Continued from Friday, June 29, 2012
By lunchtime, Terry had become disenchanted with her novel, a light romance involving two unrealistically sappy characters. He looked at her, and her whole world came crashing to a halt. Who thought that way in real life?
Letting the pages flutter together, she accepted her fate. The happy families all ignored her. To the noisy, testosterone-loaded group of guys playing volleyball a few yards away, she might as well be invisible.
Guys. She peered at them from over her shades. They’re all alike. Nice at first, but never satisfied with the person a girl really was. Why even bother?
A grumbling in her stomach reminded her that she’d packed an apple and a peanut butter sandwich in her beach bag that morning. As she leaned over to grab them, something whirled past her head and thunked on the sand behind her chair. Startled, she glanced back. A volleyball. Figures. Leave it to a bunch of guys to be so busy showing off that they forgot to be careful.
“Oh man, I’m so sorry.” A male voice neared. “That didn’t hit you, did it?”
She looked up. “Uh…no.”
Wind-tousled, sun-lightened hair framed a boy-next-door face. He tossed her an apologetic smile as he bent down to retrieve the wayward ball.
“The guys get a little carried away sometimes. I promise it won’t happen again.”
She nodded, flipping her book open to a random page.
He looked as if he was going to return to the game, then paused, holding the ball in front of him. “If you want to play, we could use another man…I mean woman.”
She glanced up again. Who did this guy think he was, standing there looking so cute? The breeze blowing in off the surf further rumpled his hair, only adding to his wouldn’t-I-make-a-great-summer-romance allure. Sheesh. There must be something really wrong with him if the packaging seemed so perfect.
Terry gave a polite half smile and shook her head.
He nodded acceptance. What? He wasn’t going to try to talk her into it?
“Well, if you change your mind, we’re right over there.” He took a step away, then turned back and held out a hand. “I’m Curt, by the way.”
Her stomach tingled. He seemed so sweet, and genuine. Friendly. He couldn’t actually be interested in flirting with someone like her, after all.
Shifting the book to one hand, she reached the other toward his. “I’m Ter…” She stopped. Who said she had to be bland? “Terése.” She extended her hand as though she expected him to kiss it. And where had that French accent come from?
Shaking her hand, he smiled shyly. “It’s nice to meet you, Terése. You don’t sound like an Oregon girl.” He bounced the ball from one palm to the other, indicating his need to get back to his game in spite of his chattiness.
“No…” Hidden behind her shades, a playful confidence overtook her. “I am from Pair-ee.” She wrapped that word in her best high school French pronunciation.
The widening of his eyes was barely perceptible. “Well, I should get back. Nice meeting you, Terése from Paris.”
She smiled and watched him go, liking the way that name rolled off his tongue. Wow. He must just be one of those guys who’s naturally friendly to everyone. It hadn’t been like he’d tried to get a date or anything.
A twinge of disappointment pricked her heart. She shook it off. What was she thinking? The last thing she needed was to get interested in some guy, especially one she’d never even see again.
Shaking her head, she opened her book and grabbed her sandwich. Terése had better things to do with her time than flirt with some beach slacker.
To be continued on Friday, July 13, 2012
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net