The blue water was disturbed by the toe of the quaint kitten heels she had worn. She had gotten dressed up. Sitting at the end of the concrete pier her legs dangled long enough so that her foot only kissed the water below. Her toe traced circles of figure eights and watched it ripple with the blank eyes of someone whose mind was far away. It was back in a restaurant further along the beach from the pier. A place where her name had sat written in a reservation book for weeks only for him not to have come. She sat there at a table by the window and watched the water, waiting for him. The same kitten heel that now traced ripples had tapped under the table, first idly, then impatiently and finally desperately. It had only been days ago late in his bed that she had reminded him of their date. Sitting on the bed's edge buttoning up his shirt she knew he had heard her and was reassured when he finished buttoning and turned to her smiling. “I know, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
But the world was still turning after the third coffee she had ordered and he was two hours late. Escaping the pitying smiles of the staff, to which she could only reply with her own terse ones, she left. And she sat at the edge of the pier, unwilling now to go home to a lonely apartment where come the early hours of the morning she knew he would call. The abrasive ring of her telephone splitting the silence of her room where she lay unable to bring herself to sleep. She liked to pretend that maybe she wasn’t tired, or that the book in her hand was too good to put away but she was waiting for him. Nothing was worse than the nights he didn’t call at all. When at 3 am she admit defeat and curled into bed, and in her dreams, she would imagine the phone ringing.
He lived one floor down the apartment block she lived and after he called she would slip out of her door, barefoot and dressed only in nightclothes save for whatever coat she dragged off her bedroom floor. He always had a record playing when she knocked quietly on his door and slid into his room. There was never much talking. He swept her off her feet and into the bedroom with his strong hands, his generous hands. He never waited long afterward to sit up and put on his clothes. First his pants, always rocking backward so that he was lying on the bed, kicking his feet, jumping the slacks up his legs to get them on, not unlike how a child would. Then he sat on the side edge, back turned to her buttoning his shirt. She never felt so vulnerable as when he turned his back to her. Aware of only the white linen sheet on her skin she always tried desperately to cover herself with it before he turned back to look at her, in a way that was both modest and sexy. She feared nothing greater than upon him turning to face her again, seeing regret in his eyes.