Starry Eyes

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young man starts over in a familiar city and meets a mesmerizing and beautiful stranger

Submitted: September 02, 2016

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Submitted: September 02, 2016

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It was a beautiful night…or it was.  By now it seemed dawn was breaking, but he could still see the moon. 

It was almost a perfect full moon too, behind the clouds. 

It must have been close to 5am and he’d been out a while.  Walking along the beach, the crashing waves lulled him into a state of deep thought.  So many things were running through is mind.  The air was cool and the breeze sent a shiver down his back, but it was a pleasant feeling.  He was glad he had his hair tied back.  He’d forgotten to wear a snapback but he felt freer this way.  The salty beach air had always made his hair a perfect level of crazy, but he had it tamed today.  Left over from the night before, really. 

He wasn’t even sure what day it was.

He was happy and the past few weeks had left him dizzy.  Being back in California was a bit surreal.  The cold sand beneath pressed under the weight of his feet, making prints with each step. The water suddenly hit his toes shocked him back to reality as a wave came in.

“Man alive, what am I even doing?” he whispered to no one.

He hadn’t been able to sleep and had decided to walk along the shore.  He knew he should be editing or filming but he had too much nervous energy and just had to pace it out.  He wasn’t even sure how long he’d been walking.  Time seemed to stand still near the ocean.

“No one is even out here. That’s weird” he thought to himself.  Usually there were some people taking an early morning run or walking their dogs.  What time was it anyway? 

The sun was coming up, creating an amazing watercolor in the sky.  Hues of pink, orange and blue, mixed with fluffy white.  He took a picture.  Like one of many he’d taken already.

He found a dry patch of sand and sat down.  Time to take a break and get his head straight. He knew he’d planned things to do today, but couldn’t remember.  Seemed he was always losing track of something. 

He looked down at his phone.  So many new Twitter notifications.  It was hard to keep up. He started to click on one –

“Hey…you always walk on the beach this early?” a low pretty voice sort of sang to him

“Huh?” His heart jumped a bit. He didn’t realize anyone was near him.

“Oh! I, uh…well, I like to walk when I can’t sleep…sometimes. “ He laughed nervously and a big smile crossed his lips

His eyes met hers.  Wow.  She was beautiful.  He wasn’t expecting that. 

She was young, tall, and thin, like him. She had on a slim black t-shirt, matching her dark, curly long hair. Her skin was white, like porcelain.  She was striking.

She chuckled softly. 

He felt a bit embarrassed.  Was she laughing at him?

Her full, crimson lips also curled into a smile, her white teeth almost the same shade as her smooth skin.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you here before.”  she said  “I walk here a lot.  It helps me think.  I don’t like people.” She laughed “I mean, I like to walk when I’m alone”

He laughed nervously again.  He did that when he didn’t know what to say.

“Well…uh…um. Haha!” When he laughed that time, it came out as “ha ha”, not a real laugh, but like two words.

“I guess I should introduce myself.”, he said, standing and extending his hand.

“I’m Chris.”

She let his name hang in the air several long seconds, the silence a kind of a slow torture.

“Ah, Chris.” She whispered.“I’m Esther.  Nice to meet you.”  She did a playful bow.

“Esther…Esther.  Wow, that’s…that’s a really nice name.” He said, recalling Queen Esther.  This girl was fit to be a queen, that was for sure.

She took his hand as if to shake it, but didn’t shake it.  She just left her hand in his for a brief moment. 

Her hand was so cold, but so soft.

He felt butterflies.  He didn’t normally meet girls that captured his attention, but she had his.

She let go of his hand and smiled again. 

Their eyes locked.  It was an odd sensation to have a girl whose height matched his.

Her black eyes were large, almond shaped, with long, dark lashes.  They twinkled.

She didn’t even appear to be wearing makeup, but she didn’t need any.  She was incredible.

“So…what are you doing?” she asked

“Ah…you have…you have really pretty eyes” he said, and laughed, looking at his feet

“Thank you” she smiled and laughed shyly

“But I mean, what -  are you…doing” and she gestured to where he had been sitting

Man he felt stupid. 

“Oh, haha” (more nervous laughter)  “I was just checking, uh…my calendar to see what I need to do today.  I just moved back here from North Carolina and between the time zone change and insomnia, I can’t seem to keep anything straight.” He nervously laughed again.  He knew he was rambling. And he was talking too fast.  He caught himself, and stopped. 

Esther’s mouth was a bit open in amusement, like she was going to laugh again herself. 

She chuckled a bit “Yeahhh…I mean… what are you doing after you leave the beach, like, RIGHT now?”

He felt his face flush in his lower cheeks.  Man.  He always did that.  He took questions too literally.

He laughed again, but harder, on purpose. “OH…yeah. SORRY. Of course. I don’t know. No plans, no plans really I guess.”

“Oh, well if you don’t have plans, you should come with me.  My friends and I are getting together.  It would be fun.”

“Do you always invite strangers back to your place?” He teased

“Well, it COULD be fun” she said coyly,

“Yeah, STRANGER things have happened.” He said. 

“UGH…A pun, Chris…really?!” He immediately thought to himself. Gosh, I’m such a loser!

She laughed “Good one.” She said flatly, but not in a mean way “But seriously, my friends are all real ‘guys guys’, and they can kick your butt - sorry. No offense.”

Man, a girl who can match my humor and my wit AND she's cute. He thought to himself. 

His heart couldn't take it.

He couldn’t tell if he had blown it.

“I’m just trying to be nice to a new kid in town. You look like you could use a friend” She said, playfully slapping his hand. 

An electric shock ran through him, but he tried to play it cool

“Ah, ha! ‘Manly men!’ Ok, well, maybe they can give me a few pointers!” he joked.  Yeah, no kidding, he thought to himself. 

Oh crap.  He didn’t want to ruin this!

“Ha-ha…no, I’m sorry.  I just wanted you to be safe.  I mean, not that you need to be protected.  Or…whatever.  I don’t know what to say.  I’m sorry. I – ah, I mean, I’d love to meet your friends.”

“OK. Great. Let’s do this, then.” She whispered lowly, her dark eyes flashing at him

“Hey! That’s so funny you said that. “Let’s do this”, that’s, that’s kind of a thing I say a lot”

“Oh…really? Because I totally didn’t just read that on your shirt.”

He looked down.  He had forgotten he was wearing his red “Let’s Do This” shirt.  His face flushed again. Dang it.  “Freaking idiot” he mumbled to himself

“What?” she asked

“Haha…Oh nothing.  I was just messing with you.  About the… about the shirt” he stammered

“Oh, so you’re a clever one, eh?” she teased

“Weeelll…ya know.” He flirted back.

“Come on.  I want to get back now before it’s too sunny, or hot.  Besides, too many people on the beach isn’t for me.  And I’m done thinking. Let’s go have some ‘California fun’, newbie”

His eyes crinkled from how much he was smiling. 

His cheeks hurt but he didn’t care. 

He wondered where they were going, but it didn’t matter. 

He would have followed her anywhere.

 


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