September 1, 2007
As the red SUV pulled away, Mary Larkson could not help thinking to herself that sheÕs never met anyone like Corina Thomas.

It was late August, the end of the Seagull Bay tourist season. Most of the boarders had already left, moving back to New York or Boston or Hartford, back to where they came from. The Thomases had been one of the last families to leave.
The Thomases did not go home to New York or Boston or Hartford. They came from Honolulu.

Fourteen years, MaryÕs entire life, was a lot the be living and helping in a beach home complex. Fourteen years was a lot of summer tourists. But none had come from Honolulu. None had been like Corina.

Mary had asked Corina why her family had come up to Maine when there were some many places in Hawaii to go for the summer. Corina just said they wanted a change.
Mary saw her hometown anew through CorinaÕs eyes as she showed her around. The rugged mountain peaks were so different from the Hawaiian volcanoes, the cool, foaming Atlantic to the calm, warm Pacific. Downtown was quaintÓ, and the people were cozyÓ. MaryÕs dreams to move to New York or Boston or Hartford were thrust away with pride for her hometown.

Corina was home schooled. Mary gaped at spending all day with her parents, at not having all the friends she saw five days a week. She said her parents did not like the school system in Honolulu. She said she wished she had gone to public, that she planned to send her children there. Mary said the Seagull Bay schools were very good.

Mary and Corina had become good friends over the course of the summer. Mary was short, plump and pale, Corina tall and wiry, with thick ebony curls, amber skin, and wild eyes. Together they swam, they hiked, they ran, they walked, and they talked the summer away.
As the red SUV disappeared into the bright, late summer sky, Mary remembered their last conversation. Corina said that when she was older, she move to Seagull Bay. Mary replied that sheÕd be waiting.

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