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Dean 'Edge' Edgely padded barefoot down the hallway, the floorboards cool underneath his feet. Quietly, he tapped on the door, waiting for a reply on the other side.
Sleepy eyed, Bec Sanderson opened the door a crack, breaking into a smile.
"Hey Juliet", Edge said softly; as Bec opened the door. "Come for a walk with your Romeo?"
Eleven and a half months earlier, Bec would have scoffed at the idea of Dean Edgely ever being her Romeo. But after a year in the Solar Blue boarding house, that idea had been shattered, and she was quite happy to be seen as Juliet.
Sliding open the window, Edge reached out for her hand, the two well and truly experts at sneaking out.
On January 28th, Edge would be jetting off to the other side of the world, starting his career on the pro circuit. He had won the wildcard, but it didn't mean it was the end. Bec knew it.
Sydney was the place Edge now called home. Sydney was her home.
And Blue Water was his home base.
Bec let out a squeal, as Edge picked her up from behind.
Tossing the brunette over his shoulder, he ran out into the surf, the frothy white water lapping at his ankles. Ploughing through the waves, he tossed her into the air, Bec scrunching up her nose and landing in a cannonball.
They splashed about in the water until they were numb, before donning towels and walking up the main street of Blue Water, heading towards their favourite ice cream shop.
Summer was coming to an end faster that year, than usual.
The two of them observed as the new year of intakes filtered into the Solar Blue boarding house, specifically waking up before the sun to see Simmo's training routine.
(It hadn't changed- but they weren't his jelly babies.)
It seemed to get colder earlier.
They donned jackets, as they sat on the beach, crispy fish and chips filling their stomachs for the night. They could see the new intakes and Fly running up and down the beach, the volleyball net Anna and Perri had worked so hard to repair the basis for their game.
Bec wanted to join them.
Edge shook his head- the big boarding house on the beach wasn't their home anymore.
It rained, the day before Edge set off airport. Bec sat on his bed, watching as he shoved the belongings he had collected in his year in Sydney into the suitcase he would be living out of.
"I wish you didn't have to go", Bec murmured, toying with the edge of his pillow.
"I'll be back so often you'd think I never left", Edge said confidently, grinning at the picture of the two of them above the bed. It had been taken within the first six weeks entering the academy- they knew just by the lack of bags under their eyes- and for the first time, the pair of them bore smiles, sitting beside each other.
Carefully easing it and the blue tack off the wall, he pressed it into the wallet containing his passport and travel documents. "I'll be here every time I'm in Sydney. No hotels for me". He grinned, pressing a gentle kiss to her lips. Bec smiled, kissing him back.
The next morning, as Neil Sanderson packed Edge's bags into the boot of their well-worn family car, it poured. It rained cats and dogs, Emily said at breakfast. Neither Bec nor Edge said much, as they picked at their toast. Ben and Joe thought nothing of it, wolfing down slice after slice spread with Vegemite, before starting on the Weet Bix.
They were silent the whole ride to Sydney International Airport, Neil trying his best to make conversation with the boy he considered a potential son in law (he hated the thought of his princess getting married. It was completely out of the question).
He stood back, as the two said their goodbyes. But as Edge disappeared through the sliding glass doors, tears were streaming down her face harder than raindrops were falling from the sky.
Because the sun had finally set on her perfect summer.