8 - From Dreams To Nightmares
He smiled as the next clip began.
Her excited giggles can be heard in the background as she goes on and on about what she planned to do when they got to the beach.
The video itself was nothing much but a blur of shots of the foyer, the garden, the car and her parents’ backs as the bearer of the camera was busy tossing random items to James (towels, sunblock, hats) and hugging her mom and dad goodbye.
With her parents' approval, Sunshine jumped in a car with James and drove off to their destination.
The beach was a two hour drive and she took the chance to cross off another item on her list.
Go on a roadtrip together.
She took photos and videos of their trip while he drove. They shared stories and laughed at each other's jokes like old friends.
She liked that he was very kind and chivalrous and that he never made her feel like she was sick. Except for those times when he had to check her for routine stuff like her temperature, blood pressure and the like, he was really just there to be her friend.
James learned that Shine was very fun to be with. She always had something up her sleeve to amuse him. Not that she had to do anything else because for him just being with her, seeing her beautiful smile and hearing her contagious asthmatic laughter are more than enough to amaze him.
Just as quickly as Sunshine jumped into the car, she sprung out of it like a horse to a gunshot in the races when they pulled up in front of the beach resort.
She aimed straight for the ocean while he hastily followed, picking up the sandals she tossed from her feet.
He stopped only a few feet away where she stood in her yellow sundress with arms opened wide as she faced the ocean. Her eyes were closed while her hair floated freely with the breeze as the morning sun kissed her olive skin. She dug her feet in the sand, letting the sand seep between her toes and sighed contentedly.
She was such an amazing vision to behold. James quietly stood behind and took her picture before joining her.
She faced him with a smile and took his hand. She locked her fingers between his and held his hand tight.
"This is heaven!" She beamed. "Thank you so much for bringing me here, James."
"Are you happy, Miss Shine?" James asked sincerely.
"Are you seriously asking me that? I am euphoric!" She laughed. "Thanks to you." Shine said as she looked deep into his eyes.
For a few seconds, they stood facing each other on the white sand, holding hands, fingers intertwined, gazing into each other's eyes, smiling at the other while the waves calmly rolled in the background and it was perfect, like a beautiful dream.
Waking up from the daze, James blushed and looked down then excused himself to get the basket in the car for their picnic.
He left Shine and returned shortly to spread the mat on the sand and set up a big umbrella to give them some shade.
They sat for a Picnic on the Beach and ate their breakfast, giggling, chatting and feeding each other.
It would appear to anyone who saw them that James and Shine were a normal happy couple, deeply inlove with each other, spending a day at the beach.
After they ate, he was stunned when she stood up and started taking her dress off in front of him.
He sat frozen, staring up at her as his ears and cheeks turned bright red.
"Miss Shine!" He gasped.
She looked down at him in her black two piece bikini and smiled. "Come on, Mal. Let's swim!"
"Uhm..." James had to swallow hard to moisten his suddenly parched throat. "I'll be right there, Miss Shine. I'll just clean this up." He smiled awkwardly as he pointed to the picnic mat where they just had breakfast.
"Okay. Suit yourself." She shrugged and started running to the water then looked over her shoulder. "Don't take too long, okay?"
He said okay then watched her run straight to the water and take a dip. He bowed down to quickly put the leftover food in the basket but when he looked up again, she was gone.
James jolted up in panic and sprinted to the shore, shed off his shirt and shoes then jumped in the water.
He frantically searched for Shine and yelled her name but there was no answer or any sign of her.
Suddenly their dreamy day turned into a nightmare and he felt helpless.
"Shiiiiiiiiine!!!" He shouted over the waves as fear started to engulf him.
A few seconds later, she surfaced, only a few feet away, struggling to stay afloat and gasping for air.
James, being a strong swimmer, reached her almost immediately and rescued her. He swam with her to the shore then carried her to the picnic mat.
She wasn't unconscious, just in shock as she curled up in his arms.
He grabbed a towel and wrapped it around her as he hugged her and let her snuggle on his chest. She sobbed and shivered. He pulled her closer and leaned his cheek on her head as he whispered. "It's okay. You'll be alright, Miss Shine. I'm here. I'll always be here for you."