The salt in the air engulfs me as I put my head up through the sunroof of Kyleigh’s car. My hands were up as I felt like I was flying. We had been in the car for over 14 hours making our trip to Destin, Florida. Something about this air was different from any other beach I have been to. It tasted, smelt, and felt different; there was a whole different vibe from Alabama’s and Mississippi’s beaches. It honestly felt like I could be whoever I wanted to be, and nothing from my past carried into here. With all this weight and energy, I let out a huge scream as we raced down the highway. Kyleigh let out a laugh as she screamed throwing one hand in the air with me. You could see the clear blue water pushing up in the white sand and the tall skyscraper of buildings along the front. This was another way you could know you were finally at the beach.
We decided to stay a couple of nights at Destin as a getaway from all that has happened this year. Well, when I say we I mean, Kyleigh has forced a getaway for me. She knew I needed to get away from our small town, parents, and drama, and just live itself. The beach is always a place to escape from the reality of the real world. At least, that’s what I think. Get lost in the noise of the waves crashing, hoping to see a dolphin afar jumping out of the water, feeling the hot sand in between your feet, and just finally getting the tan or burn you know you needed. That is the beach, and oh how I am thankful for it, and my best friend.
Once we found a parking spot in the overcrowded hotel parking lot, we hurriedly grabbed our two bags and rushed inside. Our room had an ocean view and was on the highest floor; floor number 10. This will be the best view as you can see the ocean stretch for miles and miles at the same height as the sky.
“Isn’t this just spectacular?” Kyleigh ask twirling around on our porch as I stood there with my arms on the railing taking in the view.
“I am so glad you brought me,” I smiled wrapping my arms around her.
“What else am I here for?” She laughed as she started to walk inside, “Now, come on. Let’s get on our bathing suits, get our drinks, and head down to the beach.”
Clapping, I head inside and start unloading my duffle bag.
It didn’t us very long to get ready, and it was only one in the afternoon so it was perfect timing for us to go out. Kyleigh was carrying the cooler and an umbrella as I was carrying both of the chairs and our beach bag. Texas was hot, but not like the beach. The sun shined off the ocean making it feel 100 degrees hotter than it actually was, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My dad wasn’t the happiest that I was leaving, but he knew he couldn’t stop me because I was an adult now. I went off to community college in the town over for veterinary school, so I could help on our ranch. Jackson’s Ranch is what it’s called; we hold riding lessons, raise cattle, sell our own milk, and sell other vegetables we grow. Our life hood depends on it, and I wasn’t there helping, but he also knew I needed a break.
“You think this is a good spot?” I asked looking over to Kyleigh as I stood in one of the only clear spots on the beach.
It was perfect- the water was only a few steps away and nobody could sit in front of us. She nodded, of course, as she sat the cooler down in between where I sat our two chairs. She started on the umbrella as I started to get the speaker up and running. You can’t be at the beach without a little bit of music.
“Someone else is playing music close to us,” Kyleigh added as she nodded her head at ten o’clock.
And there was, like she said, a group of boys blaring their music. About six boys were sitting around with a cold beer in their hands, laughing, and some just relaxing. However, I wanted to play my own music, so I made a decision- I am going to walk over there and tell them to turn down their music so others can play theirs as well. Today, I was not the shy girl from back home in Amarillo, Texas. This is my vacation, so I must enjoy it as I please.
Not telling Kyleigh, I start to march my way over there in my oversize t-shirt and the boose speaker in my head. Only one saw I was headed their way, and sat back in his chair like he was mocking me.
“How can we help you?” He ask when I made it to them in a deep country voice.
“Can you please turn down your music? I want to play my music as well,” I say crossing my arms and looking directly into his hazel eyes.
“You can ma’am,” he says looking over at his buddies who trying to contain their laughter.
“Not with your disgusting rap blaring across the beach,” I retort rolling my eyes.
“Come on man, turn down the music a little,” another immature boy begged with an annoyed tone slapping the other stupid boy on the shoulder.
“Fine,” he retorts turning the music down.
Smiling confidently, I turn on my heel and head towards Kyleigh. She was already laying out in the sun soaking it up.
“Morgan Wallen?” I prompt sitting down in my chair and connecting my phone.
We both laugh as we start to take in the sun.
~~ The forecast was so right; there was a heat advisory today. The ocean did feel nice but I could also feel my skin cooking. I felt like a turkey on thanksgiving getting fried for dinner. Anyways, some Hawaiian sunscreen always does the trick to help me tan and not burn. Kyleigh, on the other hand, burns, peels, and becomes a wid bit tanner than before, and I love to remind her of that every day.
“Grab me a twisted tea,” She asks. “Wanna go out to the water?”
Nodding, I grab us both a drink and we headed towards the waves. The flag was red today which meant being very cautious, but in my opinion, the waves are at their best when it’s red flag day. It was so clear like crystals, and I could see what was under my feet which were some schools of fish and lots of seashells. Our goal for this trip was to collect as many seashells as we could so we could make frames together when we got home. My mom mentioned the idea, and we went with it.
“How are you doing, ladies?” interjected a known voice.
The hazel-eye-blaring idiot was standing next to me with his other buddies in the ocean.
“Kyleigh, this is the jackass that had his music too loud,” I introduce doing jazz hands with my free hand.
“It is very nice to meet you,” she mocked as we both ended up laughing so hard when she finished.
“This jackass has a name.” He says, raising his bottle in the air. “Parker Walker.”
“Parker Walker,” I repeat, doing my deepest southern accent to mock him.
“Well, can you enlighten me on your name?”
Taking a sip of my drink, I looked over at Kyleigh, who raised her eyebrow and nodded.
“My name is Macy-Belle Jackson,” I introduced myself as I stuck out my hand.
He shakes my hand as we both nod our hands. It seemed like one of his friends took a liking to Kyleigh as they were starting to giggle.
“How long are you down here?”
“Two nights,” I answer, nodding, looking at the ocean’s endless view.
“Same goes for us.” He took a sip of his drink. “You should come to our party tonight.”
“A party?” I asked to prolong my answer.
“We got a house on the down yonder,” he points east down the beach.
“Then whatcha doin’ sittin’ down here in front of the hotel?”
“Hot chicks,” he simply answers, tapping his shoulder into mine.
“And we are done here,” I snapped, not wanting to go down this path again.
I guess Kyleigh saw me as I heard her shout, “See ya later, hot stuff!” Our afternoon consisted of screaming lyrics, splashing each other in the ocean, saying just one more drink, and getting insanely toasted. Good thing we didn’t drive here; our hotel was right behind us. I was sitting on top of the bar top eating ice cream out of the box while Kyleigh was going through Netflix trying to see what we should watch.
“I hope you don’t want any ice cream,” I grumbled to get out as I had food in my mouth.
“Sweetie, I got me one too,” she slurred as she had her focused on the tv.
Laughing, I take another spoonful in. There it goes down in my mouth. It felt good to my body as I could still feel the sun even though it was nighttime and we were inside. The crazy thing that the sun does to us, humans.
Kyleigh squeals, “I found the one! Legally blonde!”
Hopping down off the bartop, I walk over to the couch plopping down. She went into the kitchen opening up the refrigerator.
“I am getting the champagne,” she tells me holding it up in the air.
Clapping, I feel on top of the world with my best friend. And we get to do it all over again tomorrow.
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