I invited her back to the boat for dinner on the water. Some wine, some music, the sound of the gentle tide lapping against the swim platform as we sat on the aft deck with the sunset as our backdrop.

All of the tranquil beauty only enhanced hers as she sat across from me. We talked about life on the water, life on land, the dreams of replacing the latter with the former on a more permanent basis. She took in the tales of the few adventures I have had and seemed sincerely intrigued.

We moved on to talking about mutual friends, past and present, what brought her to the marina that day, and if she had anywhere to rush off to. She enjoyed the food on the boat more than what the restaurant could conjure up, to which I said my thank yous. It wasn’t often I invited guests back to the Sea Change. It was even rarer they had been nearly as exotically beautiful as she was. She blushed and passed her wine glass to me for a refill of red.

I make my way down to the galley to uncork a fresh bottle, which gave me the excuse I need to steal away. The aroma of her suntan lotion had been fighting to take me away into a day dream of child hood memories of older girls, the beach, and the days of innocence long gone. The Hawaiian Tropic coconut oil is a smell I will never forget and always associated with Connie Roberts.

She was fifteen the summer I turned twelve; just coming to the realization that girls were actually good to have around as she was just coming into her own realization that her forming sexuality could be a powerful weapon to use against the lesser sex.

Connie’s family were friends with ours and we routinely took out boats to the lake together for picnics and a day out on the water. She was naturally flirty, but she made a habit of toning it down when we were all together. As a boy with all of the experience of my twelve years, nothing frustrated me more and of course I had no idea what to make of it. But that smell… her Hawaiian Tropic coconut oil made it all tolerable. It’s those memories that come rushing back now and then, especially there on the water at a marina with such a busy younger crowd with their ski boats and water craft.

It’s those memories that were doing their best to make me seem somewhere else as she spoke of her dreams, desires, and what the night still had in store. If she hadn’t wanted that fresh glass of red, I might have just disappeared into those day dreams, leaving her alone there with the sunset for who knows how long. Her request actually saved me from making a fool of myself. Thank the gods she saved me.

Not that there haven’t been a fair share of women I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying that smelled equally as amazing, but she was different. She was an island girl; a real island girl. Her exotic brown skin, dark hair, deep eyes, and her aroma. She might be the reason so few had been there, on the Sea Change. Maybe none of the past deserved the experience. Maybe I didn’t. Not until then. Not until her.