The lighthouse had stood there since before he was born. At low jagged rocks protruding from the dark sand on the coast sticking up to low clouds driven by salty wind from the sea. Its reflector flashed cold waves with golden light. There, where it shined, the wild element did not seem so coldly bottomless. He always found a kind of solace in that color. He liked to set up his hands to the large reflector watching how the goldness wraps his fingers, palms and wrists ... However, lately it seemed that the light was fading. It was losing its power. It was cold, weak, lifeless and soulless. The reflector often flickered and went out completely for a while.
Again, he stood in front of the broken window at the top of the tower with the light behind him and let the blowing wind to ruffle his hair. With closed eyes, breathing-in the scent of the sea and the wet sand on the shore beneath, the dust deposited on the massive beams under round-pointed roof, the old wood, the wet plaster and the pigeons hiding there from the approaching storm. Far in the darkening horizon a bolt of lightning pierced the sky. It shone so strongly that for one brief moment the darkness of closed eyelids turned into a red curtain. He blinked slowly and breathed as he looked at the sky. It was hard to tell where the heavens billowing with water-soaked clouds ended and where surging sea levels flogged under stronger and stronger wind.
It seemed that the scene accurately reflected his state of mind. The heaving and mutinous emptiness. He could not find a single idea which would give him the feeling that he was alive. He was drowning in that indistinct rupture of two voids and his breath was shallow. The spotlight behind him, which until now was warming up his back, weakened. Repeatedly it had been happening for a long time but nobody has yet come to repair it. Maybe this whole lighthouse was long forgotten and not needed at all. Therefore it only mildewed and decayed. Just as he did. He, the only one who still remained at that place. He did not know exactly why. He felt like that place understood him. Quietly accepts his presence, absorbing each other's existence, and then projects it with its light into the sea. And the sea grinds and crushes it with the rush of water and waves, so that it is eventually swallowed up by its black depths.
She was sitting, surrounded by dirty sea foam; blackish grains of sand sticking to her white wet skin, breasts trembling under heavy sobs. Eyes staring directly under her - at the border where the edges of waves could reach to. And that limit was extending with every new foaming torrent of water. The next wave hit the girl brutally in the face. She swayed a little, fitfully took a deep breath and with slender hands ran in soaked golden hair and in painful spasms seizing her whole naked body she shouted out a long cry of enormous pain, misery and despair facing another wall of icy water.
He stared at that scene and was unable to breathe. He choked. It hurt. The storm in his head was now casting lightnings and with thunders stirred him up back to life. He forced himself to suck freezing air into lungs. Heart beat fast and its swift punches inside the chest forced him to act.
The tide was in. The water was rising. Storm supplied waves with wild power to destroy and kill. The strength of wet masses carried her out of the sand and did not let her sit any farther. She did not resist. She closed her eyes and let the stream to mill her, she breathed out resignedly and let her body to instinctively gasp for an air and suck salty wet blackness into lungs.
The darkness around her spread like an ink soaking to paper. Pain. Silence. Calmness. Bane. Satisfaction. Pain. The end. Pain.
Like a wax-shell two hands shattered icy shadows around her. Tightly clenched around her waist and breasts - so white and shining in the surrounding darkness - and began to pull her up. Up.
When his head was again above the heaving surface, he gasped for air. Diving into the depths exhausted him; her body weighed him down and pulled him back. Her blond hair sticked with his face so that he almost didn’t see. Since he had not bothered to undress, his now wet clothing restrained his motion. He had to get to the shore. He had to make her to breathe.
The first impression was great coldness and intense heat lashing to her naked skin from the left at the same time. Then a faint smell of old wood flashed through her mind, dust and like-to-known moist warm unknowness. Pounding of big raindrops on glass and whistling of wind in broken window frames broke through the emptiness soon, too.
She was becoming aware of herself. Now she lay on her left side and through closed eyelids felt bright glow. Was she dead? She would not feel anything then. And she was so cold! She tried to raise her hand and shield her face to safely open her eyes facing the unknown source of strong light but she felt too weak. Palm limply slid over her chest onto dusty boards. She moaned.
Steps were slowly approaching. The floor softly creaked. According to the sound it was clear that those feet were bare. No hard stomping shoes. Soft footprints were with every second closer and closer to the girl's back. She still kept eyes firmly closed. She knew that if she opened them now to the light, whatever it was, it would blind her. Someone stopped next to her.
"Have you came from the sea?"
"It seemed like you've... Are you..."
"You silly." She looked out from dirty window at the shore and pulled her hands closer to body. "Thanks," she said.
"I could not have let you do it."
She turned her head towards him with a short sad smile. She said: "I meant the sweater." She tugged the fabric. "You must be cold."
"That's okay. I'm fine." He crossed his arms on his chest and clenched his teeth, so that she could not hear them chattering.
She stood up. Sweater on her petite body looked like a huge baggy crumpled piece of sheet. Sleeves, which had been long enough even before it, after the dip in sea stretched and now they reached just little above her knees. Hemline ended in middle of her calf. She walked barefoot to his naked figure in the shadows by small steps. She grabbed his hand and pulled him firmly to her. Her fingers were still icy cold, but her palm warmed on his skin like hot coal.
"Come here." Without stopping looking into his eyes, going backwards she walked him farther into the light of heating reflector. He was naked, too. Wet shoes and pants still had been dried draped over the hot metal casing of beacon lamp. Sudden temperature change, despite all his efforts, made his whole body trembling. She pulled the sweater up to her chin, and in that very moment he suddenly felt like if the beacon light started shining with new energy just to uncover her nakedness more. Without completely stripping her baggy top she trapped the boy in itchy wool with her. They were now so close that their bodies touched. He felt his chest pressed against her small breasts and nipples hardened by cold. Her heartbeat and her breathing were changing rhythms rapidly. He felt like dazed. He stared into her eyes and in strong glow tried to discern their dim color. In his head were whirled tornado of thoughts, none of which he could grasp. It was the same as if he was not thinking at anything at all. All he sensed was her figure pressed against his, her eyes burning through his own and her lips slightly parted to facilitate accelerated breathing to her lungs. He stood petrified.
"Oh, c’mon," she smiled. "You surely have seen naked woman before!"
Under the wool she took his hands and placed them against small of her back. She hugged him and leaned her head with still wet hair on his shoulder. She shook as if she settled on a pillow. Whirlpool of ideas in his head disappeared and the only feeling fulfilling his entire being was, despite the slowly receding cold and dirt all around, comfort and ease. He breathed out. He turned his face with a slow deep breathing in and buried it in her golden hair. It smelled of sea and sand. The heat of the reflector intensified once again.
"Thanks," he said and hugged her a little tighter. Her hair tickled and warmed on his face and he felt pleasantly tired.
"For what?" Her voice was sleepy as well and the question sounded more like purr.
"Well ..." In tight embrace he stroke her with one hand on her back. She flinched a little but tension eased right after and she submitted her whole weight into his arms. "For everything... for you."
"I should be not by now," she said. "But you prevented to… that."
He eased his grip a little, so that they could look at each other. In his sad eyes she felt unspoken answer.
"You..." She stroked his cheek because she saw something familiar in his face. Those almost invisible wrinkles around glass-like eyes and tightly clenched pale lips. She used to see that look in every mirror's reflection. "Why would you?"
"It's strange." He swerved his look away from her damp reproachful eyes and looked around the circular room. "I have been coming here every day for several years and this lighthouse has never lived so much as it does today. And yet everything is still so deafly empty. "
"We are here," she said.
"... And we do not belong here, although we are supposed to be here."
They looked silently at each other. Mouths so close that they could feel warm breaths of each other on their lips. The reflector still radiated stronger and stronger bright gold-full light on their pressing bodies. Nothing have had changed about the lighthouse until that moment. It still dilapidated, disintegrated, smelled of damp plaster and moldering wood and dust. Empty like a medieval castle ruins. But not for those two. Floorboards around as if called them to lie down under the friendly protection of old walls, the wind howling in broken windows changed in Melusine’s plaintive vocals and raindrops accompanied her on panes of glass with their drumming.
"I'm scared," she said, suddenly coiled swiftly again in his arms and hid her face so that he couldn’t see her tears.
"Do not worry," he whispered in her ear and stroked her hair. He did not know how to name it, but the fear was strangling them both. "You're safe here."
"I'm not afraid of the place here. What I feel now - that scares me," she explained, trying to suppress tears. "I do not understand it."
She dug her nails into his skin as if she was afraid that he would slip her out. "Everything seems so..."
"As it happened a long time ago?" He expressed his impression. "Like if all this had once set in motion and all our lifetime we have just been reaching to this moment?"
She held her breath.
"Yes," she whispered wiping her tears with their sweater. "Before I came, I used to have a dream."
"What dream?" He asked with his eyes closed and beside her soft voice he perceived only the warmth flowing over his body.
"A dream which have haunted me for a long time. I saw myself lying here on the floor. This sweater was being dried here on this reflector. The smell of wet warmed wool eventually woke me up. And there was a man. Well, actually there he was not," she said and she feared that it would sound absurdly to him and that he would not understand, "but he was there. I knew he would be there, you know? "
He felt that once again she began shaking. He stroked her with fingers over the fine hairs on back of her neck and kissed her. He did not know why he had done it. His mind was distant to reality and old forgotten dreams completely overwhelmed his soul.
Gentle pressing lips on the top of her head calmed her down. He felt how she happily smiled and her body eased and softened again in his embrace.
He grunted, as he understood what she had meant.
"I did not know him, but as there he was, I saw his soul, and he saw mine, so we merged together. It was beautiful." He still felt her smile. "And it smelled like this sweater," she said and sniffed it.
"When I watched you lying there naked and even in that despair and pain so lovely, it was clear to me that all this here had been built just for that one moment. I have always looked for you in the lighthouse, but I never saw you, so it has been unreal and empty here. "
"Just as I did not see the man," she said thoughtfully. "I may have been created so that he could be absent in me, then rise to existence."
"Not until today... I guess that is why I have been coming here all the time," he continued in his thoughts. "Waited for formation of reality. For you here. "
"This empty lighthouse ..."
"It is like my life," they both said at the same time.
Electrical hum intensified.
"I do not know what it is either. This feeling, this certainty..." wrinkles appeared on his forehead as he struggled to find a suitable name. "... of determination? But..." he whispered after a moment of silence toward her little earlobe. She could feel his breath shortening and accelerating, when trying to understand the unfamiliar emotions. "I feel that it is okay."
"Yes." She smiled again, shook her head on his shoulder, smelled his fragrance and kissed him on the neck. "Now everything is as it should be."
"I am thirsty," she sighed.
"Wait." He wanted to let her, break away from the common clothe and go for his backpack lying under broken window on opposite side. It seemed as if that movement scared the hell out of her. Tearful eyes opened wide, her nails dug into his back and hugged him even tighter, as would be binding him to her. First he sizzled with pain but then he soothingly stroked her cheek and wiped a tear rolling down towards fear-gripped trembling lips. He lightly touched them when moving. Under touch of his fingers grip eased and wet bright lips kissed his salty damp hand.
"Do not leave me!" Her voice broke in despair and fear.
"It would be just for a moment," he tried to soothe her. "I am going only over there just under the window."
"Do not leave me!" She burst into another sobbing cry.
"Shh," he soothed, stroking her hair. "I'm not going anywhere, okay?"
"Are you staying here?" She managed to put between two gasps. "You stay with me?"
"I stay," he said simply but pressed her body to his so tightly that she could feel on her chest his heart beat next to her own. "I stay with you."
She took his face in her hands and with lips sprinkled with tears kissed him deeply. In that simple gesture was all her pain, all the grief and all the desire for the ungraspable which now seemed so own and real.
"Love me," she whispered with parted lips and downcast eyes. Her body was imprisoned along with his in coarse wool exposed in even increasing glare blazing with new vigor.
For a second he said nothing, ran with fingers in her hair on top of head and gently pulled them so she turned her gaze on him. When she moved her lips resignedly parted even more and he, instead of answer, fervently kissed them.
That night the lighthouse reflector shone with sharp strong light until old device flickered for last time and then faded forever. It extincted in pompous show of its supreme majesty and beauty.
Cold waves in regular intervals crashed and shattered into green-grey foam clinging on alluvial algae-covered shore of black sand. The sun lazily and heavily, like it could pluck off and fall back down into the depths of the ocean in any second, climbed the pale sky blurred with tattered veil of clouds. The whole world looked tired and like if it was being reborn from night repeatedly raped by storm.
Sunrays went through sharp remnants of glass in window frames and touched old dusty floor where they continued with waking day slowly shifting up until they revealed from gloom of cold room his naked body covered with woolen sweater.
He slowly opened eyes.
His soul was not willing to give him any other feeling but cruel sting curving every muscle and causing tears. With painful screaming aimlessly moved his hand over the rough floor to place where she fell tired asleep side-by-side with him last night. Instead of soft breasts in his hand he found only dust mixed with pigeons' little feathers.
Those who would walk that morning on the seashore's sand, those could fallow footprints trailed from lighthouse’s stone steps along the line of waves, which gradually faded until they finally disappeared. It was impossible to say whether the waves washed them away or if they resignedly walked into the sea.
The old lighthouse might still be standing there. Or maybe it fell into the water where parts of its ruins devoutly dwells at the bottom next to broken body of its loyal friend long time ago.