The wide blue skies and sun that glinted off the perfectly still waters showed no trace of the violent storm that had passed over the town night before. The morning air was still cool and fresh with promise, the first day of the summer holidays. Maybe the last summer holidays Dom would enjoy here, as, come September, he would be starting University in a city hundreds of miles away. He was determined to make the most of every moment, hence the early morning trip, along with his dog Bruce, along the beach to see what damage the storm might have done.

Two hundred yards away, Ann was starting the first day of her summer holidays getting tables ready for tourists at the beachfront café where she worked during the season. Wiping down plastic tablecloths, filling up pots of ketchup and mustard, salt and pepper, arranging napkins and cutlery. Her eyes strayed to the blue horizon all the time she worked, wishing she was on a boat, going far from here. For Ann, the future was not as certain as for Dom. While she had the offer of a place at a uni, she had other commitments here, a situation that weighed heavily on her heart. If only she had an answer…

She was so lost in her thoughts, it took a moment for her recognise the figure running across the sands in her direction, familiar though he was. Dom had almost run up the steps from the beach and into the café before the noise of him, and the dog lolloping behind, distracted her. Dom’s hair looked like it was standing on end and his eyes were wide.

“Ann!” he said. “You’ll never believe what I’ve found up there…”