Julia left the next day, amidst another snow storm and falling temperatures. And a few hours later, when they landed in Hilton Head SC the pilot had said "the temperature is 83 degrees. Enjoy the sun folks.
She walked out of the airport and was suddenly transported into a world of color and warmth. She threw off her trenchcoat as she waited with her luggage for a taxi. The sunshine blazed on the green palm trees, the palmetoes and yuccas. Julia looked wide-eyed at the brillance of the azaleas blooming everywhere. She could smell the ocean and the lovely dampness of the salt air.
The sun warmed her as she waited near the curb and stepped back as a white limousine swung around the corner and came to a stop beside her. She looked around excitedly thinking some famous person, a movie star even must be there. A young man got out dressed in black and wearing a chauffer's cap.
"Are you Julia Mason," he asked?
"Why- yes I am," she said hesitatingly.
He flashed a big smile and opened the car door. "Well, I'm new at this job and this is my car, so hop in."
"But I didn't ask for a limousine, I can't--," And Julia stepped back suddenly tongue tied by the grandiose situation.
"Don't worry, Miss Mason, my rates are the same as a taxi."
"Well," Julia paused, "okay then." And he closed the door and loaded her suticases in the trunk.
'Where are you staying," he asked then.
"It's called the Surfside."
"Great place, Miss Mason, you'll enjoy it there." And the big car moved out into the traffic. In a few minutes, Julia relaxed and sat back. She fluffed her hair and reached in her purse for the new pair of designer sun glasses. With a grin, she thought, if my friends could see me now!
"Is this your first trip, Miss Mason," the driver asked?
"Oh yes," Julia answered breathlessly.
"How long will you be here?" He asked then as he drove but as Julia happened to glance up she saw that he was staring at her in the rear-view mirror.
"Two weeks," she answered but began to feel just alittle bit uneasy.
"Miss Mason, I can show you around. You'll love the beach. Oh, by the way my name is Reno."
"Well, thank you Reno," Julia said not wanting to offend this brash young man.
Her villa was on the second floor and he carried her bags up to the door, then looked her over openly as she hurriedly paid and tipped him, glad to finally close the door.
The rooms were done in floral prints, the furniture was coral cane and the accessories were tropical. Large glass doors opened out to a deck which overlooked the ocean. The view was breathtaking. Julia had never been this close to the water or this far away from home before, so this was a first.
She threw her suitcases on the bed and began to hang her clothes, but changed her mind. Hell, she thought recklessly, I'll can do this later, I'm going down to the beach.
She slipped out of her sensible brown traveling clothes and put on her new white shorts and a halter top and grabbed her sunglasses and set out. So excited and intent on seeing the water, she didn't notice her new-found friend casually strolling in the same direction.