Title: The Seventh Wave
Author: Jackie Thomas
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Summary: You are the ocean and I am wet through.
The Seventh Wave by Jackie Thomas
Your raincoat, thrown over the back of a chair. Darkened and heavy from the downpour. Your backpack upturned on the floor. In victorious search for telephone number. Your shoes kicked off, wet prints on polished wood floor.
On my phone, pacing, hair damp and clinging to your head.
"Leo McGarry. No, McGarry."
I am wet through. I left my coat at the office. Sure that if I stopped to get it, stopped at all, I would lose the momentum, miss the wave.
You are the ocean and I am wet through. Rooted to the spot, in the hallway of my apartment, I believe I am dripping.
"Tell him Josh Lyman called. No, Lyman. L-Y-M-A-N. No, no. Tell him, tell him I'm on my way."
You take a breath, turn to smile at me. The biggest smile. An ocean wave crashing against the shore. It is hard to believe I haven't been knocked sideways by the force of it. I have been knocked sideways.
Your eyes meet my eyes.
"And tell him I'm...tell him I'm bringing Sam Seaborn."
I am not my name.
"No, Seaborn." Your smile softens. "As in born of the sea."
I am not my name. I am Sam Still and Safe, harbour side, the ebb and flow of the current, lazy against my hand. No boat. No ship either. No flag to sail under. I have run aground.
"No U. One E. Hey, never mind. I'll...never mind."
Then the wave comes.
I am my name. No U, one E.
You switch the phone off and turn your smile on me again.
I can't do anything but gaze back and stand. Damply, dripping on the polished wood floor. Lisa's floor, as you move closer.
I think of the seventh wave, which is always the biggest. The breaker that turns to foam as it rises against the shore. And when it falls, leaves nothing but sand.
You are the seventh wave, you are the breaker and you leave nothing.
I have been rooted to the spot since we got here. In a moment I will be carried away. There is no question about that. I will hold on to driftwood, try to keep my head above water but I will be carried away.
You are the wave and you are driftwood.
"We're going to change the world, Sam. You and me."
"I help corporations buy broken down oil tankers."
"Forget that. This is the...this is real."
But I need to establish, to my own satisfaction, what is real and what is not.
I touch your face. Just a fingertip touch on won't-stop- talking lips, but it is enough to know. You are as insubstantial as earth, as unbreakable as water.
Me and you.
We haven't kissed since navigation failed, steering failed. When I ran aground I had only myself to blame and we haven't kissed since then.
We haven't kissed.
The polished wood floor is turning fluid under our feet and I am forgetting the two focussed points of darkness I see when I meet Lisa's questioning gaze. I am remembering the sparkle of once followed star paths.
The kiss, when it comes, tastes of rain. It is moistened by tears, cut short by laughter.
You are the North Star and I am a born sailor. I have no vessel. No flag to sail under. So I will stowaway at first then take the wheel. You are the wave but I will see us safely to harbour.
You are the wave and you are the harbour.
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