I walked the shoreline while the sun rose, enjoying the quiet. It’s nice to just stand here now with the surf washing around my ankles. Virgil will be joining me soon, I hope.
Always considering him a morning person, I find it surprising that he seems to need more time to get motivated when we come here. Perhaps he just gets into a slower vacation groove. That’s fine by me. As long as we’re both relaxed and having fun, it’s all good.
“Gladys,” he calls, and I turn with a wave and a smile.
The corners of my lips fall slightly when I realize he’s carrying a surfboard across the sand. What in the dickens? He’s too old for that kind of nonsense. And I don’t feel like spending holiday time at the local hospital.
His eyes track over my expression. Instead of looking chagrined, he beams at me, his grin widening.
“Just kidding,” he says upon reaching me. “There are predators in these waters! But you’ll never guess who the board belongs to.”
I don’t get the chance to try. As if Virgil’s renewed laughter is a cue, the young couple we met back home a few weeks ago crests the stairs over the dune. Rick matches Virgil’s amusement. His young bride, Susan, rolls her eyes in sympathy toward me. We’ve both married a couple of jokers. She gestures for me to come closer.
“I’ve got coffee and muffins up here,” Susan calls. “Why don’t you join me?”
That’s all the invitation I need. My husband takes my hand and we start up the steps. He politely declines Susan’s offer, though, saying he wants to stay at the top of the stairs to watch Rick surf. I have a sneaking suspicion he’s planning to stay on a lookout for sharks.
My husband’s thoughtfulness warms my heart, though I soon become engrossed in conversation with the younger woman. She tells me that they delayed their honeymoon because of Rick’s job.
“But now I don’t mind so much. How neat to have found you here!”
I agree with her. We make plans to go souvenir shopping later in the day. For some reason, I find myself telling her about Virgil’s surprisingly languorous morning routine. Of course it beats talking about the shark attacks the area has been recently seeing.
“The only days he gets moving early are when we’ve made specific plans. It’s odd.”
“No, it’s not. We found Virgil up here by the pool and Rick asked why he wasn’t with you.”
“He said he enjoys watching you, Gladys. Just don’t tell him I tattled.”
I won't. Thanking her for breakfast, I ask to borrow some of her sunscreen. Virgil's bald patch could use some protection.