A sea-salty breeze caressed Terry’s face as she stepped out onto the Mediterranean balcony that would be hers for the weekend. This was exactly what she needed.
Leaning on the iron railing, she gazed down at the busy lane which ran along this stretch of the ocean and served as the main street of the town. As happy families noisily hurried toward the sand, with beach toys inflated to twice the size of the children carrying them, a wave of melancholy moved through Terry. Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea.
She sighed away the thought. No. So what if she was a single woman on a solo weekend getaway? That didn’t make her pitiable. It wasn’t as if she had a terminal illness or something.
Below her, a woman about her age shouted at a little boy, thwarting his attempt to dart out into the road. Terry allowed a small smile. Hey, some of those women might even envy her.
Turning to re-enter her room, she caught her image in the glass door, and harrumphed. Not much to envy about drab ol’ Terry. She combed her hand through her board-straight hair. No wonder Jay had dumped her.
She entered the room, flung herself onto the bed, and stared up at the ornate light fixture in the center of the ceiling. Did she even have the nerve to show her Plain Jane face outside?
The caw of a seagull through the open door reminded her that if she had wanted to spend another weekend cooped up indoors, she could have saved the money and stayed in her apartment. She had come here for a change of scenery and a fresh perspective, both of which eluded her at the moment.
* * *
Ten minutes later, clad in her pink maillot, and floral print sarong skirt that she’d bought on a whim and never worn, she stepped off the front porch of the guesthouse and into the late morning sun. She stopped, dug around for a moment in her big straw beach bag, and pulled out her Jackie O shades that made her look much more stylish than she felt. Maybe she could fool somebody into believing she was actually cool.
She waited as a station wagon eased past, then forged out into the street. As she neared the curb, her likeness appeared in the window of a kite shop. Slowing, she pulled her shoulders back. She didn’t look as dowdy as she’d imagined; in fact, this suit was quite flattering.
Feigning a fascination with the windsocks on display beyond the glass, she stopped, jutting out one hip like a model. She flicked back her hair and tried to imagine that she was someone else. Her mood plummeted. Maybe if she really was someone else, Jay wouldn’t have lost interest.
Posture drooping, she started walking again. Happy sounds surrounded her, but inside, darkness gained a toehold.
Reaching the sand, she veered toward an empty beach chair. Ridiculous. Why let Jay get to her like this? The sun was shining and she had nothing to do for two whole days but read novels, drink lemonade, and wade in the surf. Why waste time dwelling on what might have been?
To be continued, Friday, July 6, 2012
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