“We need to go to that beach one last time.”
For most people the beach is a place to lounge around at, sunbathe, swim in the ocean and spend a day with family or friends. For me and Taylor, I think Sullivan’s Island means a tad more.
I sent Taylor that text right after I booked what will be my last flight to Charleston to visit. After he graduates, my flights will be booked to a new destination and I’ll be calling somewhere else my second home and maybe one day, home.
Booking that flight honestly made me sad. Over the last few years I have grown to love Charleston and visiting there. I loved what booking a flight there meant. And now this is it…
The first time I had ever visited Taylor was July 11, 2015. I drove there with my mom and the whole drive there I had no idea what I was doing. We had just started dating 5 days earlier and I was terrified and excited and nervous and the 14 hour drive there felt like 14 days instead.
One night me and Taylor went to King St. bar, a partially outdoor bar that is tucked into a mall. After some drinks and food, we had no idea where to go next but we didn’t want to go back yet.
So, the only logical thing we could think of was to run away to the beach. Sullivan’s Island was the closest choice. We drove around the small neighborhood that surrounds it trying to find a place to park and sneak in. There was one small, extremely dark opening with a wooden sign in front listing all the things that you probably shouldn’t do…going to the beach at night was number four.
We kept walking anyway hand in hand. My heart raced, not only because I was with Taylor, but because I couldn’t see and I have a fear of murderers and being robbed just like anyone else might.
But we finally reached sand and walked down the beach guided by the occasional light from a lighthouse some miles off. Our feet waded in the water and sand clung to our legs and in between our toes.
Eventually, I wanted to sit. We plopped down into the sand and looked out at the dark, listened to the waves and looked up at the sky. Thousands, if not millions, of stars littered the sky and a thunder storm was rolling in on our right.
As I watched in awe of this, me and Taylor talked about everything. We talked about how one day he’ll be miles under where we were sitting. How one day, right where we were sitting will be the closest that I will ever be able to get to him whenever he is deployed. And then it was silent for awhile. I’m not quite sure what happened after that but I remember that being one of the most beautiful moments I have ever lived through.
Fast forward a months later and we came back to that beach and again a few months later we came back again. We sit and we talk. We found this strange ice cream parlor called Beardcat’s Sweet Shop (which is actually quite lovely if you ever go. I highly recommend the red velvet ice cream.)
I have never seen that beach in the daytime and I don’t even want to. After this last visit to Charleston, I’d like to remember that beach for what it was. For that beautiful sky bulleted with stars and a thunderstorm off to the right. For red velvet ice cream and sand between my toes that I can feel and only see when the lighthouse turned our way. For every step that I took in the dark holding Taylor’s hand so I didn’t stumble or fall.