Story Time

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I pull away from Aniket, unable to breathe from the long passionate kiss. The cold air surrounded us as the beach came into view, the waves slapping against the coastline in a gentle manner.

The blue waves parted once again, weeping in despair as it separated from the tanned sand. Kids and adults alike roamed happily in the sand, watching the sun starting to depart to the other side of the world.

The light red and orange hues on the evening sky set a romantic mood, the couples rejoicing in the warm weather.

I remembered a time when I used to beg my parents to come here every weekend, enjoying the warm sun dancing on my skin and loving the fresh air filling my lungs.

I open the car door, reminiscing in the warm feeling and running away from the car to chase the sun. Aniket yells after me, but I don't stop; I couldn't stop. My legs did the thinking and who was I to refuse its natural urge?

I could hear Aniket's feet pounding through the sand behind me, trying to catch up. I slow down when I see the tiny ice cream shop, suddenly craving the sugary goodness.

My stomach growls in approval and I turn, slyly winking at Aniket before sprinting to the shop. I hold two of my fingers up, "Two ice creams please." I order.

"What flavor would you like?" The nice woman asks, lifting up the spoon.

I think about it for a moment. Aniket loves anything strawberry; I can smell the scent of strawberry shampoo, body wash all over me. "One strawberry and one chocolate please." I exclaim, bouncing on my toes.

Aniket catches up to me, placing a hand on my shoulder as he balances himself. "Pay for it." I command him. He smiles in response, shaking his head at me as he searches for money.

"I don't have money. Just cards." He says, patting and turning out his pockets to prove it to me.

I turn to the woman. "Do you know if there is ATM nearby?" I ask her, and she frowns, looking at my already licked ice-cream.

"A few stores past this one." She says, trying to burn me with her gaze.

I nod at her, sheepishly smiling as I shrug my shoulders. Aniket sprints to where the woman pointed. Halfway, his expensive shoes give up on him, filling themselves with sand with the amount of pressure Aniket was applying on them. Aniket looks between me and his shoes, and sighs. He throws his shoes on the ground, looking at it longingly once more before sprinting to his destination.

I sneer. Rich people.

I ignore the lady behind the counter, enjoying the coolness of the ice-cream on my taste buds as I watch the sun sink into the water.

The sun took its possessions with it, repacking the warmth it offered mere minutes ago with cold, chilly air. Sitting on the counter, I watch the children play in the waves. They only wear beat-down clothes, with no adults in their circle of happiness. My eyes follow the footprints they left behind to enter the water, spotting tin cans and cardboard boxes filled  with merchandise of all sorts.

Before I could get closer to observe them, a young child sneaks up on me, looking at me with her big brown eyes. "Hello." She says meekly. She could have been five or six, with dirty brown hair and a muddied yellow sundress. Her hair is braided loosely  as pigtails, making her look so adorable. Her lips smiled while her eyes showed the exact opposite feeling; loss and sadness clouded her eyes as she brought her weaved basket up to my face, encasing her shells. "Their only five rupees, ma'am. My mama says you could hear the whole sea when you listen." She exclaims, holding up five fingers again to emphasize her point that it was really cheap.

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