A Summer Fling Is Just the Thing


Caption: With summer comes the inevitable: love. Photo credit: Sam Mugraby

Georgia Udall and Claire O'Melia

I remember my first summer fling. His name? Not important. Our ages? Not important. Where? You’ll find out soon enough. When? Summer, of course. It was hot, almost too hot. It was the kind of hot where the air was sticky with the anticipation of freedom, even if the freedom was just for a few months.

The Fourth of July was my favorite day of the year. It reminded me of sweet cherry pie with vanilla ice cream melting in the sun, and fireworks booming overhead, lighting up the sky like billions of fireflies. But now, all the holiday reminds me of is his eyes.

They were dark like the ocean I met him in. I was on the beach, basking in the sun in my neon green wetsuit and matching Crocs. He was in the surf, splashing and bathing in the water. When I saw him I was taken aback- he moved with the grace of a sea worm. He could have been 18, maybe 35. I didn’t know. Later I would find that he was exactly my age- what a coincidence.

I got in the water to get a closer look, on the prowl, but my Croc got caught on a piece of coral. That’s when I saw the shark, gliding towards me like a shark does, and I froze, petrified by fear. I watched the mighty shark advance with awe.

Next thing I knew, punches were flying. From both sides: a handsome boy with hair like spun gold, and the fierce, enigmatic shark. They were throwing hands like nobody’s business. My shoe was still caught, and I couldn’t watch. The world began to spin, and next thing I knew, I was looking into his eyes. Those beady black eyes, like pools of ink, surrounded by a grey, the color of the storm clouds above.

He gave me a smile, bearing his three rows of jagged teeth, and I nearly fainted again. But boy, am I glad I didn’t. He opened his mouth- to speak, or pick flesh from his teeth, but I quickly shushed him.

“Don’t speak, my love.” I batted my eyes. He stared blankly, but with so much emotion I swooned. “Thank you for saving me.” And then, he took me for a ride out in the surf. I stared at his fluctuating gills in awe. The seawater sloshed around us, and I saw a sea urchin, but I felt safer than ever before. His fins moved lithely, slapping my face now and then, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I liked it.

Our first kiss was under the docks. It was soooo steamy. When I finally went home, my toes were like prunes, but I didn’t care. I knew my life had been changed forever, because I had met the shark of my dreams.

Little did I know what would come next. Something about him was a little… fishy.

He wanted to move in with me after a week. He wanted me to buy a giant aquarium. I didn’t have space for that, but he insisted. Every time I went to visit him, he brought it up. One day, he even ate a big juicy fish in front of me. That’s when I knew it had to end.

It was raining the last day I came to see him. We were both drenched, already. Me with tears and him with seawater. “I can’t do this,” I told him. He cast me a glance, looking sad, or maybe he just wanted to eat me. I went back to shore and never looked back.

I saw him a year later, on the nightly news. A lump formed in my throat as I learned of his death; killed, by a fisherman, after my old lover had eaten 12 people.

Despite my sadness, I knew he was in a better place: hell.