We had been going to Orosei for several years and everybody knew us by now. I also have two sisters and the Sardinian kids, stocky and dark, remembered them very well. My father made people love him very soon and with two words in Sardinian language was able to win innate skepticism of the local and succeeded in getting always great prices for our vacation homes. It really seemed to me like we were in a different world down there: in the 80’s the difference between the north, where we came from, and the island were still very tangible.
That afternoon the temperatures were, if possible, even higher than ever. Time seemed to have stopped and I was bored as usual, since I had to wait at least three hours before swimming after eating; my father didn’t offer any discounts! In the background “Giulia” kept playing and I looked around to find something to get my attention: it was then I saw her coming.
Maybe it was a coincidence, but she arrived on a Giulia Alfa Romeo, the color of the car being the indefinable color Alfa chose for its vehicles at that time, something close to a faded violet. The car with a Sassari license plate, with the orange double S on a black square like it used to in the first half of the eighties, stopped at the other side of the canal: there was not bridge then to cross over.
She, as I soon noticed, was very pretty, blond, tall and slender with long legs and the wavy hair untied over the shoulders, following the fashion of the moment. A beautiful girl, maybe the same age as me, but much more a woman that I could ever be a man.
Lying on my stomach with my chin in my hands, I did not miss one of her movements while standing outside the car she kept looking for the things she had brought with her and thought she might need at the beach. I imagined she was a guest of her friend’s family as everybody else was short and dark, parents and little brother along. She was not like that, incredibly blond and with amber skin, the same color that everybody else with a fair complexion would get in the sun. From that moment on, she became my enduring and daily thought.
They used to arrive at the beach in the late afternoon, but I was always there to wait for them tirelessly. Sitting by the dune that marked the beginning of the shore, I waited to see the car’s headlights peaking through the oleanders alongside the road to get there until it stopped to unload its precious cargo.
Most of the times the family squad, carrying umbrellas, beach towels, lounge chairs and even more bulky staff, luckily came to a halt right next to us, but it was actually me that everyday decided where to put our beach umbrella, trying to figure out where the occupants of the Alfa would have eventually stopped.