This is the eighth story in this summer season’s online Flash Fiction series. You can read the whole series, and our Flash Fiction stories from previous years, here.They were looking for the beach from the guidebook.He ‘d bought the guidebook at the train station, some devoted gesture on his method to the residency, but had not even
opened it.She hadn’t known him then– when he purchased the guidebook. Not that she really understood him now.He insisted on utilizing the manual to select this beach, their last beach, like he could still make the purchase worthwhile.The G.P.S. was on the car’s screen, the route marked in green.He missed out on the turn on the roundabout. She didn’t state anything.Another go-around. He made a quick, anxious drift for an exit, her water bottle rolling off the dashboard.Am I going the proper way, he stated, his voice on the edge of a snap.I called much as you, she said. She must have sounded annoyed.So this is what it would be like
, he stated. If this went on.We ‘d dislike each other?They were going the right way. Or some version of the ideal way.They drove
past the beach they ‘d gone to previously. Only two times in the past 10 days, however enough that she thought about it as their usual beach, in the
way that even the smallest temporary world handles its own signposts and traditions.He had actually been mainly peaceful on those beach days. Reading printed-out posts, taking notes with a pen. His absorption was genuine. She pictured this is what his family may experience: his young child, his young partner. She nudged better, took his shirtsleeve in between her teeth then let it drop. He smiled in a far-off way.For long stretches he swam in the ocean, leaving her on her towel.Did you
see me leap off the rock?No, she hadn’t. Did he discover she had actually gone in the water, too, that her hair was dripping?No, he had not. Perhaps she desired it to be something aside from what it was.She pissed by his parked rental cars and truck, squatting in the dry grass, a man walking past with a pet off leash.They ‘d brought beers and an opener and towels from the residency
to that very first beach– your house manager had been angry.Those were bath towels, not to leave your home. There were other towels, specific towels, that citizens were enabled to require to the beach.The home manager didn’t pretend not to be exasperated with them.
The house manager knew whatever, understood exactly who was and who was not oversleeping their own bed. The towels were the least of it. People need to have acted dumb all the time.At night, the house
manager sat in the hammock by the deserted tennis court and called her family in Bolivia.They parked in the lot. There weren’t numerous cars.He wanted
to bring the guidebook to the beach.Right?If you want, she said.She didn’t state– why would you need the guidebook, exactly?They started to walk along a paved road. It seemed clear, after a while, that it wasn’t the way.There was a botanic garden back near the car park. The woman at the desk provided directions in English.This method, he stated with certainty. She followed him. They struck a dead end.I believe she implied that very first left.He clomped along in his basketball shoes. The Europeans at the residency had actually made fun of them. Not unkindly. They shared their cigarettes. You smile a lot, they informed him
at dinner.The dirt path grew steep and narrow. She selected her method down: she had not understood how high up they were, how far the water was,
till the cove appeared.He took a picture with his phone. She took a picture of him taking a picture
. Then her own picture of the cove. Later, they would both reveal the cove
pictures to individuals waiting for them at home, the partner and the hubby. Or that’s what she imagined.The cove had an apron of concrete instead
of a sandbank. The sun lit it up.It wasn’t the beach from the manual– not even close.Would either of them mention this was the incorrect beach?There was a couple in sunglasses sharing a blanket. Farther out, on the rocks, was a group of youths– they had beers, food, the pretty females going bare-breasted. She would have paid them anything for a beer. If she had money. If– He swam. Wearing his long swim trunks. The Europeans said American guys dressed like children.The water rolled in with the barest energy, never ever rather becoming a wave.He swam far across the cove. All the way to the other side.She took her time getting in. Halting actions. The water was cold and clear. She stood up to her shoulders.Come here, he called out to her.She knew she wouldn’t swim to him. She soaked her head, anyhow, doggy-paddled a bit.She was a bad swimmer.He mored than happy there, on the other side of the cove. On a rock in the complete sun. He didn’t need her to join him. He called to her again.
Whatever he stated, she couldn’t make it out.Already the sun was drifting towards the ridge– it was later than she thought.She moved her towel to remain in the sun.The group on the rocks was enjoying. She didn’t comprehend their Spanish, however she comprehended that part.
They took turns jumping into the water, climbed out dripping. They didn’t trouble with towels.She nearly asked for a beer. Maybe if she were alone.When she looked across the cove, she couldn’t see him
. He ‘d swum out past the point, she thought. She had her sunglasses and a book she didn’t read. She had actually hardly read anything the
past ten days. She had actually not worked. It seemed like no one else had, either, even the German.She decided to take off her swimwear top. Her breasts were pale, puckered from the
cold water. She spread the top on a rock to dry and waited.She heard him getting out of the water but didn’t open
her eyes until he was right there.Oh hi, he said.Her nakedness humiliated him in an enticing way. He was practically a decade younger than she was. She could see that he had actually always been a good-looking guy and
that it had actually probably made his life worse. It made people want things from him.He took an image of her lying there, an arm covering her breasts.
He ‘d erase it from his phone prior to he went house– she would advise him.