Someone Like You

By: Victoria Purman



She looked both ways along the road for cars and then crossed it, stepping onto the wooden path that cut through the shrubbed dunes, covered with grey-green bushes, bright white seaside daisies and coastal grasses. The tide was on its way in but there was still enough beach for walkers, roaming dogs, beach cricket champions and joggers. Out in the distance, committed surfers were waiting for the final wave of the day.

Lizzie gazed out at the expanse of white beach that she loved so much. The early evening sun shone so brightly on the water that the waves looked like mirrors in the distance, too bright to look at without squinting. Miles and miles of deep, sapphire blue water before her and a brilliant shimmering southern Australian sky above her. Home was very sweet, she thought with a satisfaction that she felt all the way to her bones.

Slipping off her sandals, Lizzie jumped on tiptoes over the hot white sand until she reached the water line, splashing her feet in the deliciously cool waves. In the distance, the majestic stone pub she’d worked in for years sat dramatically atop the rise of Middle Point, its walls proud and determined, its windows casting their gaze over the best view in the world. She was on her way back there to break the news about Dan to Ry and Julia.

Although she’d actually laid eyes on the man that half of the Middle Point population was beginning to doubt actually existed, her story would be pretty threadbare. When Dan moved to the Point, locals were buzzing. The news that the hot guy helping Ry Blackburn build the Windswept Development was moving into town swept through town like a cool change on a hot day. The fact that he was single and six foot, four inches tall made that news even more interesting to a number of the women of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

The rumble of curiosity and interest in Middle Point’s newest citizen, however, had faded in the past couple of months. Dan hadn’t been seen at the pub. He was never spotted walking along the beach, just a few dozen steps from his front door. No one had seen him at the local supermarket or newsagent. It was as if he’d moved in and disappeared.

Lizzie climbed the fifty stairs from the sand to the top of the Point, where the pub lights had already begun to glisten like stars in the twilight, and tried to figure out where to start. She pushed open the heavy front door of the pub and was relieved at the rush of cool air that hit her. Surveying the crowd, she did a quick estimate of bums on seats. She saw a few regulars, some people she didn’t recognise.

‘Lizzie!’

She turned at the urgent whisper of her name and walked over to the dining area to the table where Julia sat with Ry. They both stared at her with wide-eyed anticipation.

‘How’d it go?’ Julia asked. Her hands were tightly clasped together, resting in front of her on the white linen tablecloth. Ry leaned in to Julia, an arm around the back of her chair.

‘Well,’ Lizzie pulled out a chair and joined them. ‘That was mission not accomplished.’

‘What happened?’ Ry demanded.

‘Do you mean before or after he slammed the door in my face?’

‘You’re joking.’

Lizzie shook her head. ‘It was totally uncalled for. I was perfectly polite. Oh and, Ry, you’ll be getting a phone call if you haven’t had one already.’

‘Hell.’ Ry pulled his phone from the pocket of his tan-coloured shorts. After a tap on the screen, he shook his head. ‘No missed calls. I’ll get us a drink.’

When he was out of earshot, Julia leaned over to Lizzie. ‘How did he look?’

Lizzie took a moment to get the description exactly right. ‘Like the wild man of Borneo. And distinctly like someone who doesn’t want visitors.’

Julia exhaled a frustrated breath. ‘We just want him back, you know? Especially Ry. It’s killing him to see Dan go through this. It’s been months now and we haven’t seen any change. And there’s no way we can think about getting married when we can’t be sure Dan will want to be there. There’s only one person Ry wants to be his best man.’

Ry returned to the table with a chilled bottle of white wine.

‘I don’t know about you two, but I definitely need one of these.’ Ry poured the pale liquid into their glasses. They sipped while they pondered what to do.

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