As Rosie drove over the hill and caught her first sight of the sea, The Lighthouse Family’s ‘Ocean Drive’ was playing on the radio. ‘It’s a sign,” she said to Bertie, her tabby, now meowing from his carrier on the passenger seat of her bright yellow Suzuki Swift.
Escaping Trevor had taken seven years and nothing was going to spoil this moment. Looking in her rear view mirror at a clear road, she pulled into a layby and onto uneven gravel.
She sat for a few minutes, just thinking, staring at the cloudless sky and blue sea, a postcard in the making. Fishing around in her handbag, she found her camera. She’d come up here, she decided, whenever she could, at… she looked at the dashboard clock… midday, and take a photograph regardless of the weather. They’d remind her that however gloomy the photographs or things got, this had been the perfect start to the rest of her life.
Looking through the lens she was about to take the shot when there was a tap at the window. She flinched and dropped the camera into the footwell. She knew she had to turn round, had to look through the window, had to see the face.
“Be strong,” she whispered then flinched again as a second tap came.
Checking the central locking, which she knew to be secure, she slowly turned to her right and looked at the face. Heart thumping, Rosie recognised the uniform. “Oh no!” she said. Bertie whined in unison.
The man pointed down at the ground and said something inaudible.
Rosie pressed the button for the window, moved it down a couple of inches, but said nothing.
“Madam,” the man said, “you have a flat tyre. Want me to change it for you?”
Rosie looked at the stranger’s dark skin, pale green eyes and broad white smile, and knew she was going to like living by the sea.
Photography courtesy of morguefile.com.
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