He stood at the beach, looking out over the ocean. The sun was still high up in the sky, but had already visibly started its descent towards the waves. The air was fresh, with a caress of warmth. There were not many people left on the island. It was late, and the season had ended a few days ago.
This had been planned as a much-needed break between jobs. Only a week, and then Paul would return home, to his girlfriend and the new back-breaking responsibilities. Tina had said she would come, but he had known early on that there would be another emergency, another project she could not leave. It had been like this all their life together, and he would not complain, because he loved her passion for her job, and the fact that she loved working hard. Still, he had wanted to share the ocean with her.
And then there had been the stranger at the café. Bearded, smiling and dangerous. They had talked about the weather, exchanging polite nothings, staring at their cups more than at each other.
And then they had left the café together.
It was his last day on the island, and Paul was glad. His hometown would be sad and gray and rainy. Always the same - no surprises. It had taken him all night to get the voices in his head to quiet down, and he had only fallen asleep as dawn crept through the ugly curtains of his hotel room. Now he was staring over the waves eating away at the shore, leaving behind empty sea shells and tiny jellyfish, glinting in the sun. They looked pretty as they died.