I remember the night air was unusually still, not the usual wind pumping down the mountain, just a softness that wrapped itself around us. It was almost like the city didn’t want us to leave. The casual wooden table had been worn smooth, almost silky, from the touch of hundreds of diners. But I found myself picking at a loose splinter; focusing my attention on this detail allowed me to blot out the reality of the night. Around us voices of many tribes mingled under the deep African sky, laughter sometimes bouncing toward us. The aroma from the restaurant’s open-air kitchen filtered its spicy way between the tables and then mingled with the ocean air. Even the waves were calm in the small harbor, slapping a rhythmical tune, marking the hours before the inevitable happened.
For months I had reminded myself to drink in every detail of this exquisite place; the ring of mountains forever circling us in a strong embrace, the icy blue oceans, the fragrant vineyards, the pure white beaches. We had lived our lives here; met on the steps of the University, married in a vineyard, had two children, all of us raised in this idyllic and brutal place.
I remember we had decided that after all the farewell parties, the countless ‘good bye’ lunches, the lingering tear-filled hugs, the gifts, photographs, we would spend our last night alone – just the 4 of us – trying to say good bye to the only place we belonged. To leave this gorgeous, crazy, cruel country to start all over again – that is what I remember…………………..