Rafe’s nerves were being rubbed raw by the need to smile and chat and generally appear like he was having a good time. He woke early on the day of his sister’s wedding, determined to work off his tension by swimming several laps in the resort’s largest pool.
An open-air stairwell provided a view of his destination. He hesitated at the first landing, arrested by the sight of Sunflower Woman exiting from the corresponding stairwell on the opposite side of the pool.
She had a spring in her step that he envied, as if she hadn’t a care in the world. Her colourful loose wrap fluttered as she practically danced on the tiles, pausing at a park bench placed to overlook the ocean. Above her, the rising sun stained the fronds of the palm trees orange. Her dark hair gleamed bronze and copper.
She didn’t stand still long. He had noticed she rarely did. Moments later she stepped onto the beach and vanished from view.
Even though she had been alone, she hadn’t seemed lonely. He used to feel that way, too, preferring his own company to any other. So why did a solitary swim no longer seem like the solace he needed?
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