It’s early still. The sun is not yet strong, the water flat and still, promising to refresh. She unzips the tent door, blinking in the sunlight. Her friends lie huddled under a blanket down on the rocks. An empty whiskey bottle tells the story of their night.
Tiptoe in, slipping on the pebbles, dive under the surface and float. Deep green below, pale blue above.
The night’s excess washed away,the girls pile into the car, clothes spilling out of bags, bare arms draped out of open windows. The drive, breathing in the breeze, peering down the roadsides for an ideal beach.
Families on holiday – children splashing in the shallows. Old men drinking tea over a backgammon board. Dogs panting under sun-bleached trees. Tangled fishing nets drying on a harbour wall.
They find a cove, cliffs dropping down into the clearest azure water; a sandy-bottomed bay. And the day is set. Swim, float, dream, nap. Lazing as the sun sinks lower, the sky tinged pink and orange.
Cheeks glowing, hair a wild mass of salty curls, she clambers back into the car, squeezing in with new friends, good friends. They set off into the evening, back to the rocks above the sea, a bottle of wine tucked under an arm.