The soft, warm breeze played with her hair. The sun was now low in the sky, touching almost the water. The beach was almost deserted but for a few number of people packing up their belongings. The sand beneath her was cool as she dug her toes deeper; her finger was drawing random silhouettes on the sand. After she stormed out of the house, she had walked along the shore of the beach up until the far end. Once here, she decided to sit down and enjoy of the sunset.
Her anger had disappeared by now, nothingness replaced her rage. She watched the descending sun, making the world dark for us, in order to be able to gaze at the stars. A thin orange-ish line in the horizon was the only thing left, the color dancing on the waves. The wind had picked up speed, carrying with it the well-known salty aroma. Brooke wrapped her arms around her, blocking out the chills, she was not ready to go back to her father yet.
When the sight of the first star appeared, her only companion was her shadow. Brooke bent her legs and hugged them close to her body, burying her face on them. A bark called her attention from faraway and then muffled feet were running in her direction. By the time she lift her head up, a wet tongue licked the side of her face. She was being pushed to the sand by a heavy and hairy body.
Brooke squealed as an oversized dog leaped on her, playfully pinning her down. Brooke, in futile attempts, tried to shield her face from the dog’s saliva. She never considered herself friendly to animals nor people, why had she attracted the friendly attention of this dog? She was only sitting there, silently, minding her own business.
“Rufus get down now!” an imperious male voice commanded.
Brooke felt the weight lifted from her, she opened her eyes and saw a young man dragging the dog from the collarbone. The dog whined as he was being pulled away in such a harsh manner, she felt a pang of pity for the dog. “Stop that, you are hurting him!” she got on her feet and placed a hand on the man’s arms.
The young man’s skin was smooth and slightly tanned. His dark blue eyes scanned the girl with incredulity mingled with delight.
Brooke felt a shiver running through her body as she placed her hand on the man. She had never placed a hand on a stranger before, for this she retrieved her hand bashfully and hid it behind her.
The man smiled and ceased yanking at the dog’s collar. The dog quickly settled and perused the sand between the two teenagers. He placed out a hand toward Brooke, a placid grin in his face. “Hey there, you must be new in town. The name’s Alex.”
Brooke was slightly confused and surprised by his greeting from animal aggressor to amiable person. She took his hand with uncertainty, only to have it tightly squeezed in his warming handshake.
“I am Brooke,” she introduced herself, “I am here on vacation, but how did you know I wasn’t from around here?”
“Believe it or not, Cannon Beach is quite small and we are a tight community,” Alex replied smiling. “Everybody knows everyone around here, and Rufus has a thing with greeting strangers, right boy?” He scratched the big golden retriever behind the ear. Rufus barked in pleasure.
Brooke laughed, thinking Alex had the most charming smile she had ever seen.
“So… vacations, huh?”
“Yup,” Brooke said, feeling strangely at ease with Alex.
Stars were shining bright above them, creating almost a starry path in the sky, something you couldn’t appreciate in the city. The intense lights from the city made the stars look opaque, but not here. The moon was enlarged when reflected in the sea’s water, the slow motion of the waves created glimmering water, quite a beautiful spectacle.