November 27, 2014

It wasn’t the most comfortable position in the world. As a matter of fact, the metal rod from the beach lounger was digging into her butt in a most unwelcome way. But that was kind of what you got when you sat three to a lounger.

Of course, she was sitting with her mother and grandmother, so the shoving was minimal. But perhaps these loungers weren’t meant for three.

It wasn’t as though there weren’t more of them – the beach was empty and there was a ton of stacked loungers by the boardwalk. But that would require action – you know, getting up and dragging the damn thing over the hot sand. Quite frankly, it was just easier to be uncomfortable.

And they only had one towel. And a lady would, of course, rather sit in discomfort than suffer the indignity of bare tush touching dirty public beach lounger.

She twisted around and carefully avoided knocking her Grandmother with her elbow.

“Gram, do you have enough room?” she asked. “Do you want me to scoot over a bit?”

“No, I’m fine,” Gram answered.

And she would be, right? It was, after all, her turn to lie on the thing while her daughter and granddaughter perched next to her, taking as small a corner of towel as possible.

Jenna turned her eyes back to the waves wooshing in front of her.

Ok. So it wasn’t the vacation she’d had in mind. Totally not the one she would have picked out for herself. But when her Mom suggested a family vacation, who was she to say no?

And she loved her Mother and Grandmother. Even if she did want her own lounger.

But it was the beach. And it was calm and beautiful.

Even if it was just a little too calm. Like, fall-asleep-in-the-sun-and-wake-up-scarlet calm.

And it wasn’t as though she had planned some grand adventure on her own and this had interrupted them. No. As far as plans went, this was kind of it. And those too lazy/broke to plan vacations for themselves….. well, they got stuck sharing loungers with their relatives because no one was motivated enough to go back upstairs and get another towel.

So, dutifully, Jenna let her eyes scan the waves and brought her mind back to the topic at hand, which appeared to be jellyfish and their various levels of poison-ness. Shudder.

Probably one of the top ten topics not to discuss at the beach. They were talking about something the size of a peanut, when suddenly their words faded into the background – a quiet bee-like buzz in the back of her mind, replaced by only one word: yum.

He walked across the beach and her eyes zoomed in on him, like some sort of obsessive camera lens.

And she couldn’t really find any other word sufficient to describe him. Yum. Just yum.

He was tall, with medium-dark brown hair – the perfectly floppy kind. You know,the kind that, when he’s talking to you, falls across his eyes and you just want to reach over and shove it back. The kind of hair you want to run your fingers through.

She couldn’t see his eyes, but she couldn’t pull her gaze away from his long, lean body. He was wearing a t-shirt and long blue swim shorts, but she was already imagining what he looked like without the shirt. And he was carrying a surfboard.

She hadn’t known surfing was a thing here – in this land of old people and beach front property and retirement home. But now she was really grateful that it was.

And she wasn’t disappointed as he lay the board on the ground, stripped off his shirt and lay back against the sand, stretching his arms above his head and tenting one knee over the other.

Don’t drool. Don’t drool. Don’t drool.

Perhaps it wasn’t the best mantra. But it worked for the moment.

This was, admittedly, highly unlike her. Well, not the liking part. She liked plenty. But she rarely (ok, never) got.

She didn’t hit on guys. She especially didn’t hit on random guys at the beach. And she didn’t hit on random guys on the beach in front of her Mom and Grandma.

Still, she casually got up and dusted the stray grains of sand off of her lap. Ok, maybe not-so-casually, but at least she tried for casual.

Letting her Mom and Grandma have the lounger, she decided, was the totally diplomatic thing to do. She could stand. Or walk. Or, you know, whatever.

Jenna walk-stumbled across the sand towards the water, still trying to look casual and failing. He’d settled quite a distance away, so it didn’t look like she was, well, stalking him. It just looked like she’d decided to get a closer view of the water. And that brought her closer to him, that was merely coincidental, wasn’t it?

She walked toward the water, admiring the view. Never had she been so grateful for jellyfish. They’d seen little bits of jellyfish scattered across the sand earlier that day. And if there were bits of jellyfish on the sand, you could guarantee there was a lot in the water. Which, Jenna assumed, was why surfer boy was not, in fact, surfing, but lounging casually on the beach, presumably working on his tan. Which was already pretty damn golden, by the way.

Finally, she stood close to the water, kind of kitty-corner behind him.

And now she had no fraggin’ clue what to do.

It wasn’t as though she made a regular thing of this. Hitting on someone was hard – and it was even harder to figure out how to do it in front of your Mom and Grandma without them figuring out you were doing it.

Jenna settled on some subtle (read: not subtle at all) sideways movement, stepping sideways across the sand, scuttling like a lost crab. She had inadvertantly chosen a bad hunting technique – if the prey doesn’t see you, it’s much less likely to run away. Not that he seemed likely to run away, lounging on the sand.

She took a few steps. And then a few steps more.

Jenna watched as the lifeguard stepped out of his booth and called out the guy, who sat about twenty feet away from the lifeguard station.

“Excuse me, sir, but you can’t….”

Damnit, the rest was lost in the crashing of the waves. Curses. Why couldn’t that stupid Shaun-White-wannabe of a lifeguard friggin’ enunciate?

And Jenna’s heart sank in the chest as surfer boy nodded at the lifeguards words, hopped up, casually picked up his surf board and walked down the beach.

“Stupid lifeguard. Don’t send the cute boy away.”

These words were muttered under her breath, and therefore had little effect.

But it was too late. Surf boy was gone, walking away from her.

She vaguely considered chasing after him. And there were few things worse than the weirdo sideways crab scuttle she’d done a few minutes ago. But she had a feeling that chasing a complete stranger down the beach was one of them.

She gave a resigned sigh and walked back to claim her tiny little corner of the lounger.

“Did you have a nice walk?” her mother asked.

“Yeah, Mom,” Jenna said. “Thanks.”

She vaguely considered chasing after him. And there were few things worse than the weirdo sideways crab scuttle she’d done a few minutes ago. But she had a feeling that chasing a complete stranger down the beach was one of them.

Sorry guys … It’s Thanksgiving and I’m currently being occupied by quiche. This is one I wrote a while back. Hope you like it. Will post the rest tomorrow. Also, hope it distracts you from the cold and snow just a little bit…


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