“Make every moment precious. You never know when things could go terribly wrong!”
It began with the Zephyr, a beautiful white yacht. The perfect setting for a romantic day on the Atlantic Ocean. Malu and Emre were soon to discover nature had other plans.
The couple had grown up around the Turks and Caicos Islands and it was from there on a delightful and relaxing zephyr of wind they set sail. The golden sands and palm trees of Parrot Cay seemed to wave them goodbye as the yacht ambled over the gentle waves.
Malu lay in the sun wearing a relaxed blue summer dress over her sylph-like frame and bikini. Emre stood at the helm wearing only orange Bermuda shorts with silhouette palm trees. With the Zephyr enjoying the waves, he came and toasted the day with her over glasses of wine.
“For you my graceful, sea lion,” Emre produced, a nacre pendant embossed with a stunning ammonite fossil.
Malu beamed as she moved her black curls aside and allowed him to place the silver and mother of pearl necklace about her bronzy neck.
“The ammonite lived for millions of years and I shall love you for longer my darling —”
The sail luffed loudly in a sudden gust of wind. Emre glanced about for a cause. Dark clouds way off on the horizon told of a distant sea squall. “We’re just … Oh, shit!”
Rising like a leviathan from the sapphire sea, a rogue wave bludgeoned the Zephyr. Malu screamed as the boat tumbled through the maelstrom. It was the last thing Emre heard. Something crashed into his head and his world went black.
“Ma-lu!” Emre choked. Consciousness had returned with him feeling as if he’d been dried out like a brined gravlax. He could taste sand and salt in his mouth and realised he was lying on a beach.
Shaking the grogginess from his head, Emre forced his aching body into a sitting position. He’d suffered lacerations to his arms, legs, chest and back. Each we’d been seared by the sun but still stung in the salient atmosphere. Emre took comfort in the pain, it meant he was alive.
The beach wasn’t large. The sandy shore curved out of sight in either direction revealing this to be a small island. The way inland was dominated by coconut palms and far too many plastic bottles. There was no sign of the Zephyr or Malu.
Emre staggered to his feet and ran his sticky tongue over his parched lips. “I need water and I have to find Malu fast.” He could already tell the island wouldn’t give him much of the former. What scared him most was the unfamiliar beach. He’d grown up as a fisherman with his father. In his twenties, he climbed the ladder to become a tour boat captain. Through those jobs, he’d come to know every island in the Turks and Caicos chain, even the uninhabited islands, quite well.
Mystified by his location, Emre made his way to the nearest palm trees. Luck was on his side there. A single coconut lay in the sand. A shake revealed it contained life-giving water. He bashed it open on a rock and drank until it was dry. The hydration along with the electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals entering his system felt amazing.
Rejuvenated, Emre set off to explore the island in the hope of finding Malu close by. The beach encircled the island aside from one rocky peninsula. All too soon he found himself stood by the remains of the coconut he’d consumed earlier. The island was sparse, he’d found a few pieces from the Zephyr including a life ring, part of the mast and shredded sails but very little else. This was a small island, most of the debris and Malu had probably washed right past its shores.
Emre collapsed into the sand, sobbing with hopelessness for a long time. Malu was lost and his chances of survival weren’t much better. All too soon the sun began to go down. It was that which spurred him into action. Gathering driftwood, he built the simple bow drill and set a fire going. With the flames crackling away in the sand, he set to task and monkied up a palm tree after more coconuts. It was no easy task, the rough bark bit into his feet, arms and chest. At the top, without a knife, he was forced to bash the coconuts until they fell. Watching one drop, he caught a glint of light. Something had reflected a golden-green light in the last rays of the sun, down there on the beach.
Excitement surged within, Emre. He scampered down from the tree and abandoned his coconuts. The spike of adrenaline carried him toward the waves until he tripped and fell on his knees. He thrust a hand into the sand and came up with Malu’s nacre necklace. The chain, he could see had been broken at the clasp. “If you made it here, so did Malu!” Tears pricked his eyes as he realised the heavy necklace would have sunk if it just fell in the ocean. “MALU!” he bellowed into the beautiful red sunset.
The only answer was the constant slapping of the waves and screeches of seabirds. Emre clasped the necklace to his chest and staggered back to his fire. He ate and drank from another coconut and at some point, lulled to sleep. His dreams were visited by tall waves and the Zephyr being smashed to bits in the tumult. He’d see Malu smiling at the pendant and then she’d scream.
A shriek echoed through his consciousness jarring him awake. Bathed in sweat and panting as if he’d been running, Emre rolled to his side and shuddered through a wave of emotion. “Dear, sweet, Malu. I’m so sorry. I never meant for this to happen. I —” a fresh scream turned to blood cold but only for a second. The had to be Malu and if she could make those noises, she was alive.
“Malu!” Emre jumped to his feet so fast that he slipped in the sand and fell flat on his face. “Give me a break!” he punched the ground and rose again. Shaking off the sand, he ignited a long piece of driftwood for a torch and ran down the beach. Another cry was like a shot of electricity his system. “Malu!”
“Emre! Is that you? Please help me!”
“Malu!” Emre came around a rocky section of the beach and there she was like a terrified snool before a monster. Cowering against a palm tree, she was the target of the hideous creature caught in the firelight. The beast was like a giant alien spider but it was no arachnid. Those massive front claws identified it as an arthropod. Only one could be this big and with that purplish-blue colour. “Malu, my beautiful sea lion. I found you!” Emre chuckled as he began to rejoice in finding her alive. “And look even further coconut crab for dinner!”
“Good to see you too, darling. Please kill it quick! It tried to eat my toes.” Malu cowered away as it scuttled towards her once more.
Emre made use of a large rock to dispatch the creature. With it safe, he took Malu into his arms for what was the most magical hug he’d ever had. At that moment beneath the stars, he realised just how much comfort and energy came from holding the one you love. Hearing her heartbeat and breathing against him was a blissful sound which filled him with deep joy. “I thought I lost you. My heart was broken and then …”
Malu played hand over his chest. She kissed him with a blaze of passion in her smoky brown eyes. “Our souls are locked together by the keys in our hearts. With them, we will always be together. Even when lost will always find each other …” She fell silent as they kissed in a way that made the island melt away.
A while later Emre had the crab cooking in the embers of the fire. When it had been consumed by the grateful couple, Emre laid Malu in the warm sand and returned the nacre pendant to her. Entwined in her and soaked in passion, he kissed every curve of her body as they revelled in each other. Never had lovemaking been so special as it was on that paradise beach.
The following morning, Malu and Emre were able to rejoice with the rising sun. It brought a fishing boat to the horizon and with his salvation. Emre was able to use palm fronds to create enough smoke for the boat’s skipper to see and rescue them. One thing Emre knew for sure, he was finding a new boat and bringing Malu back to the island for some more blissful evenings. Hopefully, those ventures would come to pass without shipwrecks.
Have a great day!