We stood on the balcony of our room while on vacation, looking across the street at the moonlit beach. There were people still about on the Promenade — not many, but it wasn’t deserted, not quite yet. Most of the people who were out were young. Couples in love, or couples who might be in love someday, or couples who weren’t couples but who were just hanging out because they weren’t couples with anybody else yet.
Along came a couple. Definitely a couple. I could tell, despite the fact that they were only in my sight for less than ten seconds. They were riding the same skateboard, him in back, her in front, their hands joined, their bodies leaning in unison. He was tall and lanky, she was tiny — probably the only way a couple could even fit on the same skateboard. But it was dark, and he realized that the skateboard was heading not for a smooth transition from street to sidewalk, but rather, right for a curb. So he slowed, but not slow enough, and stepped back, off the skateboard onto the street. But she didn’t know this was going to happen, so she was still on wheels and moving forward a lot faster.
They never let go, though. She held tight to his hands and he held tight to hers, and as the skateboard surged forward without him on it, she simply allowed herself to lean back, back, ever farther back, until he was supporting her by the hands as she stopped the skateboard but was lying backward at a forty-five degree angle. They hung there, the two of them, having narrowly avoided a crash. She gave out a scream, but it was a scream of delight, the scream of a girl on a thrill ride with a guy she loved, and he laughed, and then she laughed too. Then he kicked the skateboard up onto the sidewalk, they jumped on again, and with two kicks of his left foot, they were off again and out of my sight.
Through that whole thing, they never let go of each other’s hands.
This was four months ago. I hope they’re still holding hands, somewhere.