A Beach Meeting P1

Perhaps, some of you have had an unexpected meeting with a stranger in a place that leaves one questioning the motive intended by that person. That thought still came into John’s mind long after the happening.
It was getting dark. The cloud cover parted just long enough to let the evening stars have a peek at the earth below. The wind coming off the ocean felt a little on the cool side, which was welcomed after the tropical heat of that day. John and Keren with her niece, Sheila, had arrived at a small restaurant just above Baybay beach and alongside the road leading to the city’s port. Sheila had arranged a supper meeting with a ministry couple, Pastors Gabriel and Elisa De Juan to discuss the idea of forming a mission partnership. They had not yet arrived, so John thought it would be good to go down to the beach while there was still an inkling of light.
The beach extended for kilometres. It was narrower now because it was high tide. When low tide, the retreating sea made the beach grow quite wide.
“Keren, I will go out onto the beach until they come,” John said.
“Don’t go too far. You will need to hear our call when they arrive.”
“I’ll just be out front.”
“Be careful. It is already getting well past dusk.”
John pointed to a slight break in the clouds. “See? The opening lets in light.”
“How long do you think that will last? It gets dark quickly here in the tropics. Just be careful,” she repeated.
The restaurant was completely open except for having a roof to shelter from sun and rain. There were several high concrete steps leading down to the beach. From these, John stepped out onto the fine soft sand of the higher beach. It parted under his shoes causing them to sink down at their sides with each step taken. The awkward difficulty of walking through this dry sand reminded John of walking through freshly fallen snow in Canada. He plodded directly towards the sea where the beach would be wet and firm beneath his feet. To keep his shoes dry, John stood a safe distance from the water that rose and ebbed at the shore. He listened in the forming darkness to the breaking of a wave as it came crashing towards shore. It flattened out flowing as high as it could onto the beach before being inescapably drawn back to the sea. He could see the white of another breaking wave making its way to shore.
John looked back towards the restaurant.  He could see from the light there that Keren and Sheila were still seated alone at a picnic style table. He decided there was time to walk further down the beach. He reasoned that he would only go a short distance.  After awhile, he stopped to listen. The only sound was that made by the sea. When he turned his eyes towards the road above the beach, he saw no evidence of lights from vehicles travelling it. There was only the dark silhouette of closed buildings hugging closely along the roadway. He could feel a slight chill from the light sea breeze and wished that he had worn his old hockey jacket over his short-sleeved shirt. For the meeting with Gabriel and Elisa, he did wear long pants and he was glad of that.

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