I am sitting by the beach, with my back leaning against a stout coconut tree. My feet half buried in the sand, fine white sand. The sun is on its way up, but the looming leaves of the coconut tree shield me from its rays, casting clumsy shadows all over the area. I sip on the sweet, chilled juice from the coconut fruit on my cupped palms, and a soothing sensation runs down my throat. The cool gentle wind sweeps over my face, and I could hear the sound of little waves subsiding near the shore. The vast ocean that dominates half the view in front of me is blue and crystal clear, with a tinge of light green smudges nearer to the shore. From the bird's eye view, corals can be seen like tiny spots scattered around on the seabed where it's not too deep. And the sky, the sky seems so serene. Decorated with odd shapes of puffy clouds here and there. One like a ship, one like a fish, and the others, simply a poetry made physical. I close my eyes, and savour every little bit of sensation brought forth by the incomprehensible calmness of this utopia. I thought to myself, in a place like this, time, is nothing but a myth.
I hear the sound of little kids frolicking and giggling not too far off. I open my eyes and I see my little sisters and my cousins playing by the shallow greenish blue water. Splash, and splash. Each of them wearing a happy smile on his and her face. They prance in a small circle, some singing, and some humming to the kindergarten songs that I had forgotten the words to. By the shore, my mischievous looking little brother is building sand castles, where the sand is brownish from the seawater that has managed to seep through. He too, is wearing a happy smile on his face, amused with his out-of-the-world structures. My other cousins, the grownups, are indulging in their own activities of preference. Some playing musical instruments, some playing frisbees, some playing volleyball, and some flying kites with the shapes of a cat and a butterfly. From the corner of my eye, I see a white yacht and a boat erecting from the slightly wavy blue ocean. On board the boat, my aunties cheerfully chatting with each other, sipping tea out of expensive looking chinas. On board the white yacht, my uncles tacking and jibing away like seasoned sailors. It all seems like a perfect painting put in motion.
I'm lying afloat on the surface of the crystal clear water, staring up ahead at the awkwardly beautiful sky. A couple of birds wheel in my view, and friendly looking sea creatures swim freely below me. A tropical music starts to play in my head, following the deafening silence you experience when you're underwater. And I smile. Then I see a small party of people gathered in a clearing, near the shore. Happy bunch of people, chit-chatting, feasting, playing board games, and singing merrily. Happy laughter pikes in between the mix of happy sounds. From afar I can make up the figure of my mum, of my dad, of my grandfather, and of even my grandma. And I smile. I take a dive and swim underneath the surface, nearer to the bed where the water is cooler, towards the shore. A school of yellow fishes, and a couple of leatherback turtles accompany me on my trip. Beautiful corals and weeds and shells on the bed pass across my view like the way a film strip used to be played before a silver screen.
I emerge on the surface of the water, cool salty seawater trickling down my body. A beautiful girl is sitting by the shore on the other side. With sassy brunette hair, adorable looking nose that curls upwards, rosy cheeks, and eyes that reflect a sense of kindness. All alone, carving something on the brown sand. She sees me, and gives a smile like she's been waiting for me all this while. A smile that weakens all my limbs. And I tremble under the coldness of the seawater that encapsulates my skin, and my heart pounds. I try to return her smile, but only so awkwardly, as I walk slowly towards her. I say hello, and she returns it with another smile. I ask her about silly little things that don't even make sense at first, just to strike a conversation, but she happily entertains my every antic nonetheless. And before I know it, we are talking and laughing and joking as if we've known each other for a long time. We sit by the beach, damp sand underneath our feet. I gaze at her beauty as I listen to her every word. Her uncharted beauty. Time didn't seem to exist earlier, but now it appears to move at a pace beyond my control. Like I wish I could stop the sun from descending so soon, and the day from ending.
It's now dusk, the tangerine sun sliced by the horizon. We stroll down the beach, towards the small party of people that I saw earlier, who are still as they were. All merry and cheerful. Our path is guided by torches aligned in a single file. When we are about to reach there, I look at her, and I tell her how beautiful she looks. She gives me a coy smile. Dad, Mum, grandma, my grandfather, my closest of friends, they are all there to greet us with the utmost joy painted on their faces. Everybody looks immensely happy, not a single worry visible through their expressions. As if years worth of burden has been lifted off their shoulders. And for that matter, everybody looks ten years younger, and twenty years healthier. So we sit together, scattered, but in a way still connected. We all chat with each other, and laugh at each others' jokes, and make fun of each other, all while feasting on delicious food. Food fit for kings. And when it's all over, the feast and the party, she and I lie side to side on the beach. We gaze at the glimmering stars in the clear sky, and our hands intertwine. And I smile.
I descend back to the real world. The whole image of my paradise, my eden, vanishes before my eyes. And I long for the calmness of that magical place. The merry people I have met. The perfect blue water, and the perfect blue sky. And I long for her. The goddess of beauty. With that dazzling smile.