I’ve been reading some of my fellow blogger’s short stories (most recently one written by Lovely Curses ) and I felt inspired to take a crack at it. So here I am, 3:45 in the morning, posting my first fictional short story. Hopefully it won’t be my last!
Change of Plans
I walked out of the water with the waves crashing behind me and headed towards where I put my bag. There wasn’t much time left, which meant that I wasn’t going back into the ocean today. This made me more than a little sad. I decided to sit down on a clean-ish looking rock and jot a few thoughts down in my little notebook about my surroundings:
“My body is numb from swimming in the frigid water of the Pacific Ocean. The sound of the waves is steadily growing louder as the sets become bigger. When I look to my right I see a lightly populated stretch of sand that’s mostly covered by flaccid kites- the kind used for kite-surfing. In the same direction, not far off, is the tip of the coast. On the edge is a steep cliff topped with vegetation. About 45 degrees North of the coast is a single sail boat just kissing the horizon. A coast guard boat slices through the afternoon waves, clearly in a hurry.”
After I thoroughly captured the moment in my notebook I clicked the top of my plastic pen and tossed it back into my bag. I kept the little notebook in my hands. I took a glance at my wristwatch and sighed at the time. We only had forty minutes left until we needed to take a Lyft back to the airport.
As the sun was nearing the horizon, so too was our fate. By nightfall we would be on a plane flying back to the Sonoran Desert. No more ocean, no more salty smelling air, and no more delicious seafood to be had while watching sailboats return to the marina. This was it…
I looked over at my friends who were comfortably passed out in the sand next to me. Their skin was beginning to show the faint redness of what would later become a pretty gnarly sunburn, but they didn’t care. They were happy to be hanging out in paradise for the day. Their peeling skin (3-4 days from now) would be proof and remembrance of this trip. It was then that I had the idea. So what if we missed our flight? I mean…. You only live once, right?
I quickly searched my bag for my smart phone and opened the contacts folder. I scrolled down until I found the name I was looking for. I hesitated for brief moment, but not long enough to let doubt get the best of me. I called him. It rang five times before he picked up.
“Hey Michelle, it’s a surprise seeing your name light up on my phone! I haven’t heard from you in ages. Is everything okay?”
“Man, it’s good to hear your voice”, I blushed a little, “Everything’s fine, thanks! I’m calling you because, well… I’m in town with some friends.”
“No way! Really? How long have you been here? Never mind that- -I just got off work- -what are you guys doing? How long are you here for?”
“We’re trespassing on private property right now actually… we wandered over to this secluded beach owned by the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.” We both laughed in harmony, just the way we used to do.
“And how long–”
“We’re here until tomorrow, tomorrow night…” I lied through my teeth.
“So soon… I have an idea! I will swing by there on my way back from work and get you guys. We can hit up this bonfire the guys are throwing tonight in Goleta.” He paused for a second then he rushed his next sentence, “Is that alright? It wouldn’t be weird or anything for us to…”
“Yeah, no, that sounds like a great time! My friends would love to mingle with some of the locals. Especially Matt- -you remember him right?- – it was his birthday yesterday and he’s clearly not done wearing that excuse out with the ladies.” I chuckled a bit to ease the tension over the phone.
“Sounds like Matt! What a dog! I’ll see you guys in like fifteen minutes. Cool?”
“Yup, I’ll gather up my stuff and wake the little sleeping beauties next to me! See you in a–”
“By the way, Michelle…”
“It’s really great to hear your voice again”
“You too Nathaniel, I’m glad you took my call”
“I’ll be there in a flash!”
“Alright bye!” I couldn’t help but let a little laugh slip out as I hung up the phone, because I couldn’t believe that I forgot how often he used to say that.
I turned to Matt and Liz and said in my best outdoor voice, “Wake up sleepy heads, our ride is on the way. It’s time for another adventure”.