“Dumb ole girl, it’s just the ocean”. What’s the matter, you never seen the ocean?” He laughed at me and stood there defiantly staring……Wicked boy….. ” Hey, what’s with your hair anyway, it’s looking like a big ole wad of cotton candy”, he laughed at me even harder. “Bet I can beat you to the water… bet I can make a bigger splash too…bet I can beat you out to the buoy”. Then he let out a snicker and waited for me to make the next move. ” What a little shit”, I thought.
No, I had never seen the ocean. Yes- the salt air was making my hair look like a rats nest. Yes- I was just a girl, but I’d be damned if I’d let him beat me to the water or make a bigger splash, much less swim faster out to the clanging bell bouncing in time to the tide.It’s just… well, It’s just that my feet seemed to be mired in concrete, rather than in the sand, and I couldn’t move.
“What a stupid dress you have on. Don’t ya know to put on a bathing suit? This is the beach not some ole Sunday school…and what’s with the shoes… Shiny white ones at that…Sheese,don’t girls know nothin’ bout going bare footed.”, he shook his head in amazement……. “This idiot was really starting to wear on my nerves…”
And my parents thought this was going to be a fun vacation. “You’ll have a great time being near the ocean”, my Dad said. Mother, being more sentimental, made some comment about falling in love with my Dad the first time they met, standing along the seashore watching the waves. How lame…Love at first sight…Love, well that was gross enough…but at “first sight”, I mean, REALLY…. Shaking my head to unstick my eyes that were rolling in disbelief, I turned to get a better look at the shrimpy wannabe beach bum standing next to me. Who’d he think he was anyway? I had a good two inches on him, the little freckle faced, ginger headed twerp. I could take him, if I could get my feet to move.
“Bet you’re chicken to eat a raw oyster…..Bet you don’t know how to put a chuck of squid on a hook for bait… Bet you don’t know how to tie a chicken neck to a string tight enough to reel in a crab….Bet you don’t know nothin’ bout nothin.” “You’re just a girl, You’re just a girl” he starting almost singing like it was a lyric on the radio…. I’d punch him if I knew I could get away with it…
Just about then he took off running…it being unexpected, I was left standing, slowly sinking deeper, with the sand now capping the tops of my Mary Janes. Gosh, I thought, he was really fast and when he hit the water it was with a big splash, that ( I had to admit ) was pretty damn impressive. Then he started swimming, smooth and strong, for such a little shit. Deeply tanned arm over arm, cutting thru the white caps, taming them into submission. I was mesmerized, he made it look so easy.
Maybe tomorrow, yea, that’s it. Tomorrow I’d put on my bathing suit and come back down to the waters edge. I’d tie back my hair with a scrunchy and for sure I’d be barefooted. I’d show him, yep, I’d show him good..I could swim pretty damn fast and that buoy wasn’t all that far, no not at all…Yep, tomorrow, I’d show him, .. I’d be back..
I’ll come early so not to miss him.. and if he doesn’t show tomorrow, well then, I’ll just come and wait the next day and the next and then the day after that if necessary…..I know I’ll be back….I wonder when he will be….
Thinking Ten: Weekend Canvas