The tropical morning sun was cheery and bright and the warmth was caressing both our body and thoughts. We were madly and deeply in love.  How funny that you tried so hard not to show your feeling around my family. It had been two days since we arrived in my home town and it was very hard for you not to hold my hand, not to play with my fingers and caress the edges of my long finger nails. I remembered the very first time you did it you asked me:

“Are these nails real or fake?” What a silly question……

“Of course they are real, they are my pride and joy,” I answered softly. Playfully you flicked the red amber coloured nail gently as to confirm that they were genuine.

“Be careful will you? I don’t want you to break them!” You lifted your eyes from my hands and looked at me on the face.

“What kind of punishment will you give me if I break it? I’m willing to do anything for you….” With these words you pulled me closer.

The chartered car had arrived and the driver dusted the car interior while he was waiting for both of us to get ready. When I was putting my shoes on, my mother came to see if we were ready and I couldn’t believe it when she told me that my three younger siblings would come along with us.

“Hurry up you three!” My mother called out and then she said to me: “Your brother and sisters want to see the beach. I hope you don’t mind. Just watch them… don’t let them to go in deep water.” She reminded me.

Your understanding of our language was absolutely zero, so you asked me what my mum was talking about. After I told you, you had a disbelief look in your eyes. Our chance of being alone together vanished.

“Who’s watching who?” you whispered into my ears. I laughed as I thought it was very funny.

Slowly the car was approaching a busy city market.  Along the street there was endless display of tropical fruits.

“Hey, aren’t they pineapples?” you asked, “Let’s stop and get some. You told me that pineapples here were very sweet.”

So the car stopped and both of us got out of the car. We walked to one biggest stall. I picked one of the pineapples and brought it close to my nose.

“What are you doing?” You asked me in surprise.

“I’m trying to smell it to see if it is ripe.”

“What? How strange…. Is that how you tell that they are good?” You picked one and tried to do the same. “Never smell a pineapple this sweet before, and they aren’t this colour, all of them are green.”

After I did some bargaining with the fruit vendor, I bought a dozen of those big orange prickly fruits.

The beautiful lagoon was secluded and quiet. The turquoise water was shimmering brightly against the sunlight. My three younger siblings squealed with delight to see the beach. The silence was interrupted by the murmuring whisper of the coconut leaves that were blown gently by the ocean win. Now and then we could hear the screams of the seagulls from afar. Both of us preferred not to swim in the lagoon as there was no fresh water to rinse. I hated the feeling of sticky salty water on my body. We walked hand in hand while watching my younger brother and sisters merrily playing and splashing water to each other. Now and then you tried to steal a little kiss down my cheek.

The driver who was also the owner of the rented car was well known to me as we hired him many times before when we needed another car. We chatted for awhile and to my surprise he could talk reasonable English. I was glad that you could talk to someone else other than me in the last two days. My mother did not speak English and my father’s knowledge of the language was limited. All of sudden the young driver said to me that he would watch the kids so that you and me had a private moment. I thanked him for the understanding.

With your arm around my shoulder, we walked towards a sand dune. The thick white sand made walking slow and heavy.

“Take you shoes off,” you said to me. “Let’s go around the dune out of sight.”

Just before we turned around the corner of the hilly path, I glanced back to see my brother and sisters. They hardly noticed that we were not there anymore. I could hear their happy voice.

The white sand was battered by the heat of tropical the sun and the heat started to hurt my bare feet.  Gentle ocean breeze enhanced the fresh smell of salty ocean fragrance. With our fingers entwined, we laboriously climbed the thick sand of the dune. Meanwhile, two balls of inflorescence Spinifex flowers were blown by the tender wind. They seemed to tantalizingly rolling together. Sometimes, they were apart, one rolling after the other. Other times they were playfully attached.

You broke the silence by saying that we were exactly looked like those two rolling balls of Spinifex grass. We were two people in love exploring the lonely white sand dunes of the Indian Ocean……….”

First love was the sweetest………….