She smiled. “Hi.”
They started walking down the beach and Drake shouted over his shoulder, a wide grin on his face. “Try not to drown this year, Robin!” he shouts with a chuckle.
I didn’t answer him. I just sat there and let the hurt consume me, crashing into me just like the white caps into the toasted almond sand.
A goodbye isn't painful unless you're never going to say hello again.
After stopping three times for bathroom breaks and gas and a six hour car ride we finally make it to Paradise. Whit and I unpack our suitcases while my parents go next door to say talk to the Marshall’s. The same family that vacations with us every year.
Dad and John Marshall have been friends since college. And they thought it would be a good idea to start these vacations every summer as a way of keeping in contact. It is a good idea. Dad says that sometimes when you grow up you lose contact with your friends when everyone goes their separate ways. I look at Whit as she folds up a gold bikini and puts it in a drawer. I hope that doesn’t happen with us.
We’re both going to the same college next year, and we’re extremely lucky that we were able to room together, so at least we have another four years together, but who knows what will happen after that. I like to think we’ll always keep in contact, but you never know.
I’m pulled from my thoughts when the door to our room opens abruptly. I stare at a pair of hot pink flip flops and work my way up the person who’s wearing a hot pink terry-cloth sundress to match. Sadie, the Marshall’s daughter.
Sadie and I are the same age and we used to play together when we were kids, but as we got older we started distancing ourselves from each other. She’s more shopping, and tanning and gossiping and I’m more reading, and studying, and laid back. Her parents probably made her come over here to say hi.
Sadie’s heavily highlighted hair is tucked back into a low ponytail and her fingers are frantically pounding on the keys to her iPhone.
“What’s up, Sadie?” I say zipping up my now empty suitcase.
“Nothing.” She doesn’t even look at me. She keeps her eyes zoomed in on her phone.
“Just came to say hey.”
“Hey,” I groan. Then Whitney clears her throat and I glance over my shoulder as she gives me the “introduce me already” look. “This is my friend Whitney.”
Sadie still doesn’t look up. “Nice to meet you.”
I sit down on my bed and glare at Sadie, hoping that she’ll leave sooner rather than later. Finally Sadie meets my gaze and shrugs. “Well, I’ll see you around.” Less than a second later she walks out the door.
Whit gives me an odd look and shudders. “Frigid.”
“Tell me about it,” I scoff. “At least you haven’t had to spend every summer with her since you were a toddler.”
“No because I would have killed myself way before I reached my pre-teen years.” I laugh. Whit’s sarcastic comments always make me laugh. “Spending a summer with that thing must have been torture.”
“Meh. She wasn’t always like that.”
I remember one summer in particular where Sadie and I made the biggest sand castle ever. We laughed and swam, collected seashells, and spent every waking minute together. But the last time we’d spent time like that together we were ten. People change. We changed. She got into boys and I got into school. As we got older we didn’t have anything in common anymore.
“So,” Whit says, standing up. “Why don’t we go watch the sunset?”
“Sounds like a plan,” I say with a smile.
The sand glows a mixture of yellow and orange. The water looks violet instead of blue from the afterglow of the sky. The beach is deserted. Just the way I like it.
I pull a beach towel out of my bag and spread it out along the sand. Clinking glass echoes in the night air and my head snaps toward Whitney as she pulls two wine coolers out of her purse. My mouth gapes open and I glance over my shoulder at sign two feet away from us. Then my eyes widen as Whitney meets my gaze. “Where did you get those?”
“I ganked em from your mom’s stash. She had like fifty of em. It’s like she’s addicted to them or something.”