Annie looked beautiful when we first landed in the Caribbean for our honeymoon. We did nothing but eat and drink, and relax in the sun. I had worked 80 hour weeks back home, this was heaven.
We went snorkeling in the afternoon to see glowing yellow and orange striped fish, in the aqua water. The only decision we had been what to order at the swim-up bar in the pool, a lime drenched mojito or a sweet mai thai served with a wedge of pineapple and a fake red cherry.
Dinner was late and I ordered a bottle of champagne and we ate roasted vegetables, chicken with spices and loaves of thick, crusty bread. There was dancing so we decided to join other people. Annie wore a bright flowered dress and soon after Annie suggested we go for a swim, we both loved water, especially Annie. We raced into the water, holding hands.
I admit I wasn’t as good as a swimmer as she was, I loved watching her as she laughed and I could see her head, like the flash of an automatic camera, her blond hair in the warm waves, happy she was having fun.
After about twenty minutes I called to her to come back in, I was getting tired of waiting and started yelling for her to come back, I still heard her laughter but it wasn’t funny anymore to me. “Annie, come in,” I shouted as I was approaching the shore.
As I sat on the sand, I saw other tourists looking puzzled and they pointed first to me, then to Annie. The tide was getting rough. I kept yelling over to her but she would wave and keep going.
I talked to the people on the shore and told them my story. Someone went inside for help, I was getting nervous. The manager offered the use of his own boat and lifeguard. I knew Annie would be mad but I was so worried that they raced into the water on their boat, if she ran into trouble or was possibly sick.
I sat on the beach, like a statue, rocking back and forth. I could not stop crying. Someone offered a blanket, another endless cups of strong black coffee. I saw the coast guard and his team looking with flood lights. A whole day went by. Finally, the coast guard said they would have to end the search. Someone had called the police as well as emergency vehicles. I was so weak from crying and not sleeping, I could barely speak.
“I’m sorry Sir, there is no body in that water.” We searched everywhere, scuba divers with advanced equipment came and we found nothing. She was not on the property at all, last night we did not let anyone in or out of our community and she definitely is not in the water. I’m so sorry, Sir.”said the head of police.
Finally, I let out a blood curdling scream, “she’s out there, you have to find her” but they shook their heads firmly. Later, everyone walked me to our room and the manager unlocked the door. I looked around, inside, there was not a single item of Annie’s, not her clothing, her make up, her tooth-brush, nothing of hers was there. I saw them look at each other, frowning.
“What did you do to her?” I screamed to the hotel and the police. She WAS here, ask anyone, at dinner, at the scuba diving lessons.” They started to cuff my hands.
“We did, Sir, we did that last night, there never was anyone with you named Annie, you arrived alone checked into this room alone and stayed by yourself. We even called the airlines and you were flying alone there was not an Ann or Annie on the flight.”
I fought with them, I told them she HAD been here but they insisted on taking me to the hospital to get checked out. “But what about Annie? I sobbed. “Perhaps she is waiting for you at the hospital” one police offer said, they gave me a shot and I let them take me, to see Annie, so that they would believe me.
I’m still at a hospital, a different one. Here they also said Annie was not real, over and over again. They call me delusional but even now, after all these months I know that Annie had been with me, for real, even if she had only been in my mind.
That counts, right?
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia