New Friends

New Friends

D.B. Mauldin

Julia loved the beach. She loved her early morning runs. There was nothing better, in Julia’s eyes, than combining the two. Sunrise saw Julia running on the beach, staying close to the ocean water, but far enough away that her feet pounded on the hard packed sand left from the nights incoming tide.

She had run one mile of her usual five mile run, when she saw an older lady up ahead.

“Good morning! Way to go,” Julia yelled at the woman as she ran past her.

By the time the old woman had looked up, Julia was far ahead of her. She smiled as she remembered her youthful days. She never did much running, but she had always taken long walks.

Finishing her morning walk, the old woman walked further up into the sand. She carried her bright pink flip-flops in her hand. She approached her lounge chair and sat down. Today, she was dressed in a pale pink t-shirt with ecru knee shorts. She pulled her bright pink sun hat lower on her head to block out the sun, then picked up a book and began reading.

Julia had turned and began her run back to the beach at her hotel. She was nearing the place where she had seen the older woman. She noticed a lovely beach house set back from the ocean. The house was surrounded by beautiful palm trees and gorgeous beach side flowers. Julia wondered if the old woman lived there.

She saw the old woman sitting in her lounge chair reading. Julia began to slow her pace, so she could stop and chat for awhile. She walked up the sand toward the old woman.

The old woman heard Julia coming, laid down her book, and lifted her hat so that she could see her. Julia smiled and held out her hand.

“Hi, I’m Julia,” she said.

“Nice to meet you, Julia. My name is Marilyn. Please have a seat,” Marilyn said while shaking Julia’s hand.

“I saw you walking on the beach earlier. Is that something you do every day?” Julia asked.

“I do, sometimes three or four times a day, unless it is raining, of course,” Marilyn replied.

“I admire that in you. I can’t get my mom away from her television long enough to go out for a walk.”

“Well, maybe she will see the need for change one day,” Marilyn replied patting Julia’s hand.

“Do you live in the pretty beach house?” Julia asked.

“Yes. I have always loved the ocean and wanted to live near it. My late husband, Frank, and I bought the beach house when our children were little. We came down as often as we could. After Frank passed, I decided I wanted to live here permanently.”

“That’s great. I only get to come once or twice a year, whenever I can get a vacation. I’m currently working on a novel that I hope will bring in enough money for me to afford to write full time and move to the beach.”

“A writer! I love to read. Please come on up to the beach house with me and you can tell me all about your book over coffee and a slice of cake.”

Julia hesitated.

“I really need to finish my run,” Julia started, but Marilyn cut her off.

“You can run later. It’s 10:00 am and I never stay in the sun longer than that. I would love to have your company. Everyone needs a little sugar in their life.”

Julia smiled. She linked her arm with Marilyn’s and let her lead her to the beach house.

“I bet you have lot’s of advice on life,” Julia said.

“Indeed I do, indeed I do,” said Marilyn.

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