Hers: Sunday

Lizette stretched her arms and legs and yawned. She got out of her beach chair and relished the sensation of warm, white sand squishing between her brown toes. She talked with Amber and Prudence, who were sunning themselves. She also visited with Ellowyne, who was slathered with sunscreen and lounging under an umbrella. Lizette leisurely sipped her Bahama Mama while she and Ellowyne, who was savoring a rum punch, talked. 

“I could get used to this,” Lizette stated. “Beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery,  handsome guys, and amazing food and drinks!”

“I feel so relaxed,” Ellowyne shared. “It’s like there is no stress, no pressure. No ennui!”

“No ennui? Maybe you should move here!” exclaimed Lizette. “Then we can all visit you!”

Ellowyne laughed. “You’d have to visit me in a shack, because that’s all the real estate I could afford.”

“It was very generous for Amber’s family to pay for our vacation. We would have to save for months, maybe more than a year, to afford something like this,” Lizette stated. 

Ellowyne replied, “We need to do something to thank the Stanhopes for this. We should talk to Pru for some ideas.”

Lizette nodded in agreement. Then she heard her stomach rumble. “I could use some lunch. Want to go?”

“Oh, yes. I want shrimp tacos. And maybe some fruit, too. Let’s ask Amber and Pru if they want something to eat.”

Amber summoned one of the waiters at the resort to get some lunch for her and her friends. As they happily munched shrimp and fish tacos, ceviche, and seared scallops, Amber asked them what they wanted to do for the rest of the day. Pru found out that there were volleyball games on the beach, so she decided to join  a team. Lizette, who wasn’t as athletic as Prudence, opted to play volleyball, too, and went with her in search of a team. Amber and Ellowyne agreed to bask on the beach, Amber in the sun to work on a tan, and Ellowyne in the shade to avoid getting one. Ellowyne’s mother loved the sun and slathered all sorts of oil on her skin before taking sunbaths. When indoor tanning became popular, she bought a unit so she could be bronzed all year long. When she died from malignant melanoma, her tanning bed was thrown out, and Ellowyne began using sunscreen religiously. Her friends were aware of that, but being young and seemingly invulnerable, they didn’t always heed her advice. The only one who listened was Rufus, who was busy indoors with computers, robots, LEGOs, and handyman work. He asked her once why she eschewed the sun and he thought her answers were sad but understandable, and he frequently joined her in indoor pursuits, ostensibly to preserve his “nerd pallor”.

Ellowyne wondered what he was doing. It was around noon in San Francisco and, after nineteen hours, twenty hours at the theater, he was probably sleeping. She took some pictures at the beach to send to him and gathered some shells to give him. She planned to write a long, loving poem to text to him, but she needed to tell Amber to roll over, lest she got sunburned. Amber was snoozing so peacefully that Ellowyne decided to take a nap, too. 

After the volleyball nets were done, Prudence and Lizette joined Ellowyne and Amber. They were jubilant because their team won all of their games. 

“We won,” Lizette squealed. “Every game! And it was all due to Prudence!”

Prudence wasn’t a vain person, and compliments often embarrassed her. But when it came to athletic prowess, Pru soaked up every accolade. “It was a team effort,” she declared. “Aw, heck, the best thing they did was to take Liz and me in!” 

“You should have seen Pru. She spiked, served, set, and bumped effortlessly. She made more points than anyone else,” Lizette added.

“You scored several times,” Pru reminded her.

“But only because you bumped and set the ball. Most of the time, you set me up to score. You’re an amazing player!”

“And hungry!” Prudence exclaimed. “Let’s eat!”

The women freshened up then went to the restaurant to feast on rock lobster, conch salad, Bahamian jerk chicken, and Bahamian lamb curry. For dessert, they enjoyed guava duff, a sweet, steamed pudding that called for fresh guava, cooked until soft and rolled with dough into a spiral. The delicious treat was slathered in a rum-butter sauce. 

After they ate, they went to the nightclub associated with their hotel. The music was loud, and the club was crowded. Ellowyne would have preferred to stay in the hotel and read, but the other girls wanted to party. She sat at a table in the corner, and watched her friends danced. Men quickly gravitated toward Amber and she was rarely without a dance partner that evening. Lizette, who was usually so shy, was flirting with various men, and also danced for most of the night. Even Prudence, who claimed she wasn’t interested in romance, was approached by a number of men and rarely sat out a dance. Men flirted with Ellowyne, too, but she rebuffed their overtures. She really loved Rufus and didn’t see the point of dancing with anyone else. 

The club closed down around 3:00 or 4:00 AM. Ellowyne had gone back to the hotel room around midnight in order to get a good night’s sleep. She wasn’t sure when Amber, Pru, or Lizette got back but she was sure they might regret having that much fun in the morning. 

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