He was driving his Combi from Cape Town to Durban; slowly, before joining the army to serve his compulsory stint of military service. We met on the beach during my family’s annual four-week holiday in Kei Mouth, I was seventeen.
His name was Lex and he loved music above all else. I’d never met such a perfect human being; we sat at the fire at night, him strumming his guitar while I drew pencil sketches of his feet. We walked miles and miles of shelly paths, collected wild flowers and – once – found the dried bones of a fish’s spine, which he made into a necklace for me.
We swam together and lay on our tummies on the rocks to dry; he licked my hand one day and said he wanted to know if the sea salt tasted the same as it did on his own skin. He brushed my hair dry and piggy-backed me over thorns. He said Cindy was the most beautiful name he’d ever heard.
When the holiday ended he said he couldn’t face being without me, he made me promise to write every day and vowed to do the same.
A week after our return home, there was a letter in our mailbox; I couldn’t contain my excitement and opened it in our driveway. It said:
I’m missing you so much…I just can’t get the memory of all our beautiful moments in Margate out of my mind…
I wonder how many letters he put into wrongly addressed envelopes.