I proceed to clearing my skin off any traces of sand. I carefully trim my eyebrows and truly attempt to arrange my unruly, but freshly cleaned, hair. I search through the far pockets of my backpack and find some bronzer, some concealer, which I apply lightly. Then some perfume… Old actions that were repeated so many times but somehow now feel strange, almost ridiculous. Previous habits that have gradually been removed from my daily routine. Replaced by the embrace of my salty sun-kissed hair and skin. And by the negligence of insignificant brows or blemishes.
Now for clothes. I overlook the worn shorts, the bikinis and tank tops. I ignore the clean-enough-but-already-worn sundresses pile and pick a fresh, delicate, fancier dress I know he likes. Because tonight is date night. And I care. And I’m excited. We’re both a little unusually silent as we get ready for dinner. Glancing at each other subtly. Anticipating. Like it’s not just any other meal. Like we haven’t lived every minute of every day in each other’s presence, for the past two months. As if we looked forward to truly seeing each other.
In the middle of our adventure, we pause and make time for dates. Time in which we’re not planning our next move or looking for our next home. Simply enjoying each other. Simply conversing. Simply flirting. And even though I see him every day, on date nights I notice him differently. I see his gorgeous tan in a new light. The way it makes his eyes light up, as if replicating the colour of the ocean here. His relaxed face and smile remind me that we’re in paradise. And tonight I see him beyond the sand and sweat. I see him for more than his patience when I’m hungry and tired. And for more than his strength with the overload we carry around. I see him as the adventure partner I chose for this latest life chapter.