They left his car and hiked up a steep, five kilometer trail to a vista overlooking the Celtic Sea. She struggled to keep up with him, as he took long easy strides. She stumbled, and he turned around. “You okay? Do we need to slow down?” “Why don’t you ever sweat, Alan Trywick?” she asked. “I’m sweating like a pig, and you’re carrying on like it’s a stroll in the park.” She wiped her brow and took a rest. The bright sun shone in a crystal clear sky on an unseasonably warm, mid-June day on the Cornish north coast. She had taken her sweater off, and was wearing only her sun dress. He laughed, his long easy laugh. “You’re out of shape. You don’t get out enough in that crowded city of yours, except to eat or drink. When you move back here to be with me, we’ll take care of that.” They continued up the path, to a secluded place they had discovered years ago. It was difficult to get to, making it theirs alone. The granite outcropping that formed these spectacular, rugged cliffs didn’t support much vegetation, so there was little shade to be found. Normally, that was a good thing, as the winds whipping over the frigid waters below made the sunshine a valuable commodity. They made it to their spot; a high shelf with a granite protrusion above it. The shelf was larger than the protrusion, so they could choose to be in the sun or the shade, depending on the weather. He laid out his blanket to sit on, then took out some water bottles from his backpack. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been here,” she said, wistfully. “Not for me,” he said in a low voice. Suddenly, he caught himself and brightened up again. It wouldn’t do to get morose. She didn’t like it, and anyway, they had far too little time to waste that way. He was naturally upbeat, and that was one of the many things she loved about him. The view was absolutely spectacular. Every year tonnes of granite fell into the waters below from these cliffs, as the sedimentary rock around the granite eroded. As a result, huge boulders littered the beaches several hundred meters below. The waves crashed over and around them. Her phone dinged, announcing the arrival of a text message. They were surprised that it would work here. He snatched the phone from her hand, jumped up and ran to the edge of the shelf, then flung it as far as he could into the waters below. She jumped up and ran to him. He had both hands behind him. “Give it,” she said, reaching her arms around him to try to get the phone. “Sorry, it’s gone,” he said with his big smile. “No, it’s not. Give it,” she said, trying to reach his hands. He moved his arms, but she finally grabbed his wrists and held them, working down to his hands. It wasn’t in his hands, so she started reaching for his back pockets, but now he held her wrists. Suddenly, he kissed her on the lips. She pulled away and he laughed again. Nobody could be mad when he laughed, it was the loveliest laugh in the world. He handed her the phone. “I suppose Göztepe escort that was Carver,” he said. “His name’s Gordon. You know that.” “No, it’s not, Lorna Doone. He’s the evil Carver, destined to force you to marry him.” “And I suppose you’re my gallant Jan Ridd, who will save the day?” she said. He bowed and said, “At your service, mi’lady.” She looked at her text, then put the phone away. They talked the afternoon away, enjoying the weather and the view. He brought out bread, cheese, cakes and a thermos of tea from his backpack. After they ate, he lay with his head in her lap as she caressed his short hair. He read her an old poem that she didn’t remember hearing before, Cornish Cliffs. It was a perfect description of this place, this day. Those moments, tasted once and never done, Of long surf breaking in the mid-day sun… As he read, she watched his mouth. His stubble, not yet full enough to wear a mustache, as he wished he might. The cool, clear, olive colored skin that never seemed to break a sweat. The fine features, almost feminine in their perfection and daintiness. … And in the shadowless, unclouded glare Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where A misty sea-line meets the wash of air….. For some inexplicable reason, as she watched his mouth reading the poem, she wished nothing more than to kiss it. They had been friends since childhood, but only friends. They had shared many adventures when young, and had shared many deep discussions as they grew, but they had never been lovers. They had never shared a passionate kiss, though they had wrestled sometimes as lovers do. It was odd that she was affected thus today. They met on the moors when they were eleven. He was Ivanhoe, storming the castle of Torquilstone with a stick, his sword. When Alis appeared, she immediately became the lovely Rowena that he was to save from the dastardly de Bracey. From that point on, they were inseparable, from one adventure to the next. One day he is Lancelot and she is Guinevere; the next he sails the HMS Lydia, fighting the Spaniards with Lady Wellesley on board. Then he is Don Quixote and she is Dulcienea. One day he makes an improvised bow and becomes Robin Hood, rescuing the fair Maid Marian from the evil sheriff of Nottingham. Alis adores Alan, and follows him everywhere, in all of his adventures. Both of them assume that they will eventually marry. When they turn sixteen, Alis meets Gordon, who is two years older, and falls madly in love with him. She eventually loses her virginity to him. Gordon goes to university, leaving Alis alone. She uses Alan as a confidante, agonizing over Gordon’s absence. Alis follows Gordon to university. When she graduates, two years later than Gordon, she assumes they’ll move back to Cornwall. But Gordon will never move back. He loves the city, and he hates Cornwall. Alis takes a job teaching in the city. When he finishes the poem, they sit silent Caddebostan escort bayan for a while. She is moved by the view, and the poem, and Alan reading the poem. “That poem was written for this day, this spot,” she says. “Yes.” They sat silently, his head still in her lap. Then he got up and said, “The sun will be down by the time we get back to the car, if we leave now,” he said. “Let’s go.” He bundled up their stuff and and put it in the backpack. Alis pulled him to her and kissed him on the lips, softly. They had kissed many times. Usually playfully, often with true love for each other, but not the kiss that only lovers share. This kiss was different than past kisses. It wasn’t ardent or passionate. It was a soft, tender kiss, yet held the promise of more. She held his lower lip between her lips gently, pulling his lip as she pulled away. “Why?” he asked. “I don’t know. Just felt like it,” she said, quietly. “Okay, anytime.” “Alan?” “Yes?” “Why are you still single? You’re the most beautiful person I know. I should think the girls here would see that.” “There’s only one girl for me,” he said softly, looking away. Alis felt guilty that she spent so much time with Alan. He should be freed for another woman, but she couldn’t bear giving him up. He filled a need in her life that nobody else ever would, certainly not Gordon. Alan made her feel beautiful and happy, and in love with herself and with life. He made every day seem an adventure, and every dream achievable. Every time they talked, he told her how special and beautiful she was, and made her believe it. Even when she was in the city, they chatted on-line constantly. She wanted him to have happiness, but she dreaded the day when he would find a lover and leave her life. She knew it wouldn’t be the same, once he did. She would never leave Gordon, he was the only man she had ever had. But she would never voluntarily give up what she had with Alan, either. When she was with Gordon, she felt insecure, about her looks, about their relationship, about everything. She wasn’t the same person in the city. He teased her about her weight, and when she moped, he laughed at her and told her to “lighten up,” that he was only kidding. She wasn’t a stick like some of the other girls her age, and she never would be, but Alan had convinced her that she was perfect as she was. Alan loved everything about her body; her large breasts, her fair skin, her blue eyes. She had made the mistake of telling him once how hurt she had been when Gordon teased her about her weight. Alan loathed Gordon in any case, but that day he would have killed him if he had seen him. He didn’t like anybody saying anything negative about Alis. They had dinner at their favorite pub. They arrived at Alis’ home by nine, and they clung together outside, taking a very long time to say goodbye, as they always did. “I have to work tomorrow. See you after Escort Bağdat Caddesi work? About six?” “O.K.,” Alis said. She talked to her mum for a while, then went to her room and called Gordon. They talked a while, but Gordon had to go to work early the next morning, so they said their goodbyes. Alan picked her up a little after six and drove her up to the cliffs. They walked out to the overlook. The waves below crashed loudly on the shore. She shivered in the cold wind, and he held her. They ran back to the car and sat inside, talking. After a couple of hours, he took her home. They held each other at her front door. “Love you,” he said. “Love you too. See you tomorrow?” “I’ll call.” He had always assumed they would marry. But he had never made his move. When Gordon entered the picture unexpectedly, it was too late. The next day, he called at one in the afternoon. “Let’s go riding,” he said. “I’ll pick you up.” He loaded two bikes on the bike rack attached to his car, packed up waters, food and a blanket, and went to Alis’ house. She came out and they set off. They drove south across the peninsula and parked, then rode past one tourist filled beach after another. Mid-afternoon, they decided to take a walk on the beach to find a place to rest and eat. They locked the bikes and set off. The “Cornish Riviera” was beautiful this time of year. The sand was like sugar. The brilliant blue sky had only a few big puffy white clouds. They found a secluded beach with a tidal pool. Several of the beaches on the south coast had deep, man-made tidal pools that were crowded with tourists, but this one was isolated. These natural tidal pools formed occasionally. They had never seen this one. Alan took off his shoes and walked into the pool. The water was less than two meters deep, so it didn’t take long for the sun to warm the frigid water, once the tide had gone out. “It’s warm,” he said. “Let’s go swimming.” “I didn’t bring a suit.” “Neither did I,” he said, as he stripped off his clothes. She turned her head. After he got in, he said, “Come on in, it’s lovely.” She went behind some bushes, took off her clothes and wrapped the blanket around her. As she got to the edge of the water, she said, “turn your head.” Then she dropped the blanket and walked in, kneeling down to cover her nudity. They had skinny dipped together dozens of times before. When she jumped in, he swum to her and they splashed and played. They used the blanket to dry, then dressed and rode back to the car. “My mum wants me to go with her to Tavistock tomorrow to visit my grammy. I won’t be home til late, so I can’t see you tomorrow.” “Damn! I have a week to see you, and it’s more than half gone already. Why don’t you move back here forever?” “Sorry, I have to go see my grammy. I’ll see you day after tomorrow.” The real reason her mum wanted her to go was so she had a chance to spend time with her, not with her grandmother. She was spending a whole week of her holiday at home, but she was rarely there, other than to sleep and shower. She was visiting friends all the time, mostly Alan. They had long talks at the station, and on the train riding to and from her grandmother’s house. They had a lovely dinner in Tavistock before coming home. They arrived back at about nine.