say somewhere I can sit on the sun and swim if I want. It was totally empty with no person alive around, just few open shops on top.
I sat on the sand enjoying the game of the sunshine with my skin. After 2-3 hours of reading book and taking breaks by exploring the land with my eyes I went in the water. Refreshing, washing away all the stress I took with me, until a very sharp rock went right into my ankle and I felt, I heard the noise of my skin torn apart, the salty water burning the wound. I panicked, the pain wouldn’t let me swim properly and the beach was far back, I couldn’t even step on the ground, I was in a deep water and in a big trouble as it seemed. I was ready to scream when I saw not so faraway really small island, maybe more like a couple of rocks united with few palm trees on it. I got there so scared that I will sink before I reach the shore. The wound was big enough, I couldn’t stop the blood and then is when I started crying, swearing inside my head in all languages that I know, asking myself: ” Why, why troubles again ?”
I was just about to take off my bra and tie it around my ankle, thinking of swimming back to the beach where I could call for help, when I saw him … A blond man wearing only shorts, with tanned body in a golden brown color, walking towards me in a hurry, with his face so concerned. Right now I can’t remember with details where he came from, what he did, what he said or what my reaction to all this was. Maybe because of the shock, maybe because of my mind so scared? Or maybe because of the charm coming out of him? I don’t know? I remember that he managed to stop the blood and tied my ankle with piece of material taken of his shorts and the only icon I have left is his green eyes looking at me with so much care, his voice making me feel calm, making me ignore the physical pain.
Then the small boat he had and took us back to the main land where my things were. The natural bond we felt, the need to stay together and talk and talk and talk, of which talk I don’t remember many words either but I could still feel, like it was today. The peace around, the peace like in a sea with no waves to disturb the surface of the water, like in a forest with no wind to move the leaves and the branches, just peace that made everything still, even my heartbeat.
The night came and found us still there on the beach and we silently agreed we’re not leaving despite the darkness around. He lit a fire and I went to the small restaurant near to get some food. Here probably is where all of you will think that the night ended with making love under the sky with stars, with passion and declarations of forever love, but no. It was just me and him sleeping in each others arms, covered with small blanket he had in his boat, until the sunrise and the morning sounds of the sea woke us up. He was the one to show me the island after I went back to the hotel and changed. He took me to the volcano and to all the museums, we went on a walk to Imerovigli and saw the sunset together, having white wine. Four days with him without even introducing ourselves with names, without mentioning facts of our personal lives, four days feeding our souls with the beauty of the island, sharing dreams, holding hands, laughing, breathing.
When the time to leave came he said he will take me to the port. There I asked him smiling: “So what is your name ?”
He came close to me, took a curl from my hair with his hand and answered: “My name is not important, just keep our time together and smile when you remember me. Who knows one day we might meet again, the world is so small.”
And then he kissed me, not with a deep kiss conquering the lips like there is no tomorrow, a butterfly kiss touching the petals of a rose with so much tenderness so it won’t ruin the colors. And that was it, we waved good bye and the ferry left, slowly but surely. I can’t explain the mixed feelings leaving the island, leaving him. I don’t want! Partly because there was a bit of sadness and I don’t want to feel darkness when it comes to him. I did as he said, I smiled every time I remembered him and not only I, my heart smiled too.
Few months later I was watching the news on Star channel, where is all the gossip about celebrities and I saw him. I wasn’t sure at first, but it was him. The news said: “The famous young writer Y.P. who lost his wife in a tragic car accident one year ago is back to his writing. Expect soon his new novel “Saving a beautiful stranger” …
“Santorini” by Blaga Todorova
© 2010 Broken Sparkles