I had gone down to the beach to get a quiet reprieve. Chemo had taken the wind right out of my sails this time. The pounding surf always calmed my frazzled nerves. And this excursion was no different.
I loved the sunlight on my shoulders. I loved the squish of the sand between my toes. The smell of the salt in the air seemed a balm to my soul.
And then chaos.
I didn’t have time to fully register what happened. Before I could blink I was knocked on my ass to the sand. As I sat there dazed, the thought occurred to me that only an anal bleaching session would be able to remove the amount of sand that just got kicked up my shorts.
“Goddammit Trevor. You’re such an asshole!” said Voice.
“Learn how to throw a damn foot ball for once,” replied Trevor.
Things came into focus as two boys came over. Voice said, “I’m so sorry for Trevor plowing into you like that. He needs things like this to remind him the world doesn’t revolve around him.”
“Heeeeeyyyy!” wailed Trevor.
“That’s fine,” I said. I tried to get back to my feet. Voice reached out a hand. “Thanks,” I said as I grabbed it. It was coarse, but the grasp was gentle.
“My name’s Jay,” he said.
“Nice to meet you, Jay. I’m Cathy.” I noticed his well-worn shirt read ECONOMIC MIGRATION. “What’s that mean?”
Jay looked down at his shirt. “Oh, haha. This? Nobody knows. It was a garage band I played with a few years back. You wouldn’t be interested in tossing around the football with us for a bit, would you?”
“Maybe next time,” I replied.
His smile made me completely forget about the darkening bruise on my backside and the amount of sand lodged there.
I opened my bag that held my shoes and magically produced a Sharpie. I grabbed the football and wrote my phone number in dark black ink.
“Next time,” he repeated.
I turned and headed up the beach toward home.