The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

Author:Ann Brashares
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: 2017-04-24T16:00:00+00:00


I still surf every Saturday out at Ditch Plains.

Had he somehow known Mattie would come to this?

At the time it had struck her as a laughably extraneous piece of information. And yet she’d remembered it. And here she was driving Adam’s crummy Honda out to Ditch Plains early on a Saturday morning.

Mattie’s mother did not want to talk. Her father most certainly did not want to talk, but she somehow got the sense that Jonathan Dawes did.

The towel and the book felt like props to her as she picked along the sand. This beach was only a few miles down from Georgica but belonged to a wilder world. The break was long and rugged and already dotted with surfers. The height of the cliffs and the speed of the wind gave it an edge-of-the earth quality. Jonathan Dawes must have come over to their world, to the flat water of Georgica Pond, when he balanced little girls on the water.

Mattie felt self-conscious as she made her way toward the water. This beach was run by notoriously cranky locals. If you hadn’t surfed here for a decade or two, if you couldn’t acquit yourself on a board, you were not welcome. And yet she noticed more nods than scowls. Maybe blond girls in bikinis got a pass here, just as they did in most circumstances.

She recognized him from the back a couple hundred yards down the beach. He was wearing wetsuit pants so supremely faded they might have been the same ones from the picture seventeen years ago. His hair had a strawlike texture from years of salt and sun. He was holding a respectably beat-up longboard, standing with two other surfers. He was one of the locals, not cranky, maybe; if anything, he was the kind of institution the cranky ones were protecting.

She was moved by him, in a strange way. How well he belonged, how relaxed his body looked. How much he was part of this exact place. And how he was still part of that old time, when nothing else from then felt the same.

It seemed a credit to her that her life might overlap with his. This was an intoxicating thought and a treasonous one.

She was frozen there, clutching her book and towel, when he turned and saw her. He cocked his head, and then smiled and came toward her.

She was almost surprised that he registered her. She forgot she was visible and part of this scene. She had lulled herself into the idea that she was watching him as though on a screen, a pair of abstract eyes gazing at him in his natural environment. She’d forgotten she’d come here to interact. She wasn’t sure she wanted to anymore.

There was something momentous about his walking toward her. Because of the raking sunlight and shadows and his look of question and expectation. Now she knew she was choosing something.

Had she meant to?

She must have meant to. She didn’t get here by accident.

He got close and put his arms out to give her a hug.



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