“Hey, guys, come over here for a second!” Leona yells. They all swim over to see what the fuss is about. “I just wanted to introduce you to Brady. We met in town about a month ago, and I wanted to invite him to the party if that’s okay with you, Amelia.”
“Oh sure, it’s fine with me,” Amelia replies. She looks at Brady and confesses, “I thought you looked familiar. I remember you from town.”
“That’s right, I saw you guys from afar. It’s nice to meet you, and happy birthday.”
He and Leona smile at each other and walk back to the picnic area. Amelia notices Eli and Navid don’t have much to say.
“So, guys, he seems pretty nice, right?”
“Yeah, for a nerd. Did you see his thick eyeglasses?” Eli smirks. He swims away, still snickering. Amelia starts to laugh.
She’s glad Leona can’t hear them making fun of her new friend. “You guys are so mean. I think he’s a cool guy, I can tell. That was funny though,” she giggles.
After a while, Navid and Eli swim farther down the beach. They continue playing around and dunking each other’s heads under water, so Amelia decides to get out and get more food to eat, plus she’s tired from all the swimming. While drying herself off, she sees little kids goofing off and having a blast jumping in and out of the water. When she picks up her belongings and starts walking toward the picnic area, she looks up and comes to a screeching halt. Her heart starts doing flips in her chest and her palms start to sweat.
“That’s impossible,” she whispers. She feels warm water rise in her eyes, daring to leap out. This can’t be! It’s him. I see him. Oh God, am I hallucinating? What the hell is in that water? She turns around and closes her eyes as tight as possible and slowly turns back around, peeking through her stubborn eyelids. “Oh crap! He’s still there,” she mumbles. She moves her wet hair away from her face and forces it behind her ears to make sure she can see him clearly. The way his black curls effortlessly lie on his face, his beautiful light caramel-colored skin, and his freakishly perfect body frame is all the same, just like in the dream she had at the hospital. He’s wearing nothing but a pair of white shorts. She tells herself she must see him up close, knowing the only confirmation she needs is his eyes. She could never forget that shade of green. If his eyes are green, then he’s the one. The one she was mesmerized with in her dream.
She carefully walks toward him, her heart pounding the closer she gets. She stumbles forward from the dizziness and catches herself before face-planting in the sand. The least she could do is not look like a dork, so she tries to keep her cool. The guy seems preoccupied with his friends and doesn’t even notice her. His back is to her, which makes it easier for her to approach him. What if he thinks I’m weird? What will I say to him? He places his sunglasses in the back pocket of his shorts but they don’t quite make it and land in the sand. She picks up his shades and taps him on his shoulder. He’s very tall, which is making her mouth water for some reason. She’s angry that her heart is going to give her away, as it’s beating at a rapid pace. She supposes it would look strange if she had a heart attack right now, so she takes a deep breath and waits for him to turn around.