The falling snow drifted across the university grounds. Lili removed her dressing gown and crawled into her bed, wrapping up in a feather duvet. The wind blew the snow against the window with a soft sifting swirl.
Another long night alone whispered. Rest. Sleep. She closed her eyes and drifted off.
The ocean waves broke and washed up onto the warm, sandy beach in the mid-morning sun. Lili stretched her arms above her head as if to touch the blue cloudless sky. Another carefree day at the beach.
Lili turned toward the familiar voice. “Georgia!”
“You’re back! It’s been, like — forever!”
“I’ve been studying. Important to keep up.”
“Well, you’re here now, so put on your roller skates and let’s get moving. The day is only so long.”
Lili laced up her skates and rolled onto the boardwalk. “It’s so nice today,” she said, putting on sunglasses. “Do you have any sunblock? I forgot mine.”
“Only SPF eight.”
“Better than nothing.” The lotion felt cool as she applied it, avoiding getting any on her new, blue paisley bikini. “I’m ready. Where’s Mookie?”
“He’s down the beach at the skate park. He’ll be so happy to see you. Come on, let’s go!”
They skated side-by-side along the promenade in the bright sun toward the skate bowl. Lili rolled up next to a suntanned boy with shaggy blond hair and tapped him on the shoulder. “Hi Mookie!”
Mookie looked up from his phone. “Hey, Lili!” he said, hugging her. “I missed you so much. How are your studies?”
“I’m obsessed by them.” She rolled her eyes.
“You look so pale.”
“I know.” She stuck out her leg. “But I have all day, and the surf’s up. Georgia and I are going surfing, wanna come?”
“Absolutely! A couple of things to do first.” He looked at the time on his phone. “Meet me by the pier around noon. Deal?”
The wind and snow continued to blow outside of Lili’s window as she slept on.
The three friends hit the waves at noon. The cool salty water splashed onto her face and dripped into her mouth as she paddled out past the breakers. Straddling her board, she bobbed with the ocean’s swell, waiting for the right wave. It had been a while since Lili had surfed, but it didn’t take long to get back into it; a few missed waves and a couple of wipeouts added to the excitement of being with her beach friends.
“I gotta go,” Georgia said, paddling up next to Lili’s board. “Need to be at work in an hour. You two have fun. It was awesome to see you again, Lili.”
“Same to you, Georgia.” They hugged and kissed each other on the cheek.
Lili and Mookie trudged through the wash and onto the beach, falling to the ground, tired and laughing. They sat on the sand next to each other, watching the sun setting into the ocean. The now gentle waves softly kissed the shoreline as Mookie gently kissed Lili on the cheek. “I love you, Lili. I don’t want you to go away again.”
She smiled as the sun disappeared into the water and a warm breeze drifted over her. She laid back and closed her eyes.
Lili’s phone vibrated on the small table next to her bed. Awakened by the alarm, she reached for her dressing gown and reluctantly crawled out of her cozy warm bed. The window framed the white and black wintry world outside as she looked at the new fallen snow. She thought about her vivid dream — most of all, Mookie. It all seemed so real.
Sighing, she pulled her hands up into the sleeves of her gown and checked the time on the clock above the stove. Two hours until History class. No reason to hurry. A hot shower would feel good and also heat the bathroom with warm, moist air.
The water created a cloud of steam that fogged up the large mirror over the washbasin. As Lili stepped under the streaming water, it stung her skin. She quickly turned the hot water down to produce a cool, soothing sensation. This surprised her. She didn’t like cold showers.
She rinsed, shut off the taps, and grabbed a towel. The towel against her skin hurt while she dried herself.
She stood in front of the foggy mirror and wiped the glass with the towel, revealing sunburned skin and the pale lines of her dream bikini.
Lili donned her warmest clothes, and a hooded down-filled parka, gathered her books and headed out into the cold winter morning.
Maybe tonight, I will wear SPF 15 sunscreen to bed.
Anna is a twenty-year-old Franco-American graduate student, living in Venice Beach California. She is a violinist, standup comedienne, dog walker and roller-skater. Anna is bilingual, French and English, but struggles with English creative writing. Hence, she has taken on writing Flash Fiction to improve her skills. Beach Dream is her second story written in English.