Low tide was at its lowest, a time the locals called the “two tones” for the fact that the dry and wet distinctive pink sands of this coast of Goloreya are at the most contrasted. For the past few days, the tide has been coinciding with sunsets, making the two pink hues almost glow and turning the entire sky a light shade of pink.
Jeshen was cleaning his bar counter in preparation for the throng of tourists lucky enough to be here at this special time. Jeshen’s little refreshment shack on the beach was his sole source of income, and he took immense pride in this. It did good business, especially during the ‘drier season’ when tourist from the far reaches of the metropolis flock to release their stress on the soft sands and gentle surf of Galoreya’s Pekku Coast.
“What can I get you?” Jeshen asked a young woman who had just sat at the stool.
“What’s your specialty?” She asked
Jeshen saw her walking the beach alone during sunset the last couple nights, she was just a silhouette by the water’s edge, and hoped she’d stop by for a drink at some point. During those sunset walks by his bar, Jeshen noticed her muscular physique and could not help wondering if he would have any chance in Ketch with a woman like her.
“Uh…,” he had trouble getting the words out of his mouth.
The woman smiled flattered that she was the thief of those words. “I’ll just have whatever juice you recommend; something not too sour.”
“How about a blend of beitra and kala fruit with a couple mi seeds for that extra kick?” Jeshen was proud of his unique concoctions, which had made him a sort of local celebrity.
“O.K., that sounds good.”
He quickly but thoroughly washed his hands and went reached down to the mini-fridge to grab a container of a premix of his invention. Unlike most men at this time of year, he was wearing a long-sleeve shirt. The girl noticed that the shirt was almost soaked in sweat.
“Aren’t you awfully hot?” she asked with a tone of true concern Jeshen noticed.
“Yes, I’m sorry about that. It is just I am not originally from around here and never got used to the liberal attitude toward clothing here.” He was a bit embarrassed talking about himself in front of her.
“Where are you from?” the woman asked in a tone that told Jeshen that she actually wanted to know. “I could tell from your accent that you are not native to this part of the city.”
“I moved down here from Shidou about 5 years ago.” He lied.
The woman knew he lied and said, “I am also not from around here. But I think you knew that since you probably know all the locals.”
“Yes, and your accent as well. You are from the Great Bend area, are you not?”
“Yes.” She was surprised at this. “My accent is that noticeable?” She seemed uncomfortable at this, Jeshen sensed.
“I’m just interested in the various dialects and languages of the city, so I guess I am more tuned into those sorts of things.” He tried to put his new friend at ease. “Is this your first time to the Pekku Coast?” He asked trying to change the subject.
“Yes. It’s gorgeous.”
“How long are you here for?” He asked hoping for an answer that included more than a week.
“Just a couple more days, unfortunately.” She seemed a little depressed at this. “I wish I had found your wonderful place earlier. It has such a beautiful view of the sea.”
“Yes, the best on this part of the beach.” He said proudly.
“May I take off my shirt, the sun is beating down on my back.”
“Yes, of course.” He like the fact that she was being sensitive to his false cultural values.”
She started to take off the pastel orange shirt covering her two-piece bathing suit. Jeshen noticed here muscles contract and release in chorus with her actions and could not help staring, almost overflowing her drink in the process.
He took his eyes off her to finish preparing her order, a bit ashamed at staring. As he placed here dink in front of her, he quickly looked up and noticed long, un-tanned scars running down the back of her arms and down her sides as she was finally pulling her sheet around and off here head. He immediately looked down to wash his hands that were sticky with beitra and kala juice.
“So, what’s your name?” He asked as he smiled thinking to himself that he was no longer alone.