Allison sat on the almost empty beach. She loved the beach in the fall, cool breeze blowing through her hair, the color of copper, and the waves crashing onto the sand. The seagulls drifted on the wind currents.
Allison didn’t come to the beach in the summer. She didn’t enjoy baking in the sun or seeing all of the scantily clad bodies greased and lying on blankets like meat on a grill.
She heard a child’s laughter, looked down the beach and saw a man and, what she assumed to be his son flying a kite. There was a golden retriever following the boy.
She returned to her book. Minutes later a shadow fell over her book. She looked up to see a man with golden blonde hair and blue eyes gazing down on her.
“What are you reading?”
“Ah, a classic. A rather sad and depressing tale.”
“Yes, but I love the story, the romance.”
He smiled. “Do you believe romance is still alive here in this world?”
“I like to think that there are still people out there who believe and keep it alive.”
“Dad, look, dolphins.” A child’s voice called and the man turned.
So this man has a son. Allison sighed deeply and also looked and saw the dolphins swimming, bodies arched.
The man directed his attention back to Allison. “My name’s Mason Williams. That’s my son, Eli, he’s six years old, and our dog, Bruce.”
“Bruce?” Allison’s mouth turned up at the corners though she managed not to laugh.
“Yes, well, Eli loves Batman, but I told him that wasn’t really a good name for a dog, so since Batman is also Bruce Wayne, the dog became Bruce.” A large grin spread across his face and Allison decided he had a warm smile and engaging eyes.
“I’m Allison Baker.”
“You live around here or are you just visiting?”
“I live two hours from here in Hilldale.”
“Are you headed back to Hilldale today yet?” His eyes were bright as he gazed into hers.
Allison raised an eyebrow. “I’m sorry, but where are you going with this line of questioning?”
“I was hoping maybe you’d like to join me for dinner.”
She tilted her head to the right and pursed her lips, then, “Uh, I, um, don’t know what to say.” Her eyes moved past him to the little boy again.
Mason chuckled. “Oh my, I guess I’m really out of practice. I’m sorry. I certainly don’t want you getting the wrong impression. Eli’s mom and I are divorced. I have custody of Eli but he’ll be going to his mom’s tonight and she’ll have him for the day tomorrow. She also gets him every other weekend. I didn’t mean to confuse you. It’s just I haven’t really dated much since the split.”
Allison relaxed her shoulders. “So, what made you decide to ask me out?”
His eyes sparkled and bore into hers. “The wind blowing strands of your hair as the sun was shining upon it gave it a fiery appearance. That’s what caught my eye, then when I asked about your book, I liked your answers. That made me want to get to know more about you.”
Allison was speechless. Could this man be the man she had been waiting for, dreaming of? No one had ever spoken to her as he did. His reference to her hair had a romantic air and he was honest about his divorce and his involvement with his son. Was he a true romantic? Why did his marriage fail?
“So, will you have dinner with me, Allison?”
His question jerked her back to reality. “I think I’d like that.”