I remember a rainy evening biking back to camp on a muddy side road of a lake. In the rainforest it was always wet but warm. He showed me the frogs coming down from the trees to mate at night, for a few days. This was our second night together and I was terrified of the motorcycle maneuvering the impossible rocky, slippery, hilly road. He said he felt like we were in a black and white movie. I thought of Casablanca, the scene where she says goodbye in the rain. I act strong and cheerful, but I hold on tighter. It’s these reckless moments, where each moment is a lifetime, a potential future wrapped in a handful of waking days that make life worthwhile. He led me in the dark by the hand to the thermal rivers. I couldn’t see a thing but he said he could see me clearly and I was beautiful. He told me ghost stories so I would come closer into his arms. we made love under the moonlight. Halfway he stopped and stared at me for a long time and said he wanted to remember. He asked me to wait at the campsite entrance and came back half an hour later from town with dinner. He stayed with me all night. We slept deeper than I had in years. I told him I had a dream about him buying phone cases and he said he had the same dream. He smiled at me and only managed two words—this connection.
In the morning it was still raining. I paddled out to the middle of the lake in the warm rain, I looked around at the infinite variety of plants and birds and animals surrounding me in a sky high wall of green. The water was beneath me, falling on me, surrounding the air i breathe and soaked through my clothes and it was warm. It was like being smothered by Mother Nature: here, in case you were feeling dry anywhere. In case you ever felt disconnected from me I am here.
He told me his father passed away and that his brother was fighting him for the inheritance. I asked him what was his father’s name. He said his father taught him to live off the land and eat the fish that they caught.
They day I left he got hit by a motorcycle. Luckily he was able to kick it off his body so it didn’t collide. He said it was like an action movie. His thighs were wider than my body so I believed him. When we said goodbye, I kissed him and fixed his collar. He said thank you for everything.
We never talked again.
I heard you missed me. My organs told me. I smile thinking about the good times when we laughed despite all the things we were going through. I laugh all the time now.