Far From Normal.
The ocean’s steady rhythm comforted Kacy. She found contentment, staring out past the sand, watching the waves as they built to a crest and crashed, time after time after time. How many generations before her had enjoyed those depths and how many to come? Like the continuous rising and falling, tides and time carried on regardless.
"My, Kacy. Don’t you look philosophical this morning?"
Kacy blinked out of her intensity and stretched. "Good morning, A’nt Mar. I guess I was," she admitted with a smile. Aunt Mar placed a basket of warm muffins on the small table between them as she sat next to her niece in a matching cushioned wicker chair on the back porch.
"Looking for Reese?" Aunt Mar asked.
"No, actually. Just admiring the water," Kacy answered. She chose a muffin with more scrutiny than necessary, avoiding eye contact with her aunt to discourage any teasing. "Thanks again for having me. I just love the beach. And spending time with you, of course."
Aunt Mar laughed. "Sure you do. I'm happy you're here, sweetie." She smirked and drank her tea.
Kacy looked back out at the sun kissed waves rolling onto the shore. Though she hadn't been thinking of Reese, she now wondered when he and his family would get there. The last email he sent said they would be in this week. Kacy arrived Sunday and today was Wednesday.
Kacy met Reese at a beach party the summer before. Her father’s boss invited the family down for a golf tournament at his country club in Palm Beach. Her family turned it into a month long vacation, staying with her Aunt Mar who lived close by.
At the country club's summer kickoff party, Kacy's little sister, Julie, had no trouble making new friends. She was still young enough that social ostracizing didn't affect her. Unfortunately, Kacy felt the chill from cold shoulders of the other teenage girls the minute she stepped into the tent.
After putting up with as much hoity atmosphere as she could stand, Kacy grabbed a quick bite and told her parents she was going to take a walk on the beach. She decided to work off her annoyance by building a sand castle in the moonlight. Despite having on a new sundress, she immersed herself in the construction of tall towers, a deep moat and even a driftwood drawbridge. As she added finishing touches of shell and seaweed decorations, a deep voice startled her.
"This is prime castle real estate. Can I make you an offer?"
Kacy brushed her blond bangs out of her face to identify the bidder. A tall boy about her age stood over her with his hands tucked into the pockets of his long khaki shorts, looking at her masterpiece with a playful grin. The moon highlighted his brown hair covering his left eye.
"Sorry, not for sale," she replied, returning the banter. He was cute.
"Could I at least have a tour?" he asked, pulling up a patch of sand beside her.
"I guess. But I’m not supposed to talk to strangers. So what's the name of my potential buyer?"
"Reese Maynard. And yours?"
They hit it off immediately. The weeks flew by and every date had been heaven. Eventually they went their separate ways, she to Ohio and he to New York. They had kept in touch during school and planned to see each other again, one way or another.
It had taken some creative bargaining to convince her parents to let her go down by herself for the whole summer. Aunt Mar's offers to have Kacy work at her souvenir shop and give her driving lessons had sealed the deal.
"Wake up, Kacy! I think your phone's buzzing!"