Catchlight - The Seventh Wave He had found me on the beach one day. I was lost, alone and bruised. My mind was on other things, like counting the waves. I was hoping that the seventh, the biggest, would carry me away. It might as well, I was all alone and no one would notice that I was gone. All I had left was me. “Would you like to borrow my umbrella?” He asked. I looked up, trying to make out his face, lost in a halo of sunshine. “Why? It’s not raining?” “No, it’s not. It was a line. I suck at lines.” He raised his hand to shade his face from the glare of the sun. “You could just try saying Hello.” “Ok, hello. I’m Daniel, idiot but all round nice guy, mostly.” “Hi, I’m Kelly, no idea whether I’m nice or not anymore.” He sat with me then, on the beach with its disappointing surf and made me laugh. I learned quickly that with him, there was nothing to fear. He was warmer than the sunshine, brighter than the moon and more constant than the tide. # We sat on my sofa while a movie played unnoticed on the television. His finger stroked along my brow, gently shifting the hair from my face. “I can’t see your eyes.” He said. “You’re not missing much, they’re just eyes." “Oh how wrong you are. They’re a time machine. In those eyes, I see our future.” “Ah really, so what do you see?” I nibbled my lower lip as a smile teased at the corners of my mouth. “I see you, standing on the beach in a white dress, waiting for me. I see you again after a few years have passed. Your hair is longer. You’re holding a tiny baby in your arms and smiling. The baby has your nose.” His finger traced its way down my cheek and drifted to my lips. “Does the baby have your hair?” “Mm hm. It has my hair with your eyes and nose. It’s the most beautiful baby in the entire world.” He nibbled along my jaw line, his hands lost in my hair. “I like time travel; does it have a happy ever after?” I asked. “It does, it has a very happy ever after. I promise” # Daniel had apologized to me the day his doctor told us he would die. He was sorry for the promise that he couldn’t keep. But he didn’t fail, it was all me. He had saved me, been my family and been my life. When his turn came, when he needed a hero, I was helpless. Useless. # “I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.” I whisper into his ear, my lips grazing the light stubble that decorates his cheek. “I’m sorry I couldn’t stay.” His voice is strong today, his eyes still bright as he looks up into mine. “I see a time machine in your eyes,” I say. A smile creases his cheeks, torturing his dry lips. “What do you see?” “It’s beautiful. I see perfection, the most wonderful life in all the world." “You do?” “I do. I see me standing on a beach in a white dress with a minister. I'm holding a handful of roses, I'm waiting for you and I'm smiling. I see you standing in the door of a hospital room while I hold our little baby in my arms and we name her Katie. I see a little house with flowers in the garden and you sitting beside me under a big shady tree. I see all the things that we have had in these few years.” “I like time travel. Does it have a happy ever after?” he asks. His lip quivers just a little and a tear rests at the corner of his eye. “No, not this time, but it had the most beautiful of beginnings.” But I am wrong. # It is over and I sit on the beach, watching the surf and counting the waves. In a flurry of sand she stands before me, hand shielding her eyes from the bright sun. “What are you doing Mama?” she asks. “I’m just wishing that I had an umbrella,” I say. Katie sits in my lap and looks up at me. “It’s not even raining you know.” “I know sweetie. Look at the waves, aren’t they pretty?” She doesn’t look at the waves; she keeps looking up at me. Her eyes are golden, like the sand, like her fathers. And I see it, our future. It’s there, swimming in the eyes of our child. I found it Daniel. Our bright future, our happy ever after.