Curls of water rippled up the golden-white sand to kiss the tips of my toes. I’d painted them a deep scarlet to go with the red trim on my bright white surfer’s bikini. Not that I could even swim, never mind surf. But no matter – I so rarely got to meet the sea that I simply stood in awe whenever I saw it, and that was enough.
The sun shone cloudlessly on my bare skin, warming my body to its core. Since my escape, the feeling of sunshine on my naked belly made me feel like a thief on parole with her hand in the till. But I was no criminal, and I could now do what I pleased, with whomever I chose. But the feeling of that heat massaging my buttocks as they stood proudly in their thong, well… It still made me blush. I loved it. There was no one here to warn me or threaten me or push me out of sight of prying eyes and gossiping mouths.
A little way off, couples and families who had settled closer to the resort for the day laughed and played and kissed, applying sun cream every once in a while, caught up in the serious business of relaxation and fun. I could only just hear their voices, carried along by the slightest of breezes. Occasionally the lifeguard would wander past, and I would catch myself thinking for a split-second that I was going to be taken away. That I had been found out, exposed as an imposter who didn’t belong. For someone like me to think for one minute that this kind of paradise could be mine would once have been a lurid crime in itself.
But then the lifeguard would give me an appreciative smile and walk on, leaving me to my sunshine and dancing at the water’s edge. Freedom takes some getting used to.