A Beach, Windenburg, 2021
Alex and Henry stood side by side, facing the Windenburg sea.
Henry now and then stole glances at Alex's face. What Alex was thinking was of no concern to Henry.
It was the idea of Alex being 'deep' that captured Henry's imagination.
"Henry, are you alright?" said Alex. Startled, Henry stumbled back, but Alex caught him.
"Ughsanfdjas" Henry panicked. He always got funny when Alex touched him. It had happened a couple of weeks ago at Philosophers camp, which he accidentally attended after he got off at the wrong train-stop on the way to Outward Bound. In a focus exercise, Henry was forced to hold hands with Alex.
Run! Henry had thought, which was exactly what he had done. Alex had found him hiding in the bathroom, refusing to come out of the cubicle. Henry had eventually come out, when Alex offered to take him stargazing that evening.
Henry gulped down his urge to bolt. Uh, I should say something, he thought.
"Uhm... It's a beach, uh.... nice...." Henry gasped..." Uh,.... I meant it's a nice beach... nice, very nice."
"Oh okay," smiled Alex. "Anyway, do you want to hear something cool?"
"Oh... sure," said Henry.
Alex beamed at him, then became shy. He scratched his nose and lifted his shoulder.
"Uh.... come over here and I'll show you." Alex gestured to a place beside him and nodded towards the sea.
"The Granite Falls River connects to this sea," said Alex.
"No way, really?" cried Henry.
"Yes, small world Henry," said Alex.
"But I had to fly to Granite Falls."
"But you can sail to Granite Falls. Mama said," Alex replied. "Do you know what mama also said?"
Henry shook his head, then blinked when he felt a hand on his back. The hand fell away when Alex took a step towards the sea.
"It's dangerous sailing along the Granite Falls River, but if you make it through alive, you make it to open sea and all the way back home to Windenburg."
"Alex, don't you dare think about sailing that river. You might die!"
"What are you talking about Henry? We already are 'sailing the river.'"
"No we're not. We're on a beach."
Alex sighed. "Metaphor, Henry."
"Metaphor for what?"
"Huh?" Did Alex just.... "Am I... uh... your... best... friend?"
"What does the metaphor tell you?"
Henry thought about it. "Yes," he said. "I think we will be."