Dele had always been a sweet lover. From surprise gifts to elegant dates. He just knew how to make me feel like the luckiest lady on earth. This afternoon, we had a picnic at the Coconut Beach in Lagos, and God, it was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. Coconut Beach is located in the coastal town of Badagry, west of Lagos State in Nigeria. It is about twenty miles towards the border of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. The sky’s horizon was knitted with silver threads that marked the spot where the sun kissed the water. The cyan-blue sea moved like an acrobat, bending its graceful waves to the opera of high-pitched ducks and seagulls. It rippled with fervor, throwing up joyful fishes and gulping them down again. Small, copper-streaked dolphins flipped like coins to the pulse of the sea’s heartbeat.

The beach looked like it was dipped in a tub of hot chocolate. Brown and steamy. Yet, it was cool to touch. I saw some kids building sand castles on it, while others simply played with balloons at the edge of the water. A guitarist stood on a pile of smooth stones, singing and playing his instrument to the tune of the roaring winds. The kids clapped and danced as tenor blended with the icy air. Their parents swayed to the rhythm of the notes. The music was divine – Beethoven in disguise.I sat on the beach, leaned into Dele’s bronze chest, and enjoyed the way the sea sprayed its foamy mist on my face. Sometimes, the warm water teased our toes and ran back into hiding. The air moved with finesse, tantalizing our nostrils with its rich blend of salt and spices. Above us, the clouds looked like transparent curtains of silk sprawled across a blue painting. We were surrounded by nature’s art.

At the other side of the beach, everything seemed to swirl in colors. Sun-drenched palm trees shone like emeralds against the clear blue sky. The stones licked up the sun’s rays and twinkled like crystals. Seaweeds dazzled with full intensity. Even the sand appeared golden. I snuggled closer to Dele and sighed in content. And for a moment, it felt like the skyline was smiling down at us in its usual white, pristine way.

We stayed there till evening, till the sun faded from orange to crimson red. The kids had already left, but some adults remained. Perhaps they were like us – lovers on a beach, drinking the colors of a departing sun. Or perhaps they were just curious people who wanted to see how the sky morphed into black and welcomed the wintry moon. Or how the waves crashed violently at night and bathed the glittering seashells. The guitarist still played his guitar, but this time, it was a low-pitched tune. The type that made people drowsy. After some minutes, I started to drift between being awake and being asleep. As the night creeped in, crisp winds began to move like fairies, fluttering their wings to the song of the trees. Slowly, the cyan-blue sea blended into a thick blanket of scarlet, and then into black, mirroring the sky above.

Overcomer Ibiteye is a Nigerian poet, writer and an alumnus of the SprinNG Writing Fellowship. Her works have appeared in several anthologies including the Litfest anthology, Xpressit anthology and the Shuzia anthology. She was also shortlisted for the African Writers Awards 2021.