A Short Story

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I've always loved spending my summers on Cape Cod, but I had a feeling that this year was going to be different.

After the last day of classes, I'd usually pack up the latest fashions in beachwear and get out of the city until Labor Day. At first I'd go with my parents. When I got into high school, I'd naturally replaced them with my girlfriends: Ashley, Brittany, and Christy. I'm Darcy and at the Cape, we were known as the Alphabet Girls.

We'd spend our days swimming, eating, and sleeping, while our nights were reserved for partying. There was an endless supply of willing guys, and we always had our pick. Come September, we'd ditch these summer flings and return to our indisputable goals of attending college, marrying well, and continuing to live in the laps of luxury.

That was the plan for this summer, too until I met Ryan McPhee. We'd been dating since Christmas and were all set to spend the summer before my Senior year together at the beach. That in itself was going to be a first: me at the Cape with a boyfriend. But Ryan was handsome, rich, and totally into me, so I didn't mind trading some of my freedom for steady arm candy. Until the dumbass decided that he needed a purpose in life and joined the Navy three weeks before break.

Well, screw Ryan McPhee! I wasn't going to let him or anyone else ruin my fun.

As expected, the summer had turned into a blast. Things were going great, and before we knew it, it was already the day before Independence Day. That's the biggest holiday on the Cape, being all patriotic and stuff. Everything was already decked out in red, white, and blue with American flags flying on every porch. The girls and I were just finishing our afternoon tanning session, about to head back home to get ready for another night out. I was shaking the sand out of my beach towel when I noticed a group of teens playing in the water. This was a locals-only beach and not many tourists wander out here, but I didn't recognize any of them.

All of a sudden, a guy in the middle started waving in my direction. I looked behind me, but nobody was waving back so I did the "who me?" thing. He gave me a thumbs up, followed by a nod. Not being one to miss an opportunity to flirt, I waved back at the tan Adonis with the golden locks.

"Earth to Darcy!" A flip-flop hit me in the back of the head and pulled me out of the moment.

"What the eff," I grumbled to Britt, rubbing the spot where the footwear connected with my skull.

"We gotta go, girl. Shower, nap, dinner, partaaay," she elaborated on our nightly ritual.

I was about to object, but turning toward the water again, I saw that the place where the cute guy had been was now empty. Even all of his friends were gone. Weird, but whatever. It was party time.

A couple of hours later, we were dancing in the club when someone tapped me on the shoulder.

"Hello mysterious stranger," I greeted the blonde water-God for the second time today. "I hope you don't go running off on me again."

"My apologies, but my sisters were getting impatient." He nodded toward the gaggle of girls once again surrounding him. "My name's Ben, and I'm yours from now on, if you'll have me."

I hadn't settled on anyone for the night, so I took Ben up on his offer. In spite of being constantly watched by his sisters, we ended up dancing and sucking face until the club closed at 4 a.m. I really wished our time together didn't have to end, and luckily, he had the same idea.

"Have you ever gone on a late-night swim?" he asked, ushering me out amongst the crowd.

"Sure, all the time," I lied, so we set off toward the nearby beach on foot.

Only after we arrived did I really start to think things through. One, I didn't have a bathing suit. Two, I was on a deserted beach in the middle of the night. Three, I was with a guy I knew nothing about.

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