I relaxed. The man in the white shirt was Günter. He gazed beyond the sea to some faraway place, perhaps the distant mountains and had not heard my approach. For one anxious moment I thought that I had got it all wrong and that he was there by coincidence; that any minute somebody else would turn up.
‘You know, I am always amazed at who one finds behind sheds.’ I broke the trance of silence. I hate silences.
‘Holly, you are here.’ Günter gave me a sideways glance. I was on one side of the surfboard and he was on the other side.
‘Yes, I am here,’ I replied. I was unsure how to act. Right there, right at that moment, Günter was hot—in more ways than one. Perspiration dripped down his cheek. But I was unsure. Would he stay that way? ‘Why here? What’s the deal with the behind the shed business?’ I pushed for a reaction. ‘Oh, god, you don’t smoke or take drugs, do you?’
‘Of course not!’ Günter jutted his lower lip. ‘I thought you understood the IGSF rules by now.’ Was he about to turn cold, now?
‘Yeah, well, if you mean fraternization—it’s a bit like school and Driver is so much like a cranky schoolteacher. That being said, the back of the shed is the first place she would look.’
‘Well, then Holly, what do you suggest?’
‘Trigger,’ I had a brilliant idea, ‘we’ll fly down the coast in Trigger, to some uninhabited part.’
‘Down the coast? Are you joking? I’m not sure about that.’ Günter seemed worried. He looked straight at me and said, ‘Fine, we will fly down the coast, if you insist.’
We began to walk towards the beach. We passed by the dining room window. A full-blown argument coupled with glass and plate shattering was taking place in the dining hall. I don’t think anyone noticed our departure, not even with Trigger’s eight-cylinder roar.
The tide had retreated so I could use the strip of damp sand to take off. I was becoming used to the sea of lavender hues. We still had a good three to four hours of light from the sun duo. I aimed for a cove far enough away, where no one could follow in a hurry.
While I talked myself through navigating and flying Trigger, Günter smiled as he gazed out the car window. He rubbed his hands together. ‘Well, my Holly, here we go.’
The sea breeze strengthened. The car-plane dipped and juddered. My lunch jiggled inside me. ‘Perhaps not such a good idea, after a big lunch.’ I swallowed down some acid.
‘You’ll be fine.’ Günter placed his hand on my knee.
Maybe he’s being a bit too friendly…I gently pushed his hand away. ‘I have to concentrate.’
Our flight dipped and zigzagged down the coast. The winds continued to buffet. I gripped the steering wheel while keeping an eye on Günter’s hands. They remained resting on his lap, but his eyes remained fixed on me.
Spotting a horse-shoe shaped cove with pearly sands and waves lapping at the shore, I said, ‘Bringing her into land,’ and then lined up a virtual path approaching from the sea into the cove. ‘Brace for landing.’
I lowered Trigger’s skis. The wind was behind us now.
Günter clutched the sides of his seat.
With a splash, we hit the water. The cove was so far away, it looked like a mini diorama. We skied towards it. When we hit the line of breakers, we surfed to shore.
Once we landed in the cove, I leapt out and kissed the sand.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature photo: Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania © L.M. Kling 2009
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