It was just for one night. This torture was temporary.
She reminded herself of that, over and over, trying to lull herself to sleep.
It wasn’t working.
Who the hell could sleep comfortably on an air mattress anyway?
“Like sleeping on a cloud” the box had boasted.
More like sleeping on a deflated balloon.
She tried to roll over, and instead ended up doing an ungraceful flop onto the center of the thing.
Some vacation, right?
There are dangers to optimism.
There are dangers inherent in the word ‘yes.’
And when her mother had suggested it a few weeks ago, the words “It’ll be so relaxing” should’ve been a warning. Things that sound good on the surface, reader, are rarely what they seem. And ‘fun’ weekends in Florida with your Mom are rarely as advertised.
‘Fun’ weekends in Florida translate to being stuck in a tiny apartment with a pair of cranky old people who go to bed at nine o’clock, leaving you to bobble around on an air mattress like a cork in a puddle.
She grabbed her cell phone off the rocking chair by her makeshift bed. It was just after midnight, the bright white glow of the phone informed her. She’d been tossing around for damn near two hours.
What’s that they say about insanity? Trying the same thing over and over again, hoping for the same result?
With some significant effort, she hauled herself off of the quicksand pit of an air mattress, managing somehow not to fall on her face.
She glanced over at the big screen tv. Tempting, but not an option. She could hear the snores coming through the wall, sounding like the worst opera ever, but she wasn’t about to risk anything.
In a sudden moment of courage, she grabbed the keys off of the counter, slipped her cell phone into the liner of her bra and stepped into her flip-flops. Her mother, brave advocate of ‘fun’ though she was, wasn’t crazy about leaving the house at night, and would’ve been even less crazy about her doing it alone, but the loud snores attested to her lack of objection.
Down the elevator, out the metal gates and onto the beach. Slipping her feet out of the flip-flops, she abandoned them on the concrete lip of the stairs that led down to the sand. Her mother was always on the lookout for thieves, but as far as she was concerned, if anyone wanted her two-dollar old navy flip flops, they were welcome to them.
It would be nice to be alone for a while, actually, she thought, wriggling her toes in the cool sand.
The cousin they were staying with kept finding different ways to phrase the question ‘why don’t you have a boyfriend yet?’ – as though if it were spoken a different way, she might startle an answer out of her. It wasn’t working. And it was getting pretty grating.
Except she wasn’t alone, she realized. Some small distance off, a girl about her own age sat in the water. The waves concealed her from the waist down, but her unusual blonde hair was un-missable. So light it was almost white and long enough to trail all the way down her back and into the water, it gleamed silvery in the moonlight, the ends drifting on the waves behind her.
She was prepared to walk further down the beach, leaving this strange stranger to her own solitude, when the girl turned and smiled at her.
“Hey you,” she called. “Come here!”
Who could resist an invitation like that?
Hell, it was friendlier than most people had been to her on this trip so far. She made her way down to the water, stepping a few feet in, just next to the blonde stranger, so that the tide lapped at her calves.
Will provide the rest tomorrow….
It was just for one night
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