My fellow Arabelle and I finally made it down to the oceanfront around noon time. It was as if I could hear the waves calling my name! I know it sounds corny as heck, but for someone who had never truly seen the beach up close until adulthood, it was like stumbling onto another planet. We were about to take our first steps on the sand when my roomie grabbed my wrist.
“Now, Arabelle, don’t you know that you are to remove them shoes before you get on the beach? I like to take ’em off to prevent ’em from gettin’ too filled with sand. Good thing all I packed were ma flipflops!” She was a special person, that’s for sure. Never did I imagine that someone with such a noticable twang in their speech could also turn out to be so well-spoken……at times.
“Uh, I guess you’re right. This….is my first time to the beach.” I said, still shaken (for no good reason) from her sudden wrist grab.
“ANY BEACH?” Said the wide-eyed wonder.
“Yes. Any beach. You see, I’m from Montana, a place that has weather and terrain that is the polar opposite of down here. It’s…..kinda the reason I chose this school. Well, that and the engineering program.”
“That’s pretty darn interestin’, if I do say so myself.”
We started toward the waves, the soft and soothing sand grains massaging my feet after being on them all day was such a treat. My eyes took in the panoramic view of the atlantic ocean, beach that stretched for miles and miles. When we finally arrived at the water, I started to have an uncontrollable urge to jump up and down like a little toddler, but my incoming adult senses knew better.
“Oh my, it’s sooo cold! Is all beach water like this?” I asked as I started to roll my Salvation Army blue jeans up to my knees.
“All the beach water that’s ever touched my body, at least. Say, don’t you think you feel a little hot with all of that clothing on? I mean, it’s darn near ninety degrees! That flowy lil long-sleeved blouse you have on is cute and all, but long sleeves are only for the coldest of cold days ’round my neck of the woods.” Said the other Arabelle, perplexed.
“Well, I think we just come from different environments is all. I am from
the land of ice and snow, and you’re from, well, fire and……….more fire.”
We both chuckled, although her’s was in much more of an “I guess I get it now” kinda way. In all honesty, the I feel I’d be lying if I tried to blame my lack of warm-weather clothing on the fact I am from a nothern state. My incredibly chubby figure, I figured, was not at all meant to be seen in anything other than what I almost always wore: long-ish sleeves and baggy blue jeans. As much as I wanted to change my dressing habits, I just couldn’t see it happening.
After our splashes were had, we agreed to grab some lunch at an oceanside crab shack about a mile from the school.
“Have you ever had some crab? I know you didn’t grow up near the ocean, but EVERYONE’S had crab before they’re eighteen, right?” Questioned Arabelle.
“This will actually be my first time! Maybe you can show me how to eat them, looks like a tough task.” I replied.
We were immediately seated when we arrived, even though the place was crawling with people. The restaraunt was a nice little blue-painted shack called “Da Crab Joint” and crab-filled it was. It wasn’t long before we were greeted by a very handsome waiter with a thick, spanish accent and super bright and friendly smile.
“Hello, ladies! Welcome to the restaraunt! Is this the first time here, for the both of you?” He said in an ever-so genuine manner.
“WHY, YES.IT.IS! You see, me and my homegirl here just got down here for school! We go to the U of Miami! And…guess.what.else………WE ARE BOTH NAMED ARABELLE!” Just when I thought my name twin couldn’t outdo herself anymore, she proves me wrong.
“Oh my, how amazing! You see, I come from Spain and have only been here a few years, so it’s always nice to meet new people. Now, let’s see, can I start you girls off with something to drink?”
“I’ll have the shirley temple!” Said flame-haired Arabelle.
“Ok, and for you, my sweetie?”
I legitimately paused for close to ten seconds, not realizing he was talking to me until I snapped to it.
“Um….uh……I will just have some water with lemon.”
“Okay. Thanks for the order. I will be back to get your entrees whenever you are ready. Take your time.”
It seriously wasn’t even a split friggin second after he left when my roomate tightly grabbed my hand and proceeded to speak in a high whisper.
“OH MY GOODNESS. DID YOU NOTICE THAT? He was super nice to you. Did you see that way he was staring at you?”
“Ummmm, I’m pretty sure he would have called you ‘sweetie’ if you had ordered after me, also. He is just a friendly man.” I said, trying to get her to change the subject.
“I guess, hun, but that was some serious eye he was givin’ you! Anywho, let’s talk fam! I see your mom is quite the lady! I assume you take more after your dad, though, because your mom looks more like she could be my own!”
It was as if the all the loudness of the restaurant came to a screeching halt after she uttered those words.
“Father?” I said to myself, quietly.