Crabs invaded the beach. They were many, turning the shore into a large red stain. It was strange, but they seemed to stop just before entering the water, as if they knew there were dangers beyond the foam line of the waves. Anyway, they walked in and swam into the bottom of the bay without much further hesitation. Every single one of those animals did the same thing as they stepped out of their homes in the inner side of the island, after having eaten all they could there. It was a sight to be seen and two humans were actually looking at it.
Behind some bushes, Christina and Neil were observing with fascination the event. They were just there for their holidays but had wanted to see the mass entry of the crabs into the oceans, as many biologists said it was one of the most beautiful events in nature. They were biologists themselves but worked mostly in labs so they didn’t have the chance to see much of the animal’s natural behavior.
Christina was the first one to stand up when it was all done, when every single one of the crabs had gone into the water. The beach was now deserted; only some leaves and branches soiling its pristine white color. She helped her husband up and took his hand as they walked in silence along the beach. The waves brought a nice unique sound to the scene that included a sunset and a nice afternoon breeze.
They stopped walking near the middle of the sand strip and sat down on the sand. The couple saw each other’s eyes and kissed, then hugged watching the sun disappearing on the horizon. They were happy to be there, finally resting and building a relationship that had always been put on hold because of their work.
On one hand, Christina worked in a cosmetics lab creating new lipsticks based on animals and plant life. Of course, she was against the killing of animals, so the company had agreed they would only buy the ones that were already going to be used for other purposes, such as fish. They used the scales and bones for the lab but the meat was packed and put into freezers for people to boy them in supermarkets.
Christina was not thrilled with her job. Her dream, ever since she was a little girl, had been to work in a zoo and care for many types of animals there. But after several interviews, trips and trials, she had not been selected in any zoo, no matter how small or wealthy. She just wasn’t needed anywhere until she found this cosmetic company and decided to work there for the money. They had recently stopped makeup trials with animals and she was happy about it as she had always been an advocate of animals rights.
Funny enough, that was the way she met Neil. He was a veterinarian in a small town and had come to the city for one of the many rallies that were held in order to get the government to make laws punishing openly acts of violence against animals, including many events that were considered “tradition” by many. The first time Christina saw him, she honestly didn’t think much of him. She always said it was because she was very focused on the rally but Neil thought it was because she just didn’t like him right away.
In a meeting for another rally, they were seated one next to the other and started talking casually about their pets. Being a veterinarian, Neil owned a farm and had lots of animals, inherited to him by his father who had recently passed away. Christina thought that was amazing, as she has always wanted to be around lots of different animals. She told him about her dream of becoming a zookeeper but how it was such a pointless fantasy for her, as she was never deemed “zoo material”.
Neil laughed at this and told her that he had always wanted to be a marine biologist but that his father really wanted someone to keep the farm going and he was his only son. For some reason, his parents had never wanted to have more children and now the responsibility of the farm had just been passed onto him. His dream of becoming a marine biologist died quickly but, seeing Christina’s face, he said he had fallen in love with life at the farm and with the animals and people he interacted with.
That day, they exchanged numbers and texted each other constantly. They didn’t date or anything. They just chatted about their passion for life and whatever was happening on their lives. This way of doing things lasted for one whole year. She always mentioned Neil to her friends but they didn’t believe he existed and the same happened with Neil. Many people that knew him thought he had invented Christina because he didn’t have any romantic prospects around him, even if many girls came up to him and asked him for a date or a kiss.
Their texting relationship was cut short when Neil announced he had been granted a scholarship to go and study in China. They had a very interesting program where he could learn a lot to keep helping farmers so he had decided to go. Christina was very sad by this but he assured her they would continue to text and so on, and it was true. One of the first things he did when arriving in Beijing, was getting a new phone and a data plan to chat with Christina every day.
One more year passed during which they both dated other people. Neil met Li Fa, a beautiful young woman that worked with horses in a farm owned by the university where he was studying. They dated and had a strong romantic and sexual relationship over the course of many months, practically until the day he had to come back home. Li Fa assured Neil that she really liked him but that she understood he had to go back and that, in any case, she would always be there for him. They stayed friends for the rest of their lives.
Christina dated two men, both very different guys in every single aspect of their being. Mark, the first one, was the gym kind. He loved himself a lot, which was good until it became annoying. Christina thought the relationship would only be about sex but, who would’ve known, the guy was a romantic and the few times he wasn’t training (God knows what for) or looking at himself in the mirror, he would buy her beautiful flowers, and cards and chocolates of every flavor.
To be honest, Christina never knew what he did for a living and she didn’t care much about it. Things ended because he wanted much more from her that she could give and she was a very career oriented woman. Having a boyfriend or anything like that was extremely high maintenance at the moment and she wasn’t into that.
The second one was Joe. Despite his name, he was a skinny guy whom she met on a cosmetics conference she had been sent to. They hit it off and dated for a couple months until she decided to end it. Not only it was becoming annoying that he only spoke about work, which he loved to do very often, but also she had noticed that he wasn’t as interested in her as he pretended to be. At the end, she just told him to get real and be who he was. Months later, she saw him kissing another guy on a street. Good for him.
When Neil came back, he decided to visit Christina and they had the best weekend to very good friends could have: they ate a lot, they went to a party, drank a lot of alcohol, then spoke about every single subject they could think of and, most importantly, they made each other laugh constantly. It was obvious for them something had awoken at the moment. Neil went back to his farm and Christina to her work, but what had begun had no way to stop. He would come back to the city every weekend to visit her and in a few months he asked her to marry him. She didn’t even say the word; she just kissed and hugged him.
The holiday in Hawaii was meant to celebrate their first year together and it was a success. They had walked together on a volcano slope; they had swum with the marine life and where now looking at the most beautiful sunset any of them had seen. They held hands watching the orange sun casting the last shadows of the day on their faces. When it was gone, they decided to go back to the hotel and just spent time there, talking, as they loved to do and eating to because they were both food lovers.
Christina and Neil were just in love, as people say. But they felt it was a lot more than just that. They felt connected, like actual partners in life and not just linked by romance or sex. They loved the term “twin souls” as it was not something uniquely romantic, also deeply social and emotional. But no matter how people called it, they sure liked it a lot.