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Clear and beautiful, the night was made for a walk on the beach. I loved the sound of the ocean, and most nights I fell asleep with my balcony doors open. A bit of a breeze blew, but even though it was still winter, it was only a little chilly.
We found a small sand dune and sat down to watch the puppy running at the waves and barking. Gage was looking out over the water. He looked relaxed, but I could barely keep my knees from bouncing. I really had to focus to keep myself calm. I breathed deep.
“So why didn’t you tell me who you were the other day?” I blurted out.
He laughed. “Sorry, I guess I was shocked you didn’t recognize me. I’m pretty forgettable, huh?”
“Well, since you don’t look the same at all, and you are about a foot and a half taller, I think I should get a pass.” I narrowed my eyes at him. “I hear you’re either a drug dealer, a cheater, or you got the dean’s daughter pregnant. Should I be worried about being out here on the beach with you? I came prepared.” I dangled my keys with the pepper spray my dad insisted I keep at hand. I knew I was perfectly safe, but I wanted the real story.
He laughed. “Wow, is that what’s going around? I guess I’m not surprised. We Southerners do love our gossip. I didn’t actually do any of those things, but in the spirit of honesty, I did get expelled.”
I nodded. If I let my mouth run away with me now, I would never get the story out of him.
“It was for fighting.” He did have the grace to look a little embarrassed. “I would imagine you aren’t shocked about that, but it was unavoidable so—”
“So that’s why you’re back? Because you got kicked out of school?”
He opened his mouth to answer, when the puppy came skidding to a halt right in front of us and decided to shake the water and sand off her body all over us. I shrieked and tried to block it with my hands, but too late. Lovely. Good thing she was cute.
“Did you come up with something to call her?” I asked while I was attempting to brush myself off.
“Cute. What made you pick it?”
“Well, we had to bail her out, so it seemed to fit. She reminds me of you, actually.” He nudged me with his elbow.
“I remind you of a dog?” He was obviously not trying to win any points with me. First I’m fat, and now I remind him of a dog.
“Uh, no. She reminds me of you. Getting herself into messes I have to get her out of.”
“Oh really?” I smiled. “Well it’s been a long time since you have attempted to get me out of any messes.”
“Until yesterday. And tonight.”
I frowned at him. “As a matter of fact I was thinking earlier that my life has never been more dramatic than since you showed back up.”
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.