The idea of spending a day at the beach turned out to be more than a little wonderful. Of course I couldn’t go wandering much of anywhere with so much sand and a crutch that sinks whenever I try to get up but it had been forever since I’d just been out in the sun, doing nothing more than sitting there and relaxing. To be honest I think I’ve never done that before. We’d planned going to the beach, Andoni had found the perfect place where it wasn’t quite a sand-beach as everything was little tiny rocks but he’d found a larger sort of foot-pad for my crutch and I wouldn’t have sunk quite as much.
We never got to that beach and I guess I told myself that my only chances are seeing the water up close had vanished before I could ever really get a chance to reach out and grab it.
The kids spent most of their time over a large boulder just a slight distance away. Mira came back with more little rocks than I’d seen in some time but I have to give him that, they ere all different. When Eoghan said it was time to wrap up, he tried to split the bundle into three little piles but Cyrille told him he didn’t need to so Mira merely wrapped them all up in his towel, knotted it up to keep them safe and it was bundled in with the rest of everything that had been packed up for our day out here.
While they were getting things packed up in the trunk as much as they could, Mira offered to help me to the vehicle so I could settle and more or less be out of the way since I couldn’t really help with taking stuff back up to the van. I went with him, I didn’t mind. I know I’m not useful when it comes to moving stuff because of my crutch and I take things one day following the other, I tend to not really make any plans.
He walked me to the van, helped me get settled and he reached in his pocket, pulling out a small object he’d found out there, beyond the boulder, he sat it in my hands and disappeared back to help with the rest.
It wasn’t too long before we were right back on that bumpy road and on the way home. I didn’t really pay attention, I was studying what Mira had left with me. It was an old, old sort of watch. The kind you see on old portraits with the little chains dangling from them, old pocket watches. The sight of it was something new for me. I’ve seen pocket watches before but this was different. It was so old but it looked so well preserved. I tried to get the hands moving but I think it had been damaged too much, at least internally by the water I’d assume, to give me that satisfaction. I didn’t mind.
“That is one beautiful watch you’ve found, Mira.” I offered the words towards the back seat once we’d moved beyond the bumpy road, onto straighter a path. “I’ll give it back to you once we’re home. I could try cleaning it up for you if you’d want.”
It was a simple offer, he was the one who’d found it and to me that made sense that he would be the one to get it back, even if he’d handed it to me without really asking me or telling me about what he might have wanted me to do with it.
“No, no you keep it.” His words startled me somewhat and I couldn’t really turn to look at him, he was in the seat directly behind me. “When I found it out there, there was something about it that reminded me of you so I want you to keep it.”
I feel my cheeks warm just slightly at the thoughtfulness of the gift and I smile. “In that case, thank you Mira, it is absolutely wonderful. I’ll see if I can’t clean it up and fix it up. Maybe if I can get it running, I might be able to have it on my person.”
That idea was wonderful in itself, really. I like old things, watches, books, stories. All this newfangled technology at times goes right over my head. I know I’m not that old but I grew up in a family who preferred traditions to changes. I only ever got my first cellular phone when I was with Andoni and even then it was only ever on when we weren’t together and I knew he might try to reach me. Otherwise it was always off. My first computer came from Eoghan and at times some of the things it can do baffle me.
Most of the ride home, even during the bumpiness of the road, was quiet. Up front, it was Eoghan driving while Alexis seemed to mostly be looking out the window. On my right, Quentin and Yael had their head leaning together slightly and I imagine this might have been a first for them too. I guess this trip to the beach was a first for most of us. Behind me, it was quiet and since I couldn’t really turn to look, I assumed they were mostly just resting. This day had been filled to the brim. Sun, swimming, a nice lunch. I’m sure if we’d packed differently and I know it crossed my mind so maybe it crossed Eoghan’s own too, we could have almost camped out here. Tents and the rest are not usually all that difficult to come by and all we’d have needed as an extra was food.
My fingers keep on brushing over the worn back of the watch as I keep it in my hand. I don’t really want to put it away. I feel that if I do that, somehow I’ll lose it. It’ll become nothing but a distant sort of dream and I’ll wake up alone and cold in my old apartment. The strangest of things bring that sensation up to the surface. It usually is a vague sort of feeling but at times it grows and almost overwhelms me.
I don’t want to wake up and realize that all of this wonderful life I have now going for myself is nothing but a fantasy I’ve built in my head or worse, nothing but a dream.
“Anyone feel like stopping somewhere to have a bite before we drop everyone home where they belong?” The words startle a few to awareness and I keep a softly amused chuckle to myself. “We could stop at a drive through somewhere though we might have better luck with stopping before the drive through so I can get a list and get it all set up nice and neat, yes? Otherwise I don’t mind heading into a take-out place with that list to bring everyone some food.”
From behind me, I hear some shuffling and shifting. Yael and Quentin at my side straighten and rub their eyes, as if they’d been woken up from sleep. I guess today has been a pretty exhausting day for everyone.
Eventually though we do get positive answers from almost everyone in the van and once we’re almost home, Eoghan heads into the parking lot of one of the nearest food place, the usual sub-sandwiches one. Everyone seems to agree that this choice is fine and after a few more moments, he gets a full list of what everyone wants.
Both Alexis and Eoghan step out and I suppose it makes sense, eight subs, cookies, drinks and for those who care, some soup, it was bound to take a few hands more than normal to carry it back out.
I should be thankful, at this hour, the place is mostly empty so before too long, they come back, arms loaded with bags. When they approach the car, the doors are opened and bags carefully handed out. One for Quentin and Yael, mine, one of the twins and Cyrille so I’m assuming he might be staying the night and they keep the last one left, of course. Easy food to eat once we get back home is more than welcomed after a day spent lazing about in the sun, really.