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A Late Night Swim.

 By  Edwin Tomes

A old man sat at a small kitchen table eating his supper alone. His beard and hair was white now. The meal was something he had thrown together like any other meal he ate now that his wife had passed away 20 years ago. He still missed her and now he lived alone here in this old light house on the coast. He glanced out the kitchen window, by the way the sky looked outside the sun would be setting soon and she would come. Almost on cue he heard a car drive up, then the slamming of a car door. She was here. Pushing the back his chair he got up and walked to the kitchen window and looked out. There she was standing there next to her deep blue 98 Ford Tempo. A tall athletic build woman with long brown hair that reached well passed her shoulders. Deeply tan she was a rare and beautiful woman. She looked out over the cliff in front of her to the beach below. The sun seemed to set the waters afire with its beauty. To the right laid the rest of the cove and the light house. She stood there for a moment caught within the spell of the sea. A light wind touched her face, then broken from the trance the sea had placed on her she reached over and untied the surf board from the car. A young man would have stared and marvel at the way she bent over in her bikini when she removed the surfboard from her car, but the old man just looked, then turned away to finish his supper. 

The old man was used to this enchanting woman coming to his cove. She would come almost every evening around this time to surf and swim in the sea, staying out in the water till late at night. He had once asked her why she came out here so late when most other people were leaving the surrounding beaches. She had simply told him that the sea was calmer then. Her story could very well be true, because the current at his cove were strong out on the shoals. Most swimmers avoided the are area because of the strong currents and unpredictable riptides. He would worry about her when she would sneak out there to swim by herself. Countless of times he had called the police to pick her up, only not to press charges of trespassing. A few times he had seen her husband had come to pick her up. He had even heard the husband argue, even plead with her to give up such a dangerous activity. From the sound of the husband voice he could tell that he loved her dearly and cared about her just as much as the old man did. After such times she would stay away from the cove for a few days or weeks, but the lure of the ocean always seemed to be calling her back. There was no stopping her he guess. When ever she stopped by to talk with him she was always friendly greeting him with a smile. A few times she had brought over some fresh baked muffins or cookies to share with him. Looking at her he could see much of his own wife in her, her wild spirit that refused to be tamed, maybe that was why men loved such a woman so much. Since his wife had passed away she had become a bit of light in his lonely life, even though he acted grumpy with her deep inside he cared about her and watched over her as she swam at his private cove. 

The darkness had grown outside, then he looked at his watch and seen that it was almost midnight, yet he had not heard her car drive off. It was time to go and check on her. To him it was not a chore, but much like looking after a mischievous child that a parent cares about. Picking up his flashlight he walked outside to the beach. There she was, laying out on her beach towel. For a second when the flash light touched her he thought that she had a beautiful long tail instead of legs, but then she suddenly stood up greeting him with a smile. He told her it was kind a late, after mid night infact. She calmly explained that she had lost track of time and in a hurry gathered up her things. When she had left he went back to inside his little light house to get ready for bed. As he crawled beneath the blankets he thought of her, wondering if he had indeed seen a tail, but such a thing was foolishness, how could she have stood up and walked away ? The thought made him smile though, a mermaid swimming at his cove was a fantasy of a ideal, so he rolled over thinking of his wife and what she would have said about the whole thing. Soon he was fast asleep. Out side the waves could be heard gently whispering on the beach. A full moon bathed the cove with its silver light. It was a good night to be out for a swim.