What can YOU say in six sentences?
When all the bikinied teenagers went to the beach in that summer of ‘69, they played volleyball, while their boom boxes blared danceable Beach Boys’ tunes (never the Beatles because the Fab Four were having problems staying together, and it was rumored Abbey Road would be their last album) and the kids were trying to recreate the sunny days of Frankie and Annette even though the Brooklyn beaches were a far cry from those of southern California. Andrew shied away from the games, however, as did Stephanie, and as he had eyes for her, and they were the only two not sporting deep golden pre-cancerous suntans, they seemed like they would make a terrific couple, but Stephanie did not respond favorably to any of his few awkward advances, and mostly sat reading The Love Machine and nodding every so often that, yes, she would join in as soon as she finished “this chapter.” She was the one who first noticed the wispy-haired older man who lay tanning himself, on his blanket every afternoon, staring at the kids with what appeared to be envy, though he never spoke to any of them, and then when the other girls mentioned that they thought he was creepy, she said she found it kind of sad that he was always there alone. One day in late August, Stephanie did not show up, and when she didn’t come the next day, or the day after, Andrew went calling for her, and discovered that she and her mother no longer lived in the two-family house on Crichton Avenue, that in fact, they had just up and moved away from the neighborhood, telling no one where they were going. Cassie, one of the deep golden girls, who had been observing Andrew’s interest in Stephanie without masking her disappointment, told him not to take it so hard as there were plenty of other fish in the sea, plenty of healthier looking fish if he caught her drift. She was the one who pointed out, with a wink, after several days that the old man, too, had stopped coming to gawk at them, and that was true enough because he never appeared on the beach again during the rest of the season.
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