Chapter 2. Sand Between The Toes
A long hike, at least it was mainly downhill. Three times, vehicles passed by with sirens. Police, fire and an ambulance traveled in a rush of different directions began to cause pain, she stopped and put her fingers in her ears until the emergency sirens were out of range.
The town was a tourist and college community. A large bay with a harbor carved out on the north end by a massive prehistoric waterfall, long since drowned in the ocean after the glaciers receded, served as a center for tourism.
After the long hike, she finally arrived at the beach and walked to the privacy rooms where outdoor showers allowed those salt and sand encrusted humans to clean themselves. She stepped through the middle door where the floor appeared less fouled with dirty feet and people who could not seem to hit the toilet.
Kaylee’s fingers ached as she put down her bag and pulled out her towel then set it aside and pulled out a hard-cover book, a novel by the author Sanne Footman, of a woman who was a photographer that traveled the world and worked undercover for news stories.
It was a cheesy, but well written, series of novellas. The author composed a lot of romantic scenes that where Kaylee’s guilty pleasure, she often had travel-the-world dreams. From one exotic location to another with boyfriends at each stop.
She Dug deeper into her bag and set out the contents, a frown crossed her lips.
She looked through the towels, unrolled and shook them out. No… in a towel up by mistake.
Damn! No swimsuit?
Then she remembered, she had gone to a pool party in the hills with some friends, she rinsed her suit and hung it on the towel rack by the shower. Then hung a towel over it.
The anger with herself crossed her face like clouds a thunderstorm. She picked up her gear and packed up the bag and stepped out into the sunlight and walked to the edge of the sand from the outdoor showers.
She looked north and south, the beach was sparsely populated with families and kids to the south.
Off to the north, only a few people were there. A posted sign in the distance, she could not read it from here, but knew what the paint on the metal panel said:
“Clothing optional beyond this point only.”
She nodded to herself, she was not a stranger to the nude beach. And she was in no mood for a hike to the apartment, but the choices were to continue or to go back to where she started this awful day and then, maybe, return.
No, it was time to shed some of the cares along with her clothes. If she needed to walk all the way back before she relaxed and recuperated, she would hurt someone. Perhaps some poor soul who would walk by and wish her to “Have a nice day.” The person would never understand the fury that would be unleashed.
“Nice day.” Indeed.
Dare ya… Just… Just dare ya! Hands clenched into rock hard clubs with the emotional storm that crossed her mind.
So, a walk on the beach? Time to peace out. The thought was pleasant.
She passed the sign as she walked towards the water. She let ten-minutes pass before she peeled off her pants and shoes.
She walked in just her shirt and underwear in the ankle-deep waves, she enjoyed the cool water of the Alaskan current of the Pacific, The water chill against her thighs while she waded a little deeper past a couple while they played with a frisbee and their dog.
The dog was much more dressed than couple. She laughed when the man tried to play keep-away from the dog who took a nip of the man’s bare organ.
The nude woman laughed out loud when she also saw the small Australian Shepherd play dirty to win the prized plastic disk.
“Good boy, Oz!” The woman laughed out loud again and took the toy from the excited dog while the man got to his feet while he laughed and complained about the devious dog.
Kaylee walked on and looked among the driftwood where couples sat and talked in the nude. Some read books, and some for all appearances, looked asleep.
Another couple cuddled on a blanket. The woman’s hands pushed the limits the law while she kissed with her male companion.
Kaylee found a quiet spot and slipped out of the rest of her clothes and spread the towel on the sand. A man about a hundred paces off was laid on his stomach wrote in a notepad. The sun glistened on beads of water on his back, he had just been in the water for a swim.
Otherwise, she was alone. The coastal-chill breeze made her skin pucker slightly as she sat on the blanket and opened her book. Out of sight from anyone thanks to the large logs of driftwood that made a private little patch of sand.
This was a perfect place on an otherwise messed-up and horrible day to lay naked on a beach with no one near. No bars on her phone so she turned it off.
She rubbed sunblock into her skin while she took fifteen minutes to prepare for recreational read and relax. She enjoyed the smell of the coconut perfume and the sensations of the heat, she would probably sleep, but had no desire for a sunburn.
She already received a sunburn last year, Melanie enjoyed her older sister’s discomfort while she applied medicated skin cream to the places that Kaylee could not. Sisters could laugh at each other for the burned places that rarely saw sunshine, and Kaylee had fallen asleep on her stomach.
The burn to the back of her legs and cheeks of her backside prevented the elder Grant to sit for a few days. Much to the delight of the taller but younger “kid-sister”.
Kaylee just did not want to ask Melanie to rub cream into her burned skin again, once was enough embarrassment for a lifetime.
The sun did feel good, she would deal with the tires, the professor and the broken shoelace soon enough.
For now? She was needed to get into the book of guilty pleasure and, maybe, fall asleep on the edge of the largest body of water in the world.
After a day gone haywire, she was alone and at peace. Kaylee Simone Grant would let this frantic-Friday dissolve into an unhappy memory and the disappointment, frustration and fury would soon be forgotten.
To be alone for a while and listen to the waves, birds and feel the sun was all she needed.