Chasing Sunshine

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7 - Random Stranger

"The Beach?" Ann asked to confirm what their daughter just said over dinner.

"Just the two of you?" Ted also questioned as he pointed his finger at both Shine and James who were sitting on the opposite side of the table.

Sensing the disapproval of Shine’s parents, James uneasily sat in his chair beside Shine and tried to eat.

When she showed him the list that morning, they decided to do Picnic on a Beach first. He saw how excited she got as she mentioned how she really loves the beach.

"Yes, Dad, Mom. Just me and James. We're going to the beach together." Shine answered nonchalantly.

"No." Ted quickly and sternly responded.

"Dad, what do you mean no? I'm not asking. I'm just telling you and Mom where James and I are going tomorrow. I am an adult and I'm making my own decisions." Shine told him.

"We are still your parents and you live in our house." Ted answered sternly.

"Ted, that's enough." Ann tried to take control of the conversation before it blew into an argument between father and daughter. "Let's give Shine a chance to explain herself."

Knowing that they should be more understanding of their daughter's situation, Ted spoke again in a calmer voice.

"I'm sorry. You can't blame me for wanting to protect my daughter. Okay. Why are you suddenly going to the beach and why are you going alone?" Ted asked.

"I won't be alone. I'm going with James.” Shine answered.

"Whom you just met. I thought you didn't like him?" Her Dad argued.

"I did not say I don't like him. Actually, James is really nice and cute. There's nothing not to like about him. What I didn't like is the idea of having a private nurse."

"But he is your private nurse and now you want to go on a trip with just him." Ann pointed out.

"James is not my private nurse." Shine smiled and laid her hand on James’s. "He's my boyfriend."

"WHAT?!" Ann exclaimed and though he didn't say anything, Ted's fork loudly hitting his plate was a clear indication that he was as surprised as his wife.

The room was then filled by a tensed silence as James, who almost choked on his food after Shine's announcement, quietly fidgeted in his seat, unsure how to react to what she just said.

She must've said that to convince her parents to let them go or... James’s lips started to curl up in a little smile as his dimple deepened at the thought that crossed his mind.

The silence was then broken by Shine’s boisterous laughter.

"You both should see your faces." She said as her parents both sighed in relief knowing that their daughter just played another practical joke on them.

James’s smile faded just as Shine turned to him and grinned. "James is not my boyfriend but he is also not some random stranger I just decided to go with. You were the ones who brought him here and I know that you know what a great guy he is. He is my friend and he was nice enough to volunteer to help me with my mission."

"And what mission is that?" Ted asked.

"To live the best and happiest life that I can even for a short while." Shine said.

She then held James's hand as they stared and smiled at each other.

/

***

Sunshine was still laughing as the unsteady shot captured her beautiful face. “Too bad, I didn't have my camera earlier. I should've captured my parents’ reaction when I told them James was my boyfriend.”

She plopped down on her bed raising the camera to show her face. “That. That would have been an epic video.”

She sighed. “Although, if things were different and I didn't have this disease, that joke wouldn't be too far-fetched.” She sneered.

***

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