Intro- Serene Setting
… Anticipation is through the roof for Su. She finally gets to spend time in her favorite place doing her favorite things; going to Sanibel Island and spending quality peaceful time with people she loves and shelling.
Flying over the Island in her mind she sees the outline of it, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the blue and green silvery water and white sand beaches. She sees a pelican flying alongside a car crossing the bridge, it looks at the people inside while keeping pace with them and scratches its chest in midflight. She chuckles.
Scanning the beach she sees people picking up shells, many sunbathers, a man relaxing in a chair with a fishing pole stuck in the beach sand, a woman talking to a person in Native American dress and children frolicking in the waves.
The immediate relief of all stresses and worries fade away as soon as she sets foot on the Island. The scent of the salty, earthy ocean breeze, sounds of birds crying, chirping and squawking. The sand shifting beneath her feet and the gentle washing of the waves pushing shells onto the beach fill her senses. She tunes into the sound the shells make as they wash ashore, they sound as if they are calling her.
Pat, a heavy set, short, African American woman whom Su has worked with for many years says, “Su! Hey, you ok?”.
Su snaps out of her daydream by blinking her eyes and trying to focus on who is talking to her while she adjusts in her chair at her work desk. She stares blankly at Pat for a moment. “Yes sorry”, Su replies.
Pat says, “Okay girl, jus’ checking on ya. You looked a little out there, you know?”
Su says, “Sanibel”. Tilting her head down looking up as if looking over a pair of reading glasses “MmHmm, you go girl.” Pat says. Su says, “Two more days, I can’t wait.”
Pointing at Su, Pat says, “Be safe and we’ll see you when you get back.” Su smiles appreciatively and replies, “Thanks, I’ll be here tomorrow if you need something, we leave Saturday morning.” “Bring me back some shells”, Pat says. Su nods her head yes with a gentle smile. Pat smiles real big and walks away in the direction of the reception desk.
The time slowly passes for Su, diligently working hard, just as she has for the past thirty – two years for the county, through the rest of her work day. Su hovers her cursor over the digital clock on her computer and watches it as it strikes 4:00 p.m. “Thank god! Time to go”, Su says to herself aloud as she gathers her things and goes home for the day.
Copyright © 2012 by John Edward Petersen