This is an excerpt from my creative writing portfolio Coloring Necastle. The premise behind my piece is that an instance at Newcastle reminds me of an adventure I've had studying abroad in Australia. Through the primary colors of green, red and blue, I aim to give Newcastle a little more color. Enjoy.
The chilly June breeze pushes my bangs across my forehead and into my eyes. My hands, freezing from the exposure, clumsily attempt to re-clip the loose strands of hair. I eventually give up. My walk along Nobbys Beach is almost over and soon I will be back in the protection of a warm car. I scan the horizon and locate a lonely boat, bobbing gently in the wake of each tiny wave. I wish I was on that boat, escaping from the shadow of a forsaken lighthouse that guards a desolate beach. As I continue walking through the cold sand, I decide to stick my toes in the surf one last time. I slip cautiously to the water’s edge and prepare myself for the ensuing numbness.
The day couldn’t be hotter as I lay on my sand-colored hotel towel, letting the sun’s rays cook my body before flipping over on my stomach, attempting to seek a cooler refuge. Raking my fingers through the sand, I accidentally brushed across his hand. It was so sweet of Brad to invite me down for a weekend at the beach, I thought. An instant smile spread across my face as I thought about yesterday’s festivities. What I had thought would transpire as a casual weekend for four was instead invaded by a rowdy group of Evatt boys looking for a free place to stay after a crazy night in King’s Cross. It was an experience to say the least, trying to hide the fact that 15 people couldn’t comfortable fit in one double room.
I absentmindedly rolled back over and sat up, adjusting my bikini top. I heard the lapping of the Coogee Beach waves mixed with the playful laughter of children. Talking to no one in particular, I informed the group that I was restless and headed toward the rocky coastline without waiting for a response.
Maneuvering through the sea of sunbathers, I finally reached the water’s edge and didn’t care to stop walking till I was knee deep. Even on a perfect sunny day like today, the water was still a little cool for my liking. Growing up in the South, I’ve been spoiled by the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico. I waded parallel to the beach, continuing toward the steep bluff on the far side of the beach. Eventually the sea weed caused me to resume my journey on land. At last, the fine sand turned to slick rock. The natural tide pool at the base of the cliffs was deserted in comparison to the main stretch of beach. I carefully crossed the threshold to the lookout point. The spray of the salt water filled the air and I licked my lips, soaking in the quintessential beach taste.
From my vantage point atop one of the rock outcrops, I spotted a dozen white-wash bungalows reminiscence of Greece clinging to the steep cliffs, threatening to cascade into the water below at the slightest sign of foundation instability. How was it that this little Sydney beach town could remind me of the only other time I had been abroad?
“The crazy connections you make,” I murmured as I sat overlooking the ocean, unaware of the pasting of time.
It was a bittersweet feeling leaving the solitude of my marine observation point, but I had once again grown restless of my surroundings. A seagull flew too close to my head, perhaps the final sign that it was indeed time to move on. I turned in the direction of my half-drunk friends wasting away a beautiful Sunday afternoon on the beach. No doubt I would find them exactly as I had left, passed out with their sunglasses on. A bad decision they would visibly carry around with them for a week or so.
The high afternoon sun had caused the sand to be an unbearable temperature. It scorched my soles and forced me to jog back.
The bottoms of my feet are finally starting to regain feeling as I turn my back once again to the water; for what is the last time. Although I have a high threshold for pain, the icy water is an easy victor. The sand begins to encase my wet feet as they head toward the car park. With each step, the weight of my departure from the beach, from Newcastle, from Australia, soon manifests into a reality.
In a few short hours, I will be on a train heading to the Sydney International Airport. I stoop to the ground and withdraw a small glass jar from my jumper pocket. One last souvenir of my time abroad I think as I scoop the fine sand.
Cheers for now,