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We were in forty-eight, having the time of our lives.

Your sister sat beside you beneath the parasol, downing her twelfth serving of spiced coconut mocktail. She looked as cheeky as ever, trying to coax you into the next round of volleyball with her friends. But you knew she was just waiting for the next 25-nil victory to rub in your face (gosh, you’d never been any good at sports) so you gracefully chose to abstain, to the sound of their girlish giggles. They took off across the sand again, leaving you with only an empty coconut shell for company. You’d get back at her later – you very earnestly insisted behind her – but your protests were lost under the symphony of excited shouts, bouncing rubber and the crackle of the makeshift net.

Alright, Emi. I’ll let you have this one.

The air was getting cooler now. With the beach settling in for twilight, the atmosphere had quietened to give way to the crashing of tides and cicada song. You caught a waft of the sea breeze, mixed with the saccharine sting of sugar plum trees, and up ahead, a few stone crabs were frolicking amidst sun-stained waves. Here you sat, feeling content, finishing the final drops of your last colada, sweetened just the right amount.

But alas, no good thing lasts forever. It was about time you headed back — the volleyball crowd would surely soon follow. With a sigh, you discarded your sapped-dry coconut by the road, watching it bounce out of sight into the undergrowth. The ground beneath your feet was still brimming with the warmth of the summer, simmering comfortably against the night breeze. You followed the row of cobblestone, making a fairly good pace back to the resort.

You rounded the bend and came upon an eerily familiar road.

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