The first worker hauled two rounded weights – one under each arm – from the truck onto the sand. A second worker tied each weight to a skinny green rope, which he tossed to a third worker who stood on top of a wooden platform ladder. That worker then tied the rope to the top of the tent where the poles attached, letting it pull the tarp out at each side, creating a kind of awning. A second team did the same thing on the other side. The tents were enormous. As she watched, Clara figured they could hold maybe eighty or ninety people. She'd already seen the crew set up two other tents, and bleachers before that. And swerving paths lined by tiki torches before the bleachers. She was impressed with how efficient they were, and with how much work went into setting up for a festival like this.

Clara observed all this from her third floor window at Fogelsang Engineering where she was already bored. The firm's headquarters was a beautiful Victorian house that overlooked the beach – though Clara had estimated that at least one third of Breach Point could be said to be near the beach or to at least have a view of it. Not that it wasn't a treat to be able to see the sand and ocean while working. Clara figured she could appreciate it more than any of the locals, who seemed to have stopped noticing it long ago. She wondered if the same thing would happen to her by the end of the summer. Hopefully the shoreline's effect would never completely disappear.

Clara's orientation earlier that morning went well. Her new boss Shane showed her around, introducing her to everyone who wasn't on the phone or in a meeting. Clara had visited her father's office a few times, which he called "the cubicle farm," and she realized that Fogelsang was a huge improvement over that. There were desks instead of cubicles, and they weren't all the same style of desk, either. And as nice as the office was, the whole place still had a cobbled-together feeling. It was modern, but handcrafted with individual character and history everywhere she looked.

Her co-workers ranged in age from their early twenties to late fifties. It was a nice little group – friendly, and for the most part very welcoming. And she wasn't the only teenage intern at Fogelsang, either. Shane had introduced Clara to a goofy girl named Bailey who looked sixteen or seventeen. Clara couldn't get a good read on Bailey – she seemed nice, but not especially bright. She had the same vacant smile the entire time Clara spoke with her. Shane had said that Bailey started two months earlier, and Clara felt like the girl still hadn't figured out exactly what she was doing there.

"How are you making out?" asked Shane, surprising Clara. She hadn't heard anyone approach her desk. She whipped her head away from the window and back to the files laid out in front of her – files she had scanned, and which she was now supposed to be collating. She immediately began shuffling and clipping random pages together, hoping Shane couldn't tell that he'd caught her daydreaming.

"Oh, uh... fine," Clara said. "Just trying to figure out what all these different things are, actually." She was bluffing and she knew it.

Shane grabbed an empty office chair from the workspace behind her and rolled it over.

"Well that's comforting," he said, sitting down.

"What is?" Clara asked. "Not knowing?"

"No – being willing to admit it," Shane said, leaning in. And in more of a whisper, he added, "We've got people here twice your age who constantly pretend they have all the answers – and some of them have their Masters in Engineering degrees..." Shane used his head to direct Clara's attention across the room at Paul, a guy who seemed to be in his early thirties – about the same age as Shane.

Shane chuckled. Clara smiled but didn't feel right adding anything to the comment. Her mother had advised her not to involve herself in office politics, and though she hadn't imagined that would be an issue at a small engineering firm, Clara now realized how right she had been. She thought about her friends' first jobs – waitressing, stocking shelves, cashier jobs. Clara felt bad thinking it, but she couldn't imagine anyone she knew being equipped to handle an internship like this, working with professionals doing their jobs instead of dealing with the general public. She was suddenly proud of herself for finding the position on her own and convincing Fogelsang to take a chance on her.

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