There wasn’t a lot of time left.
Opal set the sheet on the sand and looked out at the ocean. The ocean never failed to calm her. It was her friend, her refuge, her source of courage.
The power of the waves and the never ceasing movement made her feel like she was a microcog of something deeper and richer. Like one small grain of sand. One of many which added up to a beach five miles long and so many miles deep.
Time was running out.
She smiled and thought of all of the summers she’d spent at this beach. How many times she had run into the cold and warm waters. How she had learned how to dive deep into this ocean.
How it had filled her with peace.
Time ticked loud. Time ticked fast.
Opal leaned forward and dug her hands into the sand, as if her hands were an anchor trapped inside a sandbar.
She bowed her head.
Time ran out.
A young man in a orange flight suit stepped in front of her. “Are you Opal Grainger?”
“The squadrons will be leaving soon. You’d better make sure your ship is ready for take-off.”
She sighed. “I will. Can I have a couple more minutes?”
“If you can hurry it up.”
She looked up at the two suns: one large, one small.
“After all, the Empire isn’t going to fight itself.”
“I imagine it won’t.” She smiled. “I will come back here, though. Some day.”