I didn’t want to go. Summer without friends would suck. Boredom would kill me for sure.
“But, Mom, there’s nothing to do on that forsaken island.”
“You’ll be going to visit your grandmother and I don’t want to hear another peep out of you.”
Those words sealed my fate that summer.
I’d never been to Mackinaw Island. Nothing Google couldn’t fix. A few searches later I learned the island was up in northern Michigan in Lake Huron and was a popular tourist attraction. Maybe I could create an interesting adventure for myself.
The dreary mist started the minute I got off the boat on the island and I sank into my grandmother’s open arms. When I pulled away I noticed gorgeous blue eyes staring at me.
“Granma,” I whispered. “Who is that boy?” But when she turned he had disappeared.
My mission: to find the guy and discover his story.
Grandma lived on a hill in a stunning Victorian home overlooking the clear blue waters of Huron. The island was amazing.
The cool breeze coming from the lake had me pulling on the sweatshirt I brought with me to make grandma happy.
“Pumpkin, it’s pretty chilly on the island,” she had said, sending me back up stairs to get a sweater.
In the storage room I found a brand new five-speed bike—corral, my favorite color.
A little tag hung from the handle bar. I pulled it off. It read: Enjoy the island, Grandma. How sweet! Mom had told me the best way to get around the island was biking. Rolling it out on the brick sidewalk, I hopped on, pedaling away. Not wanting to be in the center of town, where all the confusion and tourists hung out watching a few stores make fudge, I rolled the opposite way, finding myself on a quiet road next to sandy beaches. Stopping, I decided to sit on the white sand and contemplate the blue waters.
From out of nowhere, so it seemed, the guy I’d see when I arrived, stood to the side watching me. His eyes bluer than the ocean never left my face.
I stood and walked over, but as I got closer he seemed to float away. The distance between us was always the same. He never moved his feet. My heartbeat so hard he could hear it from where he stood. How could this be possible?
“Why are you doing this to me?”
I looked him over and took a step back. Just about then, I should have turned around and run. He didn’t have a solid form. No way. Ghosts don’t exist. Rubbing my eyes didn’t help.
“Don’t be afraid. I’m not here to hurt you.”
My eyes opened so wide they could have fallen out of their sockets.
He extended a hand.
Did he really think I would take it? Utterly crazy! Anyway, I was frozen in place. Never had I felt so much fear.
Those eyes, though, were so hypnotic I couldn’t look away. The blue streamed from his eyes to surround me in a surreal dim light. The sand disappeared, engulfed by a blue void. Nothing was left.
“Come, I won’t hurt you.” His lips never moved.
At last, I found my voice. It shook. “What…are…you?”
“Don’t worry about technicalities. Come with me.”
He moved closer and without realizing it, my hand was in his.
A gentle breeze swept my caramel hair away from my face.
“We’re moving!” I pivoted to grab a fist full of his shirt.
When all the blue hue vanished, the sky had a lemony yellow tint to it, the trees, taller than any I’d ever seen, touched the sky with deep green leaves.
Nothing seemed real. “Where are we?”
“In my world.”
“I don’t understand.”
He looked at me with sad blue eyes. “In your world I’m invisible, but here I’m real, I can touch you.” And he did. He caressed my check with feather light fingers. A chill ran down my spine. “I’ve watched you for a while hoping to get a chance like this to show myself to you.”
I had no idea what to make of it. For all I knew I was in bed dreaming.
He took me in his embrace. Soft, warm lips caressed mine. His breath filled my nostrils with a spicy scent. One hand moved up and down my back, in slow motion.
When I opened my eyes, I was back on the beach, alone.
I never spoke of my encounter, believing that if I didn’t talk about it, it never really happened. Whenever I closed my eyes I still felt his lips on mime. It took me several days before courage urged me back to the beach. It was the first time I was alone since the first encounter. The beach looked safe that day, so I ventured to sit on the white sand once more. The water was blue and so clear. Not a wave disturbed the lake.
Movement caught my eye and, looking to the side, there he was once again, moving toward me.
Without a word he sat beside me and took my hand in his, kissing it.
“It’s amazing how you’ve never noticed me at school.”
“We go to the same school?”
I turned away ashamed that popularity had turned me so blind.
His arm wrapped around my shoulder and I leaned my head against his chest, as my heart fluttered.
He tilted my chin upward, brushing my lips with his.
It wasn’t my first kiss, but it certainly made me feel different. Twisting in his arms, I brought mine around his neck. He pulled me on his lap.
The joy of our encounters lasted the whole summer
Pulling away he asked, “When we go back to school, will you still ignore me?”
My head still spun from making out. All I could do was stare and shake my head no.
Staring in the mirror, I liked what I saw. The new high-waisted shorts looked amazing with the sheer, flowy tops. Mom wouldn’t let me out of the house with it, so I wore a black cami underneath.
I arrived early on purpose and sat outside, waiting. Sure enough, those blue eyes appeared and he came toward me with a big smile.
Annamaria Bazzi spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.