Jack watched her climb onto the wooden fence that separated the boardwalk from the beach. Christine placed the sole of her sandal on the middle beam as she pressed herself up onto the top rung. Jack suggested she get back on the boardwalk and she told him not to worry so much. Balancing on the narrow plank below her feet, Christine tiptoed forward, arranging each foot directly in front of the other as she stepped. The breeze from the waves tangled her hair and suctioned her white t-shirt against her body.
“I used to do this when I was a little girl,” she said.
“Well, you’re not a little girl anymore, so will you please get down?”
She giggled. “You’re always worrying, Jack. Just relax!”
This was the kind of thing Christine would have done when they were first dating. For a moment, Jack remembered how they met. Their junior year in college, a group of their friends had rented a sailboat for the day. Mutual friends had brought other friends, and Jack and Christine had ended up together on the boat. Once at sea, the group sat on the back deck, sipping sodas and passing around bags of pretzels. The hot pink polish on Christine’s nails, the way her hands swirled in front of her when she told a story, and the edges of her eyes that crinkled just slightly when she laughed had captured Jack
When the boat anchored in a bay and the others unfolded the back ladder to lower themselves into the water, Christine had trotted to the bow and leapt off, barely making a splash as she hit the ocean’s surface in a perfect streamline. That seemed so long ago now.
Jack pointed out that they had a daughter now. She didn’t have the right to act like this anymore.
“She’s with your mother for the weekend! I’m sure she’s having a great time, so why shouldn’t we?”