Yellow Beach

The young man glowered and George kept a steady eye.

When the young man’s eyes dropped, George knew it was over.

“I’m not wasting time on an old man,” the young man hissed, and let go of the waiter.

“Make whatever excuse you need,” George said. “But be sure to pay your bill.”

The young man threw cash onto the ground and left, followed by the stooges and girls. Everyone clapped as George returned to his table. The waiter shook his hand, thanking him between coughs. Then the owner of the café arrived with glasses of champagne, pulled the tabs from beneath the sugar bowl and tore them up. George and Celia drank their champagne, happy to have met one another.

When it was time to go Celia hugged George. She now knew he hadn’t frozen on the beach. And she knew George knew that also, but needed to hear it from someone else. So Celia told George how in the fear and confusion the sergeant had mistaken him for another soldier. She told her friend he had nothing to apologise for.





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