Tendrils rose off his shoulders to dissipate as he arrived at the rock pool nestled on the beach. He unclipped his helmet and started down the hill, treading the steps carefully in the dark. Halfway down he heard voices and looked up. Disappointment creased his brow as he saw two people sitting on the edge of the pool. Girls by the sound of it and as he looked closer he realised they were naked, or at least topless. They had their backs to him so he decided he’d quickly return the way he came and ride on to the next beach. Angry that anyone but him should be out there at such a time he tramped too heavily and dislodged a stone which rolled down the remaining distance of the stairs. One of the girls, in fact women around his age he noticed when they turned, spied him begin to walk away and called out.
‘Hey, you don’t have to leave.’
Holding his helmet by his side he ran his fingers through tousled blonde hair. Although he was tempted to join them now he’d seen their profiles, he shrugged and shook his head.
‘I kind of came here to be alone.’
The same one spoke again, she had sandy dreadlocks. The other had darker hair, perhaps dyed blue. Their mannerisms didn’t strike him as being typical skinny dippers, whatever that was.
‘You’d rather be alone than share a pool with two nude girls?’
He raised his eyebrows. ‘I’m really not sure how to answer that question.’
The other woman piped up. If he was being honest with himself she was stunning but it wasn’t what he came for.
‘Hey I think I recognise you, do you remember me?’
Now he’d heard her voice and taken a step or two closer yes he did. They’d had classes together a couple of times. He remembered a few occasions he’d not been able to stop himself admiring her.
‘Yeah I remember you.’ He also recalled she was about twenty-five, which changed his whole perspective of the situation. Mid-twenties skinny dippers were infinitely more interesting than teens. It spoke of breaking the mould, resisting the world view about what growing up meant. He’d never understood why maturity was a word that simply had to replace fun and adventure, frown upon them, and wipe them away like dusters on chalkboards.
‘Well come down, let’s talk.’