Walking hand in hand, I am anxious. It is pitch black and our toes sink into the wet sand like shells waiting to be found by screaming toddlers. With each step, our feet sink a bit deeper. “Let's see how far we can go,” I whisper devilishly to him. “No thanks, we're already pretty far out,” he replies. James and I had never been to Hilton Head, SC before but so many people raved about it, including a married couple we know, —which after coming back from vacation we find out they also took their honeymoon at the exact same hotel, the Sonesta Resort. It's so dark, I can barely make out his facial expression, but the tone in his voice signifies that he is equally hesitant. The moonlight beams quietly on his face and I can tell he is smirking. Just three hours ago before the sun had set, the tide was high enough for us not to be in the middle of the ocean. Three hours ago, I was laying on a yellow and white striped towel enjoying the sights of my sexy new husband. We are now standing at a “good enough spot”. We are at a place where if we look behind us, we can still see the row of resorts and residential homes lined up against the shore like a picturesque night in a magazine. “Did the ocean just disappear? When is it coming back? Do you think it just drops from sand into deep water, like you're walking and then all of a sudden you're drowning?” I hurl questions at him, but he doesn't move. I pull away quickly, dropping his hand back by his side. Taunting him, I grab my colorful paisley skirt and hike it up to my thighs and begin to walk backwards. The question is, has anyone ever truly seen what is beyond the abyss? If the answer is no, then we have accomplished as much of nothing as the couple a few feet away who are also walking slowly into the loud darkness. Waves. All we can hear is waves. Nothing. All we can see is nothing. As I try to lure James into the black hole of greatness, he gives up before we can even reach what I would consider halfway to the drop of death. “Get back here! Babe it's too far,” he yells. I of course ignore him knowing that I am way too chicken to go all the way out there, but I am too prideful to admit this aloud. I take a few more steps in that manner before running towards the darkness at full speed. I am only about twenty feet from him, but I feel so much further away. Partly, because I still have not found the ocean. We are more connected now than ever, and I feel his body, mind, and soul pleading for me to return to him. “I'm not playing,” he reminds me. His reluctance turns into frustration. Not with the water but with me, or maybe both. In front of us is the unknown, behind us awaits the familiar. “Live life on the edge, come here!” I urge. I cannot make out his expressions this time, but I know that he is fed up with my shenanigans. Typically, I am afraid of the unknown. Yet being here in this moment of pure oblivion, I am sure that if death awaits, I would rather no other patron than my wonderful new husband to accompany me into the depths of the earth. How befitting, a tragic honeymoon death. I have always admired Shakespeare and the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet. Now, here we are facing our own version, or at least I like to think so but from James' standpoint, we won't even get close. Growing tired of waiting for my husband to rescue me from my fateful disaster, I slowly walk back towards the shore. When I get close to him, he pulls me in for a deep kiss. I smell his cologne wafting from his clothes. That and the scent of Gain laundry detergent. The waft sends me into a frenzy of desire, but my curiosity cuts through the passion like a samurai sword. Unexpected. Precise. Quick. “Do you believe in Magic?” I ask. Staring at me, he laughs, then replies, “No”. Neither do I but in this moment, I bask in the uncertainty. Our walk back to the resort is long and quiet. The two of us contemplating whether what we saw, or didn't see, is real. In the morning, as we check out of the resort, we hear a group chattering about something “that happens often”. One of the men says, “Yes, did you get a chance to see it? The tide was real low last night”. James and I look at one another and laugh through the embarrassment. IT WAS THE LOW TIDE. That makes sense. Before we head out, I decide to grab a souvenir from the gift shop. I grab a silver starfish magnet, it's a little heavy in my hand. It reminds me of our feet trapped under the wet sand and I know this is the perfect item to take back home, a bit of magic. On our car ride back to Charlotte, I wonder if our friends noticed the disappearing waters also. Despite what we learned, we will spend the next few months convincing people that they need to visit the “magical place where the water hides from the moon," to experience the moment where you are trapped between worlds that collide beyond the darkness, the place where trepidation meets excitement.
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