Lara climbed out of the car and ran down the garden path. “Mum come and play with me,” she called out.
“Not now, Lara. I need to prepare for dinner.”
“Why can’t you play with me, first?” Lara said. “I am not even hungry.”
Alicia disappears into the kitchen. Lara could clearly see her mom through the window, as she flipped through a magazine while she had left the kettle to boil. She wasn’t cooking. Lara felt she did not want to play with her. She, therefore, decided to go out alone on the beach and explore for any crabs hiding there in the fissures on the rocks.
Lara nine years, her Mom Alicia Turner, and her father Ryan Turner, stayed at ‘Kings Castle’, San Juan Islands, North West Washington.
Lara knew that her Mom would freak if she knew that her daughter would go down to the beach alone. But Lara was a strong swimmer and was one of the best in her class. Her mother need not worry about her, she thought.
Lara stood on a rock, enjoying the cool ocean spray on her face. A little crab rushed hurriedly from behind a rock. She ran after it but realized that the crab wanted to play hide-and-seek with her. The crab climbed from one rock pool to the next, until a big wave rose from the ocean and almost knocked both the crab as well as Lara, off their feet.
Lara looked over in the direction of the voice. He had a very special smile.
“The water is very rough out there today,” he warned Lara. He put out his hand to steady Lara. She did not really want to touch him, but not taking help, at that point would seem to be very rude.
“The tide is coming in,” he said, as they went back onto the beach. He was humming a song, while a little dog came to his side on listening to his voice.
The dog was very cute and cuddly. “He is so cute!” Lara said, bending down to stroke him. “What is his name?”
“Pooh,” the man said. “You are very kind, what is your name?” the man asked.
“Lara,” she replied. “But I am not supposed to talk to strangers.”
The man laughed. “We are not strangers, are we?”
“I really have to go,” Lara said, glancing back at her house. “I am not supposed to be out, alone.”
“I will walk with you,” the man said. “My home’s just over there, pointing out to the van.”
“You live in a van?” Lara said in wonderment.
“That’s right,” he said.
“Wow, I have never lived in a van,” Lara said to the man.
“You can come and see inside if you want,” he said.
Lara hesitated. She had never been inside a van, that was used for living purposes.
“Go on!” the man encouraged, Lara. “I do not mind.”
“Sorry, I have to go,” she said. “I have got Karate classes tonight. I cannot be late.”
“Another time, then,” he said with a smile.
“I promise, I will,” Lara replied to him.
“Oh, and Lara, Don’t tell your Mom, about our meeting,” he said.
“As if I would,” Lara replied.
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