“I didn’t think you were coming.”
She’s standing there, lit from behind by the full moon and the glare of the city on the other side of the river. And somehow, even though I can’t see her face, I can see the frown.
I clatter my full pockets in response and start tugging at my shoes. Her feet are already bare and she’s standing there, trousers rolled up and her hips bulging just like mine, waiting impatiently for me to go and join her.
The sand is a shock of cold beneath my feet as I make my way over to her, gripping hard with my toes like some kind of cumbersome bird. One walk home in wet jeans is enough to dispel any fears you have about looking stupid while staying upright, I’ve learnt.
When I reach her, she turns her back to me - but gently, so she can look back out over the wide, slow river. I bump my pocket against hers and hear the stones kick together. Digging into my pocket, I pick out a good, heavy one. One for luck.
A breath, then I throw it gently out so it lands about a foot in front of me. Next to me, her arm comes up and over, and another stone joins mine. We hurl them further and further out, each throw more desperate, more resentful than the last. Finally, our pockets are empty again.
I give her a kiss on her cool cheek and tell her to hurry home. Then, I turn to go, leaving her there, silhouetted against the petrol blue sand and the moon and our useless, pointless stepping stones out across the river. The wind is starting to rise, lifting spray from the surface of the water. Tonight, a pocketful of stones is all there is.
I based this flash on Amphitrite by Moonlight by William Michael