Grace crosses her legs as she sits on a bench close to the railing of the boardwalk. Jamie is seen walking from a food cart after ordering food. He walks towards where Grace is sitting. He hands her food and a drink. She accepts it.
Grace: Thank you.
Jamie nods his head and looks out towards the beach.
Jamie: The beach looks so different at night.
Grace: It’s always the prettiest when the sun goes down. During the day it just looks all dirty and crowded with people.
Jamie: Once my family and I took a trip to Jeju Island and the beaches there were breathtaking. I’ve never seen a beach as pretty as that ever since.
Grace looks at Jamie as he speaks, mesmerized. She looks quickly towards the beach when he stops talking, eating french fries. He looks at her when she’s not looking, mesmerized as well.
Grace: Beaches are never that pretty here in America, so one day I will love to go someplace where the water is crystal clear and the sand is soft-looking.
Jamie doesn’t answer back; he hopes that Grace doesn’t stop talking. She does, and there’s a brief awkward silence between them. Jamie just wants to keep Grace talking after not hearing from her, or even knowing where she’s been since he left for Korea back in January.
Jamie: So what made you start working at the cafe on the boardwalk?
Grace: *scoffs* Well, I needed money. I used to work as a barista at a Starbucks near my college when I was a student. So I figured it would be the easiest way to make money while I’m here.
Jamie: *curious* Oh; do you still own the company back in New York?
Grace: *nods* My mother is helping me run the company while I’m here, but I’m still in charge of choreography.
Jamie: Do you still dance?
Grace: Yeah, I still make the dances up for my dancers and–
Jamie: No, no; do you still dance?
Grace looks at Jamie as he asks the question. They share a moment looking at one another.
Grace: I do. I dance with a team here.
Jamie: *smiles* I’m glad to hear that you’re still dancing.
Grace looks back at Jamie.
Grace: You’re still in law?
Jamie: *nods* I am. I’m under a different firm though. The cases are minor; nothing that requires too much traveling outside of the country.
Grace: That’s good. You can be with your family more these days.
Jamie nods. Grace turns her head to continue eating her food and drinking her soda. Jamie doesn’t take his eyes off of her.
Jamie: How’s Willow?
Grace freezes in place. She doesn’t answer right away; it’s like she has to think about what to answer with.
Grace: She’s doing well. She’s starting Kindergarten in September, which is crazy to think about.
This makes Jamie smile wide. Grace knows that hearing about Willow makes him the happiest. She knows he really cares about her.
Grace: But yeah. *smiles* She’s something else. She’s so fascinated with nature and is literally a flower child. She’s always helping Max’s wife plant new flowers, and always shows me her plants in her bedroom whenever I video chat with her. But she’s doing good though.
Jamie: I’m glad to hear that.
Grace looks down at her body before she looks back up to Jamie.
Grace: How’s your family doing?
Jamie: Everyone’s doing well. Mina and her husband are having their third child. Lia is getting married in the Fall. My mother is very excited about all these events coming up.
Grace: That’s great. I’m… glad you’re able to be with them, y’know?
Jamie nods. Silence.
Grace: So, you said that you and your friends are here for a vacation?
Jamie: *nods* Yeah. Shawn and Kevin wanted to do a guy’s trip before Kevin settles down… Shawn and I think that he’s thinking about proposing to his girlfriend.
Grace: *shocked* Oh, wow! That’s great. That’s exciting. Seems like everyone is getting married these days. Ari is getting married next year.
Jamie: That’s nice. Her fiance seems like a good man, I–
He stops in his tracks. Grace looks at him when he does. Jamie doesn’t even want to pretend or lie anymore.
Jamie: I briefly met him when I went to Ari to ask about you before I left New York.
The conversation ends there. In a way, Jamie regrets bringing that up since it caused the conversation to stop.
Grace: We should probably get back to the bar to check on our company.
Grace gets up and Jamie follows; regretful.
When Jamie notices that Grace is finished with her drink and food, he kindly gets up and takes her trash for her. He walks towards the trash can to toss it out. He turns around and is surprised Grace is still standing with him. They begin to walk back to the bar.
Jamie: So, you have family in California, I’m assuming?
Grace nods her head.
Grace: My uncle lives in San Diego; Skylar moved from there a couple of years ago, I believe? So I’m staying with her. Love her, but she can be a lot to handle.
Grace: Oh yeah. She has no responsibility bone in her body, but I’m grateful she’s allowing me to stay with her.
Jamie: At least you just have her; I have Shawn and Kevin to look after.
Grace laughs and shakes her head. She doesn’t respond back through the rest of the walk back to the bar.
They both return to the Voyage Bar and try to look for Skylar and Shawn. They look around the crowded bar, not seeing them anywhere.
No answer. Both Grace and Jamie walk out of the bar to get away from the loud music playing inside. Grace takes out her phone and calls Skylar; Jamie walks away and calls Shawn on his phone.
Jamie: Ya! Where are you?
Shawn: *slurs* Hyung! What’s up?
Jamie: Where are you? I can’t find you at the bar–
Shawn: Oh! About that…
A few feet away, Grace is talking to Skylar on the phone.
Grace: Skylar? Where the fuck are you?!
Skylar: The question is where were you with Mr. Jamie!
She laughs over the phone, but Grace is not having it.
Grace: I’m not playing with you. We have to get you home–
Skylar: No need, cuzzo! About going home…
A few moments later, both Grace and Jamie walk back to each other, getting off the phone with their rides home.
Jamie: Did you hear from Skylar?
Grace: I did, and if you didn’t hear from Shawn–
Jamie: Oh I did…
Jamie cocks his eyebrows up, and Grace gets the message. Grace rubs her eyes and lets out a deep sigh.
Grace: I’m not going home to listen to Skylar and Shawn *air quotes* have fun with each other.
Jamie’s face flashes red.
Jamie: You can stay at my place for the night if you aren’t comfortable going back home.
Grace looks at Jamie, which makes him even more nervous.
Jamie: I mean if you have another place you want to stay that’s completely fine, I can drive you there if you like–
Jamie stops talking and waits for Grace to speak.
Grace: Thanks, I’ll stay with you for the night…
Jamie tightly smiles and walks with Grace down the boardwalk. Jamie dabs the sweat falling down from his neck.