Summer Dreams

Summer Dreams

A warm story I scribbled down on the coldest day of the coldest winter while waiting for the oil to be delivered. Not Chekhov, but very therapeutic!


The sand was hot beneath her feet, the water at the tide’s edge limpid. Gentle. Murmuring, with small enticing ripples and scattered shells and fine trails of weed. Looking round she saw a solitary jogger  in the distance. It was late and this had been her first chance to visit the beach after the move into the new house. With narrowed eyes she watched for a moment and smiled. He was going the other way, his figure receding into the haze. To all intents and purposes she was alone.

It was something she had always wanted to do. Peeling off tee-shirt and bra, then skirt and pants she dropped them with her sandals and stood naked on the edge of the water, raising  her arms towards the setting sun. Nudist bathing beaches had never attracted her, but here, alone, a communion between her and the sea, this was special. And a tiny bit wicked.

She ran forward splashing in the wavelets and when the water was deep enough leaned forward, feeling it caress her breasts and lave her shoulders. At last she felt her feet lift from the ground and she began to swim, feeling the silkiness of  the tide against her skin, the kick of her legs, free and somehow primitive. It was glorious. She swam out lazily towards the sun, feeling it gild her skin, gently touching her hair. She slowed then  till she was drifting, barely moving. and trod water for a while before reluctantly  turning back.

There was a figure on the beach watching her. At his feet she could see the small pile of her clothes.

‘Shit!’ She slowed her strokes

He wasn’t going to move. Of course he wasn’t going to move.

She swam on towards him until below her she could sense the shallowness of the water.  In seconds she would no longer be able to swim.  Kneeling she paused for a moment, made decent by the entirety of the ocean, then, at last  she stood up and pushed her long hair back off her face, feeling the water sluicing down her body.

The crimson light had  tinged her skin, she realised,  with a bronze glow which was nothing if not flattering. Suddenly she felt empowered. She was Aphrodite rising from the waves, or that Bond girl . (Well,  almost: no gun.) With a slight smile she began to walk forward feeling the last rays of the sun stroking her thighs, a gentle warm breeze teasing the wet ringlets  bouncing on her shoulders. As she drew closer she fixed her eyes on his face, challenging, determinedly unembarrassed.

At exactly the right moment he stooped and picked up the clothes, holding them out to her. Reaching out her hand she took them. ‘Thank you.’ Suitably imperious, she thought. She didn’t pause. She walked away, revelling in her nakedness, free, confident. Only when she was well out of earshot did she begin to laugh. She knew him!  A wash of warm embarrassment at last swept over her. He was the head teacher of her daughter’s new school. The school the little girl would be starting tomorrow. Had he recognised her? She didn’t think so. She hoped not. He had probably not focussed on her face!

She walked on until she felt dry enough  to pull on her clothes, pleased she had not tried to do this in front of him, imagining the unedifying sight of herself hopping round on the sand trying to put her foot into her knickers in front of an audience.

‘Mrs Hartington?’ The voice behind her was tentative.

She swung round in horror. He had followed her.

He shrugged his shoulders  gravely. ‘You dropped your watch.’ It was dangling from his finger tips.

‘Thank you.’ She took it

He took a step back. ‘I hope it hasn’t got wet. The tide comes in very fast.’

‘I’m glad you noticed it.’ She pushed her damp hair back from her face with a quick glance up at him.. ‘Sophie is looking forward to starting school  tomorrow.’ Suddenly she was trying not to laugh.’

‘So am I.’ He gave a small half bow. ‘I look forward to getting to know my new pupils each year.’

Looking down she concentrated on fastening her watch. She could feel the awful uncontrollable giggle welling slowly and inexorably from the pit of her stomach up into her chest and thence towards her throat. Her shoulders were heaving, her mouth twitching. Any moment now her eyes would start to water. Helplessly she looked up at him again.  ‘It was such a beautiful evening, I couldn’t  resist.’ She could barely get the words out.

At  last he smiled. It was a solemn smile, sober, polite, headmaster to parent,  but  was there something else there, the merest twinkle, in his eye?

She took the bull by the horns. With a deep breath she fought down  the giggles. ‘Sophie and I are new here, as you know. Her dad has taken her out for tea for a last treat before term starts. You know how it is. He and I – we’re not together any more. I thought I could take the chance for a walk on my own. I didn’t bring my swimming things.’ She was babbling. ‘The water was so warm and inviting. I never expected that. And I never expected the beach to be empty. I couldn’t resist, I’m afraid. I didn’t see you..’ She shrugged. ‘Am I beyond the pale now?  Have I broken some inimitable law?‘

This time she definitely did see a twinkle. ‘Not that I know of. I expect there is one, though. No bathing while everyone is having their tea. That sort of thing. This is a respectable place, you know.’

‘I’m so sorry.’ She met his eye and held it. ‘Please don’t hold it against Sophie.’

‘As if I would.’ He grinned openly. ‘It will be a joy to have a free spirit in the school.  If she’s like her mum, that is.’

She shook her head. ‘She is not as bad as me. At least she’ll keep her clothes on.’ The wretched giggle was back. ‘She loves her school uniform so much she wants to sleep in it!’

That was it. What else was there to say? He bowed again, that strange rather courtly gesture. ‘I’ll see you tomorrow then.’

She watched as he walked away up the beach. It was almost dark now. The warmth of the sand beneath her bare toes was delicious; for a moment she was tempted to go back in the water but she resisted. Dropping her  sandals onto the ground she pushed her feet into them, feeling the grittiness between her toes. Time to go home.

In the distance his figure, heading slowly towards the beach huts, faded into the twilight and disappeared.


Of course, in real life this guy would be married or gay, bound to be! or so cynical he would run a mile and she would never be alone with  him again. But in  fiction who knows? Perhaps he too was single and a little lonely. Perhaps he fancied her rotten after their unexpected meeting. Perhaps they were two wild spirits, hiding their longings behind respectable  disguises,  ready to embark upon an adventure together. Perhaps in the next school holidays they decided to go somewhere lovely and warm where it never snows and perhaps they lived happily ever after! I think that’s what happened, don’t you?

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