The speed ferry was a sleek glider. It cut through the water with practically no sound. Derek was hanging at the prow, trying to get himself lost in the rhythmic rise and fall of the ship.

   The students packed around him did not complete the experience.

   Alex was already on the move, chatting up girl after girl. Wink shooting and number swapping.

   Derek himself was glad to have a break. It’s possible to overdose on a friendship with Alex.

   Loud, demanding, engaging, draining.

   Derek stared at the rolling crescents of azul just as they met the ship and split seamlessly. He pushed himself off the rail he’d clung to.

   It’s a new start, meeting people should be easy.

   He spotted Clair.

   I said ‘meeting people should be easy’

   Derek started walking down the side of the ship, Clair coming closer into his sights.

   Meeting NEW people, I mean. New. People. Get over this girl already Derek.

   He canned the thought, like I said, it’s a new start. We could all use one.

   It was coldly comforting to see someone as popular as Clair Brenson was, to be alone among a sea of people for once, instead of in the center of it.

   Someone brushed by his shoulder, “Sorry, new guy, saw her first!”

   A black student, dressed smartly in khaki shorts and a green pastel – close fit dress shirt strode onward. Clair obliviously looking over the edge of the ship at something. 

   Frozen a second, Derek found a smile slip across his face.

   He stepped close to the side of the ship, gripped the railing and watched.

   She smiled as the Smooth McGroove approached her. 

The End

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