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Published by Carla King
A woman on a beach in the South of France faces storms of many kinds.
A woman on a beach in the South of France faces storms of many kinds.

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Published by: Carla King on Apr 26, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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by Carla King
It is late afternoon and storm clouds gather over the sea on theother side of the bay. Squinting, Eva pulls the wide-brimmed straw hatlower over her eyes. The ice cream vendor walks by pulling his faded red plastic coolerfull of ice and cardboard tasting ice cream cones, flinging bits of sandbehind him with each flip of his blue plastic thongs. It is the last timehe will pass today. Most people are packing up their things, foldingtheir towels, and gathering up their children who want to stay at theedge of the sea. The children don’t want to go. They are jumpingexcitedly at the flash of lightening, laughing at the thunder andcounting the seconds. It is still so far away.“Another glass of rose?” asks John. His voice seems far away.Eva hands her glass to him without answering. She’s had too muchalready and the sun has made her head ache. Another glass will bringback the oblivion. He pours and the crystal immediately frosts. It feelsnice on her fingers, on her throat. She takes several short sips. It isgood wine from the region, sweet with fruit, bitter with grape skins.She holds the half empty glass up to him, and he fills her glassagain.Eva leans back, her elbows on the yellow beach towel. The air is stillwarm and hangs thickly around her body that is sticky, salty fromsweat and the blue green sea water. She thinks of getting up to rinseherself in the fresh water shower by the edge of the beach but the
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effort seems to great and anyway, there is the storm that is comingtoward them. They must go soon. Her arms feel heavy.Suddenly she notices the silence. Everyone has gone, and soquickly. There are no more screaming splashing children, no loversembracing in the sea, no married couples quarreling. They have it tothemselves now, the entire Riviera. How often does that happen?Another rumble of thunder. Oh, the light is exquisite now on thesea. The clouds are heavy and white with gray and black edging. It’slovely. They should wait and risk its arrival. Wait until the last minuteand then rush to the car in the midst of it, letting the raindrops pelttheir backs, soak their clothes.But John will want to leave soon. She can feel his struggle withimpatience and his unwillingness to express his desire to leave. He hasthese fights inside, she always knows it. He can’t insist.Well, she doesn’t want to care about his discomfort. It isn’t hers andhe can learn, or not, to express his desires. She sits up to look at theclouds and to take another sip of wine and doesn’t look at him. Shetilts her head back to let the sun tease her eyes, then dips her headagain. She falls back on her arms and wills the sun to stay visible underthe clouds. She likes the golden warmth on her skin. It feels good tostretch her neck back so far. Maybe he will kiss her. She closes hereyes.No.
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