At the end of his hometown pier, the water was cold and deep. Years ago he would ride his bicycle to the harbor and stand there to watch the winter sunrise. Now it was July and the breeze over the water sopped the heat from the air so that he could lean on the rail and feel only thin sweat beneath his shirt. He was thinking that he ought to come here more often. He said that to himself all the time, but the length of the drive kept him at home.

He was waiting for the music to begin in the hall on the edge of the beach. That would be his signal to go in. He didn’t dread these reunions like he used to because he’d seen that age was a great equalizer. Still, there were always those surreal moments when he said hello to someone who used to act as if they lived on another plane. He’d have flashbacks of how they’d looked, especially the girls, who’d seemed removed from him, even the ones he knew well. They used to spend Friday nights in Jilli’s basement and he’d sneak looks at her and Lisa and Colleen and Gabrielle and wonder how Warren and Peter and Whisk could act so normal, as if hanging in the basement with girls so close was the most natural thing in the world.

With other girls it was even worse. With others girls it took all he had to stand in one place and keep his eyes from shifting. He was good in English and sometimes this one girl stopped him in the hall to ask him questions before a quiz. She was perfect, played field hockey, ran three miles a day. Her body was all heartbreaking curves and she could stun him motionless just by saying hello.

Genevieve, her name was, which over the years became Gen. After graduation she had moved out west. He heard she’d divorced and moved back, into a house three blocks over from where she’d grown up. He guessed she was still attractive, though faded like the rest of them. In school she’d had the air of a girl who knew she was pretty and he wondered how she felt about aging.

When the band began tuning up he sighed and shifted his weight but made no move to leave. He heard voices, raspier than they’d been. Jilli was at the foot of the pier, calling for him to get his ass in there. He grinned and waved and turned back to the water for just another minute of quiet. Jilli wasn’t giving up, though. She’d always been like their camp counselor. He heard her clomping toward him and had to smile. Short and slight, even in summer sandals she could make noise when she wanted to.

In surrender he turned, then stopped. Jilli was disappearing into the hall and a taller woman was walking toward him in jeans and cowboy boots, a t-shirt extolling the mountains in Colorado. “Me, too,” she greeted him. “I need a place to catch my breath before going in there.”

She stopped a foot away from him.

“Hello,” Genevieve said.

About Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is a writer and journalist who lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His novel, September, was published in 2006.

>> Mark Feffer's author page

More Romance stories

Discover our random name generators

Vampire Name Generator Town Name Generator Dog Name Generator Fox Name Generator Necromancer Name Generator Egyptian Name Generator Hawaiian Name Generator Goblin Name Generator Russian Name Generator Gem Name Generator Sith Name Generator Hobbit Name Generator God Name Generator Pirate Name Generator Dwarf Name Generator Political Party Name Generator Bakery Name Generator Mermaid Name Generator Old German Name Generator Robot Name Generator Paladin Name Generator Korean Name Generator Wrestler Name Generator Old English Name Generator Hotel Name Generator Record Label Name Generator Event Name Generator Angel Name Generator Motorcycle Club Name Generator Restaurant Name Generator Country Name Generator Harry Potter Name Generator Blood Elf Name Generator Swedish Name Generator King and Queen Name Generator British Name Generator Drink Name Generator Old Roman Name Generator Victorian Name Generator Old Celtic Name Generator

Would you like to see more? Then check out our full list of random name generators.

The Story Shack offers a wide range of flash fiction, writing tools and random name generators. Enjoy reading stories, get help writing them or generate names for anything you need, be it huge Triple A Games or awesome Indie ones, D&D roleplaying adventures, science fiction movies or perhaps even a newborn child. Whatever you're here for, thanks for stopping by and please enjoy your stay!