It’s been a couple of years but I haven’t held on to a relationship because no one is Odette. She’s almost become a figment of my imagination…a representation of a time that was perfect…perfect mistakes.
Out on the water, when the beach is quiet and the next wave is hiding out there somewhere in the flatness, my board holds me up, the rising sun throws itself everywhere and the occasional blinding gold ripple takes me back to her. But not to how she is now, not the, I’m so kind of broken up over my ex husband mess of an Odette. I go back to the old Odette, the one who was just venturing out of her comfort zone and taking me with her.
And I know it will never be the same, I will never find another girl like her, not even in herself. I don’t try to contact her because talking to her is like reading an old book again after already knowing the sad ending. But what is worse than pining over a person who is still alive but doesn’t exist anymore? I go for long hikes through Paynes Prarie then last spring break I spent on the Appalachian trail with Milo. Over a soundtrack of leaves and sticks crunching under my boots and a panting dog, I see the back of her hair. She is always walking away from me on the beach with it blowing everywhere and her long white skirt clinging to her ankles as she manages to stride barefoot throughout the sand anyway, and she is almost out of reach but not quite. Sometimes I see her face, her grinning up at me with billowing white pillow all around and her hair covering it like a blonde spiderweb. I remember how it feels to slide strands with one finger over the pillow into a more organized soft and wavy line. I remember the almost uncomfortable intensity of her large dark eyes when she looked up at me, searching, as if I held the answers to her endless questions of possible happiness. I would think for an idiotic second or even minute, or even 5 minutes, that I was the answer. I want to feel like that again just for a moment and out here I can remember so well, that sometimes I do.
The only way to get over this shit is to know that I have to clump this part of my life in a ball and throw it away and know that things will never be better than that. Fuck trying to get it back. But I have this idea that when I’m old and gray and she’s had 3 more stupid husbands and Chris has had 3 more crazy wives, I will be the single guy who always waited and never found Odette again in anyone else.