Chapter 4

Her skin totally dry now, Lese slowly and awkwardly dressed in the front seat of the car.

"When's the last time you watched the sunrise at the beach?" She asked in the middle of the process.

"The last time we were here on vacation," Mason answered. "My mother is really into it. Takes a thousand pictures every morning."

"You probably took it for granted," Lese remarked. "We forget about the simple yet beautiful moments and how glorious Mother Nature can be."

"I find sunsets sadder," Mason said. "An ending of sorts. Regrets. Finales. Sunrises, however, are all about hope and promise."

"You were right about the ocean," Lese smiled, finished dressing now. "My heart is soothed by the gentle musical sounds of the waves and I feel totally at peace just being here."

"My father says the ocean always calls us back," Mason said. "It's where we came from."

"You must have wonderful memories of your vacations at the ocean," Lese said with envy.

"I sleep well here," Mason admitted. "I always claimed the bed closest to the window in whatever cottage we rented. It was romantic even though I was alone."

"You're not alone now," Lese stated.

"Are you ready to see your first ocean sunrise?" Mason smirked, gesturing with his chin toward the lightened eastern sky.

They watched as a serene mixture of colors unfolded before them. Lese seemed breathless as she watched the first signs of the sun popping out of the ocean.

"It's magical," she marveled.

Mason reached out across the console and took her hand in his as they watched the spectacle in front of them. Lese sang "Day Break Over The Ocean" again.

"I'll never forget this," Lese promised when she was done with the song.

"We are one with the ocean," Mason said.

"A new day," Lese smiled. "New beginnings."

As the sun rose and the horizon brightened and the day began, they were able to see more of the world, including seagulls landing in the water and walking along the shore in search of breakfast.

"The ocean draws us back time and again, in search of fulfillment and inner peace," Mason said.

The seagulls were wailing and crying, the sounds carrying with the sea breeze.

"They sound like lonely lovers crying out to missing mates," Lese said.

The sun steadily and methodically rose higher in the sky, its heat and glare warming Mason and Lese as they sat in the car.

"Happy moments like this are the ones we'll always remember," Lese said.

"And we remember who we were with when we experience them," Mason noted.

"Thanks for doing this for me, Mase," Lese said. "It's truly special."

"Are you hungry?" He asked. "Summer Beach is just down the road. Plenty of places to eat."

"Take me to your favorite place," she smiled.

Five minutes later they were seated in the Ocean View Cafe eating Eggs Benedict and waffles in front of a large window overlooking the ocean. Mason told Lese stories of the summer beach when it was packed with vacationers.

On this early June day, at this earlier hour, there were only a few dozen people on the boardwalk and the beach was mostly occupied by joggers and dog walkers.

"You'll really bring me back here?" Lese asked hopefully.

"Yes," he promised.

"This has been a pretty good first date, don't you think?" Lese wanted to know.

"The best," Mason agreed happily.

"You're different from other guys I've known," Lese decided.

"In what way?" Mason asked with interest.

"You put me first in all of this," she said. "You respected me and honored me. You didn't try to put the moves on me even when I was exposed and vulnerable. I liked how it felt."

"Our own private Day Break Over The Ocean," Mason grinned.

"Definitely," she said. But then she let out a sigh. "We have to go back, don't we?"

"Doesn't mean the magic has to end."

"I'll be counting the days until we return," she smiled.

"Me too," Mason said.

He paid the bill and then they took a walk along the boardwalk where Mason offered a narrative on all the businesses (most of them still closed in the off-season).

They crossed the road and walked along the beach before and took a seat on the seawall for one final appreciation of the scene before them.

Lese leaned over and kissed Mason. "Happiness breaks over the ocean," she said.

They finally reluctantly returned to the car for the return ride to Hillsboro, but they knew they would return home different from when they left Marilyn's house and, more importantly, they knew they would return to the ocean again.