December 15, 2012 by E.
Well, as they say in books and movies, all good things must come to an end. A. and I had been thrilled with our vacation and the amount of alone time we’d been able to get away with. Neither of us had been expecting that much seclusion, and the frequency and intensity of our escapades had been a pleasant surprise. It also may have made us a tiny bit arrogant.
The last port of call was to the tiny island of Turks and Caicos. We all wanted to squeeze in some last minute souvenir shopping and soak up the views of the legendary beaches, but Mother Nature had other plans. As we prepared to disembark, it began to rain. A friendly, tropical downpour that the locals said would pass almost as quickly as it began. Being young and tenacious, we were determined that the weather would not ruin our last port of call. So we did what any resourceful, American spring-breakers would do. We headed straight for a bar.
Not just any bar. Margaritaville’s swim-up bar. Complete with tiki torches and potent fruity drinks with umbrellas.
Unfortunately, the locals, this time, were wrong. The storm did not pass quickly, and after 2 hours of sitting at the bar, our chaperones J. and K. had finished 3 beers between them, while A. and I had polished off multiple beers, a fruity cocktail or two, and a few rounds of shots. J. and K. were getting restless due to their increasing boredom, while A. and I were getting fidgety for an entirely different reason. A. and I needed our alone time, and when J. and K. stated that they were headed off to the souvenir store, we finally got what we wanted.
Or so it seemed.
I swore at the time that we watched J. and K. towel off and walk out of the pool area, towards the indoor shops. I thought at the time that A. and I waited longer than 3 minutes before we began our hugging and kissing and caressing. When he leaned over to bite my shoulder, I assumed we were unchaperoned.
But when I glanced up, I saw J. standing 20 feet away, gaping at us, his eyes wide with shock and confusion. Though A. and I managed to play it off – they thought he had merely “kissed” my shoulder and had no knowledge of our previous indiscretions – our cover was blown. I can’t be sure what thoughts or emotions were running through A.’s body that afternoon, but I was rather sick with apprehension. I had no clue how A. would react if he was confronted. Would he tell his girlfriend? Would he pick her over me? Would he immediately want to break off our “relationship” or however you defined our situation? Would he never want to speak to me again?
There was no time to discuss any of this. What there was time to do, was drink. The sun finally came out, the band started playing, and everyone ordered Loaded Landsharks (a bottle of Landshark beer with a tequila shot floated on top) by the armful. We may have had more than our recommended daily dosage of alcohol, but looking back, that was one of the most fun days of our entire cruise. I remember that day fondly and am grateful, because I believe that getting caught was the catalyst that forced us to evaluate our feelings for one another.
When we started dating and A. took me to Build-A-Bear so that I could create a teddy bear to keep at his apartment, I knew immediately what to name him. His name is Turk, in honor of the memories we made on that island.