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Shannon James

The cool breeze of summer nudged the canoe further into the lake. It rocked back and forth in gentle sways as the two girls stared at the blinding sun through tinted vision. They laid leisurely against the wooden seat, legs sprawled wide and tangled together, in comfortable silence. Only the sounds of the lapping water, quacking ducks and slight rustle of the trees that caged in the lake filled the air.
            ‘So this is it?’ Phoebe said turning towards Victoria, pushing the sunglasses onto her head and her wild chestnut curls back with it.
            Her best friend put a tanned hand over Phoebe’s own in answer.
            Phoebe understood the gesture. It was Victoria’s little way of telling her to stop overthinking things and be in moment with her. Through their decade long friendship, that gesture had eased Phoebe numerous times when her brain tried to get too loud. Knowing that Victoria was by her side always helped in small ways.
            Yet, looking at her friend soaking in the evening sun with no care in the world, her blonde hair glowing like burnished gold, tugged at Phoebe’s heart. How long would it be until next time, she thought, trying to burn every little detail of this moment into her mind.
            Victoria entwined their hands together before resting her head on Phoebe’s bare shoulder.
            Sighing in defeat, Phoebe turned back to the sun dipping towards the west and the streak of sky in bright orange. It would be dark soon. The canoe would have to be brought in long before then. Victoria, the only one who knew how to row, would set their course for shore in an hour at the latest. Their time together was coming to an end. Tomorrow, Victoria would be heading on a plane to Germany to start university and Phoebe would remain in this little town, attending the local one.
            Phoebe pushed their inevitable separation out of her mind as she felt the soft squeeze of Victoria’s hand. She put head against her friend’s and squeezed back. At least they could enjoy one last sunset together.