The white surf rolled to the sands of Port des Minimes beach, now barely visible at twilight. In my usual manner, I stood pondering philosophical ruminations– until my Voltaire-like daydream was broken by a glimpse of a young woman with almond shaped eyes and freckles sprinkled across her lovely face. Her hand brushed back her long brown hair as she smiled at me. Why I left at that moment defied logic, perhaps it was because she caught me by surprise– but nonetheless, I walked away. Go back, just go introduce yourself, I thought. Those bold thoughts quickly gave way to rationalization, Oh well, there are plenty of women– leave it be, don’t be foolish. Momentum carried me farther and farther away like a gust of unfortunate wind. The outlines of the boats faded into darkness. I strolled on, the minutes on my watch ticking away. A wooden surf shop, a clerk dragging in the last outdoor display, shadows dancing along the wharf, I walked lost in regret, reaching Avenue Michel Crepeau and Boulevard de la Republique– all the time this lovely girl stayed in my thoughts. I hadn’t even properly introduced myself. I stopped, peered down at my shoes, and with renewed confidence, nodded my head. I returned only to find a seagull perched on the bench while the last sunlight disappeared across the Atlantic.
The next morning, with sleepy eyes, I emerged onto the avenue with a flaky butter croissant in hand. Scattered clouds floated apart revealing a piercing blue sky. I slumped down on a bench in front of the hotel.
“Hello again,” a voice said. “I’m Chloe.”
And they say you don’t get second chances.
To be continued…..