My Solo Adventure
by Krissie Flakes
Dreams of escape, rejuvenation, high romance and intrigue await all who experience The Caribbean. There is something about the islands, especially Jamaica that draws Europeans and North Americans out of their accustomed lives. It’s just not the climate and the golden sands, although that’s often the excuse. It’s the myth of freedom from all our inhibitions. Many people travel to the West Indies full of desires and fantasies mostly un-examined and frequently unnamed. They go like moths to a flame, drawn to some powerful image of Edenic beauty and innocence, and I was no different.
I decided last year to travel to Jamaica, because of a travel documentary I’d seen on television. I’d saved up to go, and my best friend was looking forward to making the journey with me. I wanted to go to Negril because it was rumored to be the most beautiful part of Jamaica, and I could barely wait. I wasn’t seeing anyone at the time and I was looking forward to getting away to offset my loneliness.
We were scheduled to leave in February, but my friend became hospitalized at the last minute, and couldn’t go. So, I ventured out alone with great trepidation to a land I’d never been to before, and it turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime.
It began on the plane. I drank rum punch and chatted non-stop with a very handsome seat-mate on his way to Jamaica to meet his girlfriend traveling from another city. We had a great time laughing and talking about our college days. He was shocked that I was traveling to Jamaica alone.
When we landed, it turned out that we were staying at the same hotel, and we happily grabbed a taxi together. I was impressed as soon as I left the airport. I had indeed arrived in paradise and I was excited.
After we arrived at the hotel, we parted ways and I wished him a wonderful time. Two hours later, when I left my room to go down for dinner, I was surprised to see him sitting alone in the lobby. When I approached him, I noticed a very sad look on his face and asked what was wrong. He handed me a telegram from his girlfriend, which read that she was unable to come because of a health emergency with her mother.
He explained that he had been sitting in the lobby for over an hour hoping to see me, because he didn’t know my last name. I invited him to join me for dinner and we ended up spending the next five days touring the island, playing tennis, swimming in the ocean, and genuinely enjoying each other.
On our last evening together, he told me he’d had a great time and that he was glad he’d met me. He also told me that if he wasn’t already in love with his girlfriend, he could fall in love with me. He said it jokingly, but my heart cracked with emotion, because I had definitely fallen for him.
The next day, we left on separate flights, and I chalked the experience up to a great time that would make a wonderful entry in my journal.
Three weeks later, my phone rang at work, and his voice came on the line.
“Guess what, “he said in a dreamy voice.
“What?” I replied with my heart in my mouth.
“I discovered that I don’t love my girlfriend anymore.”
“Oh?” I answered with my mouth hanging open. “Then who do you love?”
“I think I love you,” he said with a chuckle.
“Well, when you feel sure about what you feel, call me back, “I said with a laugh, and playfully hung up the phone.
He called right back. “OK, so I’m certain. Can we meet for dinner tonight, and I’ll prove it to you? “Of course we can!” I replied, trying to tone down the excitement in my voice. I laughed hysterically when I hung up the phone. I couldn’t believe it.
I had thought I’d never see him again, but Fate had stepped in.
That night, he sat across from me in my favorite restaurant and spoke quietly as he held my hand. As he stared into my eyes, he told me that he realized immediately when he got on the plane going home, that he had fallen in love with me. He explained that after he got home and did some soul searching, he decided that he wanted to be with me and only me.
Six months later, we were engaged and planning a wedding..