She pedaled southward along the coast, from Orange County, through Camp Pendleton, and on through toward her final destination of San Diego. It was warm out but not too warm, with a light breeze blowing in off the water helping to cool the air. Seagulls soared overhead as the tide rolled in.
Somewhere south of Carlsbad she passed two women walking. One of them looked vaguely familiar so she hit the breaks and called after her.
“Laura, is that you?”
The woman paused in her tracks and turned around. She was in her fifties, much older now, but still with the same youthful face.
“Oh my God.” Amanda scooted her bicycle off to the side of the road and threw out the kickstand. “How long has it been?”
“At least 20 years, probably more.”
Laura's companion made a soft coughing sound.
“Oh, I'm so sorry. Amanda, this is my friend Barbara.”
They shook hands. “Nice to meet you.”
“So,” said Amanda, “what have you been up to for the past couple decades?”
Laura laughed. “Let's see... I guess you could say a lot. The kids are all grown and out of the house.”
“Whoa, you have kids?”
“Seems we have some catching up to do.”
“Seems like it.”
Barbara jumped in. “I don't mean to be a wet blanket here, but this dialog is terrible. There's no drama whatsoever, no sense that something might come of it.”
“Good point,” agreed Laura.
“Our voices all sound the same, we're pretty much interchangeable.”
“Yeah, that's a problem.”
“Shouldn't you have something interesting to say after having not seen each other for 20 years?”
“Life is full of surprises.”