About a year later
I missed you terribly when I got back home - if I could call it that. This little shack I’m renting barely has indoor plumbing. I’d almost be better off with our ponies! I hope you’ve made it back to Scotland safe and sound.
There’s a storm brewing off the coast - hurricane season is upon us - and it’s a doozy. We’re being evacuated, and I suppose I’ll go on to my next adventure.
I visited Shackleford once without you since you left, found our foal growing steadily, happy as ever. I named him Fraser - I hope that works for you. It fit, I thought. He has reddish hair, anyway.
I hope to hear from you soon. Please write back.
Jamie put the postcard back into its box, along with all her other letters - she’d sent at least a dozen, his mother collecting them for him as he made his way back to Scotland. He was surprised to see the ple waiting for him, and dove in, devouring each one like they would sustain him for life. They gradually appeared less often, but never stopped completely.
He’d pulled the sand dollar out for the first time when he’d returned, and had seen that she’d written on the back in black ink, her loopy handwriting covering the entire surface:
“You’re my favorite Scot. Care for a swim?”
Claire never told him exactly where she was - would name a state, or country, but nothing beyond that. He hoped she was enjoying herself, wherever she was.
Closing his box of letters, he tucked it under his bed. He glanced at the clock - right on time this morning, he thought, and grabbed his wallet and keys. His shift at the bar started in fifteen minutes, and he was eager to see his friends.
A live band played on Friday nights, and as Jamie entered the building, he saw they were already setting up. The drummer was doing a sound check, and while the percussion thumped in his ears, he did some last minute cleaning before the place became crowded.
He stood at the counter, mixing some drinks for a young couple who’d sauntered in. His mind was on the measuring, and he didn’t notice a third person sitting at the end of the bar.
“Jamie,” Ian said, coming up behind him,“isn’t that? No, it couldn’t be.”
Jamie looked around, then spotted her.
His brown haired lass, his Beach Claire, sitting on a stool, feet tucked underneath, wearing a pair of white shorts and a red striped top, complete with flip flops.
He went to her, hands shaking, her eyes that unfathomable amber color that took his breath away.
“Hello, stranger,” she rang, her wide grin forming as she drank him in. She slid something to the edge of the bar, Jamie catching it just before it fell. “I came to get you back for that card in Uno.”
She winked as Jamie discarded his apron, and mumbled a goodbye to Ian.
He had another game to win.