We sat on the shoreline searching for the perfect pebble. “You should see the red ones when the sun comes out” said HM, “They’re so beautiful and bright – when they dry they go a lovely shade of brown.”
I replied that I was sure they were but my mission was to find the best aquamarine one, the one that looked illuminated from within and even out of water was magnetic to behold.
HM handed me a couple – small and cute. “They’d be perfect on that new necklace you bought in Skyros town” she said. “Just put a little clasp on the top and hang them from the chain.”
I placed my booty on the paddle board alongside a growing collection.
For a while we foraged in silence. Absorbed by the colours, shallow water gliding over stones, occasionally diving for one we spotted that looked like the holy grail.
Cristian appeared out of the woods. We stood to chat momentarily before he continued to the farthest part of the beach to leave us, hands on hips, contemplating the sea.
“Still a bit wavy, HM” I commented. “Don’t know how keen I am to paddle back on the boards.”
“Let’s just wait a bit” she said, “It’ll calm down soon and if not I’m sure M will appear to rescue us.”
“Really? How will he know?”
“Cristian will tell him when he gets back to camp.”
It seemed like a long wait and I was thirsty. Half an hour later no sign of change and no perfect pebble either. “Let’s walk back through the pines” HM said.
“Should we ask Christian the way?”
HM peered at me from below the hat. “Do you want to go and ask him?”
I said I didn’t and suggested she stand with her back to him and shout over one shoulder: “He won’t need to feel embarrassed and nor will you.”
She declined and we started up the slippery slope home deciding we’d have to come back for our transport tomorrow.
Later as the evening cooled we narrated our dilemma to Christian. He turned to point at the sea. “It looks fine now, it seems to change during the day quite often.”
“I know, it’s like a milk pond again” HM commented. “We should have just waited – even half an hour more – sometimes it takes a bit longer than you think.”