“I’ve never been skinny dipping,” said Cole. He made a head-nod gesture toward the water.
“So,” he continued. “Have you?”
“I don’t really remember.”
“How can you not remember something like that?”
“Fine. I haven’t.”
They didn’t say anything for a few moments as the sound of the waves easing in and out filled the silence.
“You wanna do it?”
Vera looked at Cole. This attractive, strapping man was asking her whether she wanted to swim in the ocean. Naked. At night. She was typically kind of a prude, but she wasn’t a fool.
“Only if you promise not to look at me until I’m in the water.” She wasn’t a stick-figure like Jill, and she didn’t want the comparisons.
He rolled his eyes. “It’s pretty dark, but fine. You go first.” He stood up from sitting on the beach, turned so his back faced the ocean, and waited for Vera. Gingerly standing up and dusting off the wet sand, Vera looked around to make sure no one was on the beach, and slipped out of her yellow dress and undergarments before making a run for it toward the ocean. She let out a scream once she hit the cold water, causing Cole to turn around toward the commotion for a split second, before reverting to his previous stance.
After a few moments, when the water was up to her chest, she gave him the go-ahead.
“Fine. You can’t look, either, though.”
“Fine.” Vera turned around in the water, letting her head tilt up toward the night’s sky. Within a few moments, she heard a nearby splash and discovered that Cole was in the water next to her.
“Oh hello,” he said.
“Hi,” she said.
“This feels pretty good.”
“Ever get to do this at the library?”
“Sure. I’d walk around naked in the stacks all the time.”
He suddenly stopped moving in the water.
“What?” she said.
“Are you picturing me naked?”
“Yeah, you were.”
“Vera,” he said.
“I don’t have to picture you naked. I already caught a glimpse in the moonlight.”
She tilted her head in disappointment. “You promised you wouldn’t look.”
“You screamed. I’m sorry.”
“Relax,” he said, scratching his chin with his hand. “You look good.”
Back on the beach, Betsey was walking back toward the dock, having forgotten something from the boat. She spotted two figures in the water, and their clothes in the sand. She was especially curious about the recognizable yellow dress, letting out a perturbed scowl.
The next day, while golfing at the Newport Country Club, Betsey kept an eye on Vera and Cole as they joked about each other’s swings together off to the side, away from the others.
“Denise,” said Betsey, interrupting Vera and Cole’s conversation. “You and I are tied for first place.”
“Oh really,” said Vera.
“No one ever beats mom,” said Owen, standing extra close to Vera, which caused Vera to scratch the back of her neck out of discomfort.
Sitting in the golf cart, Charlie worked on the scorecard.
“Yes, Denise and Mom are tied. Then, Dad. Then, me. Then, Owen.”
“Whoah,” said Owen, stopping mid-shadow swing. “Wait a minute. There’s no way you’re beating me.”
“Wanna take a look at the scorecard?” Charlie flipped the card around, and Owen squinted at it.
“Are you kidding me?”
“No. Why would I lie about this?”
“I could think of one big reason.”
Suddenly, like a burst of cool air before a summer storm, the atmosphere changed, and it got tense. After standing up from the golf cart, Charlie grabbed a club from his bag. Both men took a stance like they were going to have a sword fight with two 6- irons. They had both gone over-par with their tolerance of each other.
Seeing her two brothers about to engage in combat, Vera put both arms up and intervened.
“Don’t do this,” she said.
Then, both brothers took a swing and everything went black. Where is Vera when she wakes up? Please return to the top of this episode to vote on what happens next!