© Gayle Hedrington
Joyce jumped out of the water giving a shriek. "Did a fish bit you?" The handsome Beach Man asked.
"Something did." She hoped he did not notice her blushing. Whatever bit her did so, right on her crotch. She wondered if the creature sensed her sexual excitement, brought on by Mr. Beach Man. He had that affect on her.
"Where did he bite you?" His voice echoing genuine concern. However, Joyce's hesitation caused him to say "Never mind, I don't need to know."
Joyce was about to ask his name, when the fish returned for another nibble. Again she vaulted out of the water with a shout.
"Did he bite you again?"
"Yes" She gave out a slight laugh.
"Let me see... if I can see him" as he moved towards her.
At that moment, the fish tasted her crotch again. "I saw him that time. It's a small perch, come over here and I'll show you." He held out his hand.
Joyce wadded towards him and stood aside him. "See that fish there? He is the one that's biting you. He remained still and they watched as the fish neared their feet. When it maneuvered to nibble his toes , he kick his foot to disturb the fish and it swam away.
They both giggled.
"What's your name?"
"Doug" He replied and held out his hand. She took his hand and as they made their first physical contact.
Finally a name! Joyce had always referred to him as Mr. Beach Man to her friends. All her friends knew of him from her constant chatter. They wanted to meet the man who had locked Joyce's heart without a word being exchanged. Her friends had never seen Joyce so taken. She fell in love with Doug the instant he passed her eyes. What was not to love? Bronze skin, broad shoulders, and full bodied, sun streaked, brown hair. It was the type of hair that could never be out of place even when tossed or ruffled. Joyce possessed the ability to see beyond the physical frame of a person. She knew that he was her spirit twin, she felt it in her soul.
The second and last time she saw Doug was at the beach. It was a week or so after their first meeting and Doug joined her on the blanket. The two engaged in conversation until the inevitable came up. Doug confessed, he was married but separated. Joyce explained to Doug. about the past year in marriage counseling and that even the marriage counselor had said there was nothing more she could do. Doug told her to make her husband pay attention to her. He encouraged her to scream, cry to do whatever it was she had to do. She explained to him that she did and it didn't work. Doug confessed it didn't work for him either.
"You'll end up going back to your wife." Joyce told him.
"No, I don't think so. He said with a firm positive tone.
Doug was starting a new job on Monday and it he wouldn't be at the beach during the week. Joyce was leaving the next day for a wedding in Atlantic City. If she only knew it was the last time that she was going to see him, she would have left her number under the truck's windshield wiper. Both of them were assured they would see one another, the following weekend at the beach. Joyce mentioned the shortness of swimming days left, but Doug assured her there were still several swimming days ahead. Each of them loved the lake and swimming.
Joyce couldn't wait to get to the beach the next Saturday. She hurried there so she wouldn't be late and miss Doug again. As she pulled into the beach parking lot, her heart sunk. Signs were everywhere "Beach Closed - Until Future Notice - due to blue/green algae". Joyce stopped and asked the attendants when the beach would open again, and they said they didn't know. Joyce drove off and cursed herself under her breath, that she never asked Doug his last name.
Preparing for her new life in San Diego, Joyce wipes the last tear that she will ever shed for her defunct marriage to Frank. Although she is glad to be getting far away from Frank and the heartache, she doesn't want to leave Doug. She still believes, he is her spirit twin and they belong together. It wasn't as if she didn't try to find him. She spent two days riding around his work place looking for his truck, but never found it. He must have bought a new vehicle. Trying to reach him by calling work was impossible, she didn't know his last name. It is now up to fate, what will be will be.
Joyce droped off the rental car at the return center, her pace is fast as she walks toward the terminal. "Joyce! Is that you?"
As she turns she see Doug. "What are you doing here?" She can't believe her eyes. The site of Doug makes her feel as giddy as a teenager.
"My mom is sick. I came home to see her."
"You came home?"
"Yes, you were right I went back with my wife."
Joyce's heart sunk, and she felt sick. All she could say was "Oh."
"However I filed for divorce. I thought about you everyday."
"What are you doing?"
"Moving to San Diego."
"Really? What about Frank?"
"Give me you phone number, and address. I will see you when I get back to California. I know this sounds strange, but I feel like I belong with you."
"Really? I feel that too."
With that, the spirit twins embraced, kissed and of course exchanged phone numbers.
BIO: Gayle Hedrington lives in New Hampshire. She writes a weekly news column,and writes fiction and non fiction. In addition to writing she loves,animals, and cooking.