Six months ago, my grandfather and I left his house at 5:30 A.M. We arrived at the beach in time to watch the sun poke a hole in the seam where the sky meets the sea. We took our usual position at a table and chairs on the beach club’s stone patio next to the sand. No one else was there. All was normal, for the moment.
Papa, my grandfather, was on his laptop and I was scanning the horizon, when I noticed what looked like a head floating in the Long Island Sound. I leapt up and ran toward the water, shouting. “Papa, Papa, there is a dead body in the water!” He either didn’t hear me or didn’t believe me. It’s not often that a corpse floats by. I was sure that this time it wasn’t my wild imagination. It even wore a baseball cap. My pace slowed as I moved closer.
“Keira, stop! Don’t move! Freeze, now!” Papa commanded.
“Let’s get out of here,” I screamed.
“Stay here. It will be OK,” he replied with a much softer voice. He kissed my head, and then started toward the water’s edge. He inched his way forward, his feet no match for the carpet of broken shells. “Ouch! Ouch!” he said with each step.
“Papa, stop! It’s too dangerous,” I yelled. I was sure that the floating body would leap out of the water and grab him. I sometimes let my imagination get the best of me.
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