The two boys giggled to themselves as they rushed along the sandy shore. One had a large bag slung over his shoulder, the other carried two folded chairs in hand. Their spare hands were clasped together as their feet kicked up sand behind them.
The sun beat down on them, warming their skin and lighting their way. They moved to a more secluded section of the shore, stopping when they found a small pile of rocks they had left before to mark their perfect spot.
Setting down their things, they opened the chairs and made sure towels were laid out on the sand. Pinning down the corners with rocks, they nodded to each other before beginning to pull off their shirts.
The taller of the two whistled as his boyfriend tugged his shirt free from his body, earning a glare in response. Once they were just in swim trunks and sunglasses, they sprayed sunscreen across each other’s skin and breathed in the artificial coconut smell that managed to be clearly fake but also enjoyable.
When they were ready, they stood silent for a moment. Their hands still clasped together as they stared at each other. Then the smaller shoved his boyfriend back before sprinting down the beach.
“Last to the water has to drive back!” he shouted behind him, not glancing back.
He knew he was being chased down, and threw his head back with a laugh as his feet hit the water and he nearly collapsed into the salty waves.
The water was cool, not too cold to be uncomfortable but not warm enough to be considered nice by most people. But to the two of them it was perfect, a refreshing cool down after a long day out together.
“Not fair.” the taller boy complained as he reached the water and splashed his boyfriend in retaliation.
“It’s not the worst I could have done.”
“I’m sure.” the taller muttered, and the smaller smirked to himself before wading out further into the water.
Waves crashed against their legs as they moved out to where the water touched their waists. It was calmer there, the water moving their bodies in a swaying motion as their feet buried themselves in the sandy bottom of the ocean.
The smaller threw his arms around the taller’s neck, pulling him into a soft kiss and smiling against his lips. His boyfriend’s arms wrapped around his waist, pulling their bodies closer as they watched boats move across the clear water and birds dive down to try and catch fish from the deep.
As they moved back to the shore and onto their towels, they sat together and the smaller opened the large bag he had carried out to shore. Tugging open a bag of chips, he lay back and held the bag out to his partner who grabbed a handful and smiled gratefully to him.
“What would I do without you?”
“I dunno, probably starve.” the smaller joked before taking his own handful of chips.
They lay together in the sun, talking quietly and watching seagulls swirl and squawk above them. The salty smell of the sea reached their noses, a familiar yet welcome scent that always made them both relax. It was a way of letting go, forgetting their problems and living in the moment with each other.
“I’m going back to the water for a bit, okay?”
The taller nodded, barely moving from his spot on the towel until his boyfriend was further down the shore again. Then he immediately went into the bag and tugged out a sketchbook and pencils.
While he began drawing, his boyfriend was looking out at the waves as words crashed through his head along with the water. Without thinking, he hurried back to the chairs they had set up and tugged his notebook out of the bag.
He started scribbling furiously against the paper, before looking up and noticing the taller boy gently scratching his pencil against the sketch paper.
“Please tell me you’re not drawing me again.”
“Okay, I won’t tell you.” the taller grinned, and the smaller whined before covering his face with his notebook. “Hey…don’t hide beautiful.”
“I’m not even that pretty! There’s better models out there.”
“I don’t believe that’s true. You write about me all the time, making me sound way cooler than I am.”
“No…you are that cool.”
“Well, I think you’re that beautiful.”
The smaller huffed in defeat, before grinning and leaning down to kiss his boyfriend before going back to his writing.
The longer the pair stayed out there, the more the sun fell towards the horizon. As the sky began to bloom with shades of red, orange and purple they began to pull their shirts back on and slowly pack up their things.
Making sure to reassemble the pile of rocks, they nodded to each other before locking hands again and walking as slowly as possible back to the car. Along the way, the smaller began picking up colourful rocks and tucking them into his pockets, a habit he did each time they came. Because, in his words: “There’s so many new colours each time, and they need a caring home too!”
The taller had long accepted his boyfriend’s shenanigans, and simply smiled as the smaller boy eagerly looked for rocks with unique shapes or a particular shine that caught his eye.
By the time they reached the car, his pockets were weighed down and he tucked them all in the large bag as he placed it in the trunk of the car. The taller boy smiled, placing the now folded chairs alongside before making his way to the driver’s seat. A deal was a deal. As the engine started, they shared a knowing look.
The look said a thousand words, and it was a look they shared every once in a while. It held gratitude, love, adoration, and most importantly a caring and protectiveness for the other. No matter what happened, they knew they were there for each other and would ensure the other’s happiness.
Driving away from the beach, the sun setting behind them, they shared one last kiss. It tasted of salt from the ocean, and a hint of sweetness from the drinks they had shared as the afternoon went on. Sand clung to their skin, slowly falling off as it dried. But neither cared, simply smiling into the kiss and knowing that being together, everything would be okay.