New York City, New York: One Year Ago…
Jamie: Does New York even have beaches?
Grace closes the freezer after taking out the tub of ice cream and places it on the counter.
Grace: Yeah? *laughs* We live near the water, Jamie…
Jamie looks at Grace, genuinely surprised. Grace looks at Jamie and stops what she’s doing.
Jamie: You’re telling me this city has a beach somewhere?
Grace: *laughs* Not here in the city, but in Brooklyn, we have Coney Island…
Jamie: *confused* Brooklyn? Coney? What?
Grace comes to a complete halt and stops making herself an ice cream cone.
Grace: Jamie, there are 5 boroughs of the city; Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, and Brooklyn. We went to Brooklyn for New Years Eve at Em and Cami’s place?
Jamie: That was Brooklyn? But there was no beach there.
Grace: They don’t live near the beach, but Brooklyn has a beach in a place called Coney Island. I’m surprised you never heard of it. It’s a big tourist attraction during the summer.
Jamie: Alicia Keys did not sing about a beach in her song…
Grace: Okay, first of all, that’s not her song; it’s Jay-Z’s. Secondly, have you never been to a beach before in Korea?
Jamie: Yes, that’s why I’m asking you if there are any beaches in New York, jagiya!
Grace walks toward Jamie and hands him her ice cream cone as she takes out her phone from her pocket. She looks back up to see Jamie eating her ice cream cone. Grace stares him down.
Jamie: Was this not for me?
Grace shakes her head and searches “Coney Island Beach”. Once she finds a picture of it, she shows her phone to Jamie.
Grace: This is the most famous beach in New York. There’s an amusement park, a concert place, a boardwalk, and a beach.
Jamie looks genuinely surprised scrolling through the pictures.
Jamie: This looks like a great place to visit!
Jamie continues to eat the ice cream cone until he looks back up at Grace. He hands it back to Grace, who laughs.
Grace: Maybe we can go to the beach together one of these days.
Santa Monica, California: Present…
Jamie is in the kitchen making coffee by himself. He has music playing on his phone while he prepares to brew the coffee. He turns around and sees Kevin walking toward the island with a bookbag. Jamie raises an eyebrow.
Kevin looks at Jamie as he carries three bottles of water in his arms.
Jamie: You have plans today?
Kevin: I’m going hiking; I invited you and Shawn a couple of weeks ago, in which you distastefully sucked your teeth and Shawn teased me for doing something *air quotes* I would never do back home.
Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just nods.
Jamie: Are you going to be alright going on your own?
Kevin: *annoyed* I’ll be fine.
Kevin packs his bag as Shawn walks into the kitchen as well. Shawn looks at the bag and then at Kevin.
Shawn: You’re hiking back to Korea or something?
Jamie holds back his laugh. The bookbag is abnormally large for a hike. Kevin deadpans Shawn.
Kevin: Bye, I’ll see you guys later.
Jamie: Call me if you need anything!
Kevin leaves the kitchen to walk toward the front door. the kitchen is now quiet. Jamie turns around to make his coffee. Shawn walks next to him to the sink to wash the mug he was using. Once he puts it in the dish rack, he looks at Jamie.
Shawn: I’m sorry for what happened, Hyung. I shouldn’t have done what I did.
Jamie doesn’t answer right away. He continues to prepare his cup of coffee to his liking.
Shawn: It was irresponsible for me to do what I did. I got carried away that night. I hope this doesn’t ruin the rest of the trip.
Jamie sighs and turns toward Shawn.
Jamie: I apologize for my behavior as well. I shouldn’t have reacted the way that I did and heard what you had to say.
The guys smile at each other and grab each other in for a tight hug. Jamie winces in pain when Shawn squeezes him too tight. Shawn laughs; Jamie quickly follows.
Jamie: So, do you have any plans for the day?
Shawn: I do… but if you want us to hang out today we can, I could cancel, I–
Jamie: *laughs* Something tells me I’m not the person you want to spend this beautiful day with.
Shawn’s face flashes red.
Jamie: You really like her, huh?
Shawn: Hyung, she’s shown me so much of California and introduced me to so much. She’s so fun and adventurous and–
Shawn’s smile is from ear to ear.
Shawn: She’s such a great person to be around. She doesn’t make me feel like a foreigner, you know?
Jamie nods his head. Shawn takes a deep breath.
Jamie: Go and have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.
Shawn smiles and exits the kitchen, leaving Jamie alone. The music that was once playing on his phone stops, instead the phone rings. Jamie looks at the number, which he has saved on his phone as “Grace”. He looks confused; he picks up the phone.
Grace: Hey, it’s Grace…
Jamie: Oh, h-hey Grace. Is everything okay?
Grace: Yeah, everything is fine. *nervous* I, uhm… wanted to see if you possibly wanted to hang out together today? I surprisingly haven’t been to Santa Monica Beach despite working on the boardwalk, and uhh… I just wanted to see if you wanted to come along? It’s okay if you can’t, you’re probably busy doing other things and–
The line goes silent. Jamie hasn’t said anything yet.
Grace: Hello? Jamie?
Jamie: Yeah, I’m here; I, uhh… I would gladly accompany you to the beach. I actually haven’t been since being here as well, so…
Grace: Cool! So… uhm, I’ll meet you there, I guess?
Jamie bites his lower lip nervously and shuts his eyes. He opens them, as well as his mouth.
Jamie: I’ll come and pick you up in about an hour?
Grace: Oh! You don’t have to, I can just–
Jamie: It’s nothing. I will come and get you and then we can go to the beach together. Is that alright?
The line goes silent for a moment.
Grace: Yeah, that works for me. I’ll see you in an hour then, Jamie.
Jamie: See you soon, Grace.
The phone call ends and Jamie hangs up the phone. Jamie rubs his face, now stressed out.