Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The Dark Heart ~ Part 1
Jackson sat on his surf board and watched the horizon turn from a soft blue to pink. He’d been surfing most of the afternoon and early evening never growing tired of it. He heard the splashes behind him and looked over his shoulder to see his friend, Tucker, paddling up beside him.
“Hey,” said Jackson as Tucker sat up on his surf board.
Tucker jerked his head up in a “hey back” gesture. “Great waves today.”
Jackson nodded. “Yep. Great sunset too.”
Tucker let out a chuckle. “Dude, you’re such a sap.”
Jackson let out his own laugh and ran his hands through his thick brown hair. “If appreciating a beautiful sunset makes me a sap, then I guess I’m a sap.”
“A lumberjack sap,” teased Tucker. “When you gonna shave that beard?”
Jackson rubbed his chin. “Thinking about keeping it.”
Tucker shook his head and rubbed his own smooth chin. “Don’t you know us surfer boys are supposed to have baby soft tan skin? You may have to turn in your surf boy card, sell your surf shop, and move into the woods to sell axes and skunk skins.”
“Says you,” said Jackson, splashing water on his friend.
“I say, you’re only growing it out because Genna’s last boyfriend had a beard,” teased Tucker.
Jackson’s heart gave an extra beat as he thought about Genna. With her blonde hair, blue eyes, and curves in all the right places she was the kind of girl all the surfer boys wanted as their girl and it didn’t hurt that she could surf the toughest of waves without getting single hair out of place. Even though she knew she was the prettiest girl on the beach, she had a sense of humor and didn’t take herself too seriously.
Tucker splashed water on him and laughed. “Earth to Jackson.” He shook his head. “Seriously, dude, just ask her out already.”
“Don’t you think I’ve tried?” asked Jackson. “Every time I get up the nerve she either mentions some guy she’s dating or I get so tongue tied I sound like an idiot. Besides, I need to figure out where to take her that hasn’t already been done by the dozens of guys she’s dated and found boring. You and I both know you only get one shot with Genna.”
“Well, I know where you can start,” said Tucker. “My family’s been invited to this charity ball tonight benefiting St. Jude’s. Have you heard of Emberlyn James?”
Jackson shook his head.
“Aw, man, her parties are off the hook,” said Tucker. “Not like in a rave way, but in an elegant, eerie, yet cool way … like you can’t believe you’re still in California because you’ve entered some kind of time warp or a different universe …” He shook his head. “It’s hard to explain, but my point is it’s the kind of thing that girls eat up and I happen to know Genna will be there.”
Jackson raised an eyebrow. “She will?”
“Yep,” said Tucker. “So why don’t you be my plus one?”
Smiling at Tucker, Jackson batted his eyes. “Are you asking me on a date?”
Tucker rolled his eyes. “Yeah, a bro date. Interested?”
“Well, I am a big sap who likes sunsets and St. Jude’s, so why not?”
“All right,” said Tucker rubbing his hands together. “You got a tux?”
Jackson gestured to his board shorts. “I own a surf shop in a hut on the beach, do I look like the kind of guy who owns a tux?”
Tucker waved him off. “You can borrow one of mine, come by around eight.”
Jackson nodded as Tucker laid on his board and started paddling towards the shore. Sitting alone on the water, Jackson watched the last bit of sun hide below the waves and smiled. Hopefully, the next time he watched the sunset it would be with Genna.