Her skin was still a creamy white from the winter months when her skin remained untouched by the sun, probably around the time of June or early July. Her feet barely touched the ground as she ran recklessly to the beach for the first time that Summer. Slamming her heels against acorns scattered in the grass towards the entrance, she was too excited to care that she had forgotten her flip flops inside. Even though the sand was scalding hot and teeming with broken, sharp shells, the cousins quickly began metamorphosing themselves into mermaids with stony tails of sand. Imagining their own world, they giggled and squealed in merriment as they felt the chill of Lake Erie up their spines with every toe dipped onto the shore. Each miniscule detail, annoying or pleasurable in the eyes of an adult, added to a story of many princesses and drama. When they stumble upon a large seaweed mound on the beach, they don’t hesitate for a second to make this their new grand fortress. Refurbished with a grand staircase, modern kitchen, and resting area with love seats, the girls built the sand castle of all sandcastles. Slowly acquiring the smell of rotting seaweed and every mystery item in that pile, they didn’t consider how many showers it would take to get it out of their hair. All of those girls, bonded by best friendships and blood, thrived in free spirit with each role play and creation of something new. They didn’t realize that this would be one of the last big family gatherings because of difficulty scheduling with multiple busy parents. They didn’t realize that within ten or twelve years they would only be connected through the occasional text a couple times a season. They didn’t realize that decisions and college were heading their way in what seemed like without warning. They didn’t realize how many miles would end up between them. They didn’t realize that Christmas would be the only day they would see eachother each year. They didn’t realize that eventually each of them would have to grow up, retire their imaginary crowns, wash the essence of seaweed and sand from their hair, and give up the sleepovers spent laughing until the early hours of the morning. They didn’t realize how much they should cherish every second they played together on that beach. Searching for a pirate treasure chest with mounds of priceless gold inside, they didn’t know how much they would treasure this day until it was long gone and faded into their minds.
January 21, 2018