ANDREW PEEKED out the window of his Uber as it sped along a causeway toward one of Georgia’s remote barrier islands. It was dusk, and the lights of the Jekyll Bridge glittered on the water below. There was marsh as far as the eye could see, dissected by hundreds of muddy waterways that were more mud than water at low tide and more water than mud at high. Andrew was amused to see sailboats covered in rainbow lights on a particularly large stretch of water. I guess Thanksgiving is technically over.
“This is the Intracoastal Waterway,” offered the Uber driver. “It runs all the way up to Boston.”
Andrew nodded politely.
“How much farther until the marina?” he asked, trying to mask his impatience. He had been traveling all day. The Boston city skyline seemed like a distant memory in this coastal community, but the heartbreak was still fresh. He glanced at his reflection in the rearview mirror. Dark circles framed his clear blue eyes, and his bright-red mop stood at impossible angles. He was a mess.
“Oh, at least fifteen minutes.” The Uber driver scratched his head. “That’s on the far north end of the main island.”
As they drove, Andrew wondered if Ace had ever been to the Georgia coast. He had mentioned in the past that he had family somewhere in Georgia. He quickly shoved the thought away. Ace’s family had been the reason they broke up, though it was hardly their fault. Ace had explained with tear-filled eyes that, though he still loved Andrew, he had family obligations that required him to move home and left little time for a relationship. The vague reasoning and heartfelt goodbye were hard to accept for a hopeless romantic like Andrew. Couldn’t two people in love work through the hardships? For whatever reason, Ace didn’t seem to think so.
Andrew redirected his attention to the scenery rushing by. It transitioned from small shops decorated for Christmas to homes with lighted palm trees. The farther they drove, the bigger and more extravagant the houses became. Just when Andrew was certain the mansions couldn’t grow any larger, the Uber driver announced they had reached their destination. Andrew stepped out of the car with his backpack and stretched his legs. Spanish moss swung gently in the trees.
“I’m pretty sure the dock is down there.” The Uber driver pointed before hopping back in the car and driving away. I hope so, Andrew thought as he stumbled down the dark path. There were no Christmas lights to guide the way so far out of town.
“Is that all you brought?” called a voice from the darkness.
“Yeah?” Andrew answered, glancing around.
“I guess we don’t need the wheelbarrow.”