a short story
The sun. It’s baking into my skin.
I take a deep breath, roll my neck.
What’s the alternative? At least I’m protected from the sun.
The lifeguard stand creaks a little as I readjust myself. Boy, is it a hot day. I squint at the swimmers, asking myself for them why they’d choose to submit themselves to this torture. Certainly, it’s not fun to get cooked alive. But I can’t help but smile. They all seem to be having a good time.
One boy catches my eye: he’s tossing a beach ball up in the air solo, minding his business while people rush in groups around him.
Up, down, up, down.
What’s he doing?
Is he really content to toss this ball, the waves lapping at his ankles, beckoning to him to come on in?
He appears to be.
And it’s at this moment that I greatly admire him, the boy who possesses the gentle contentment to happily do your own thing in the middle of everyone else doing… what everyone else is doing.
I raise an eyebrow, my smile still in place. He reminds me of my brother, if he’d detach himself from his phone and respond to the world. I think he’d do the same thing.
“Curt,” says a voice below, and I glance down at the scalp somewhere beyond my toes. “Yeah, boss?” I respond.
“Lunch.” He pats the boards, roughly, and they groan defensively.
“Ross comin’?” I realize how clipped our words are, but submit to the social familiarity.
An amiable grunt is all I receive, then I hear Ross coming for myself.
“Down with ya!” he cheers, yanking at one of the ladder beams, shaking my sanity.
“Whoa, now!” I begin my descent as he slaps at my ankles.
“Come on, big boy.” His sandy hair falls all about his eyes, his grin unshakable. This guy is never not happy.
Once I release the post to him, I look out to the beach again, subconsciously searching for the boy one last time. But he’s not there. At first I’m not sure, then I’m certain. The crowds have even cleared some, so I cannot blame them.
Maybe in life, we’ll come across new perspectives, unique outlooks, that’ll shake us to our core. But if we continue to look to them, the moment will have passed, washed clean by the waves across the sand.
Perhaps momentary inspiration is there to fuel our movements, our steps across the beach, to inspire us to action, not to keep us in a state of longing for something distant that exists.
And as I approached my lunch break, I allowed the boy to inspire me to my own pursuit, to a life worth living, one that someone else can glance at someday and go, You know what? He’s different.
I want to be someone else’s momentary inspiration.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Hey guys! Thanks so much for reading 😍
This story began with the first two sentences, and the rest of it quickly unraveled. I love the message and meaning ‘The Lifeguard on The Beach’ carries, one that inspires me to create my own life that I love. I hope you enjoyed it too!
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