The lake was as calm today as it was then, but there were changes. New houses, the old pier had rotted and now all that remained were two or three poles coming out of the water, the bushes and trees that looked much taller and the things that looked much shorter. The cliff looked the same, and I wanted to scream once again, to hear if the echo was still there, but the years and the people I came with intimidated me. It was better to help with the luggage.
``Weeping willows,'' Kimberly said, pointing at the big, distant trees by the lake. ``I always loved them.''
``They are pretty.''
``A tree, weeping? There are few things in nature more poetic.'' I knew she would write a poem about them later and read to me in bed. The willows fell over the lake, the long branches touching its surface.
``Come, let me show you the rest of the place.''
The night was falling and we all had beers in our hands, talking and laughing. Kimberly was happy. Everybody talked until the after midnight, when we started to get up and leave to our rooms, tired from the trip.
Kimberly hugged me from behind while I changed my clothes. ``I'm tired,'' I said. ``I'll do everything, just lie down.'' I lay, and she kissed me, going down on my neck, breasts, navel. ``Just close your eyes.'' I did, intermixing my drowsiness, drunkenness and the pleasant feeling of her tongue in my pussy.
The morning was clear and bright, but Kimberly was not by my side. She was up, always an early riser. I checked the clock, it was past ten.
Almost everybody was up, eating cereals or talking. It was so different from when I was a kid, when the kids would wake up before everybody else, quietly, to be able to explore the lake before anyone could tell us what we could and couldn't do.
Kimberly smiled at me. ``Good morning, sleeping beauty.''
By afternoon she asked me about the willow trees again. I remembered the boat; maybe it was still there, on the small cabin by the lake where we stored everything. I took her there and we found it, the wood pale and gray from the water and the years bygone.
Bill and Tim helped us to put it in the water. It was big enough for three or four people, but not this time. ``Row, Kim!''
We arrived by the willow trees quite tired. We glided under them, the dots of light filtered by the branches. Kimberly touched them, lightly, and moved towards me.
``We'll fall over.''
``No.'' She was by my side.
``They'll see us.''
``Good. Another thing to turn us on.''
Somehow the boat didn't flip. If it did, I wouldn't have noticed anyway.
The sun was setting, and I went alone to the shore. The tiny waves of the lake made low splashing sounds. There was no wind, few birds. It was all quiet, and I could do it again.
``Never mind them,'' I repeated to myself.
``Echo!'' I screamed, and the echo came back, with a ton of other shouts that the cliff and the lake kept all these years.