They had to be getting close now. The sisters could gradually feel the pavement underneath their feet morph into sand, as they sunk a bit deeper with each step. She looked at the beach below her, her bare feet leaving slightly larger imprints than the smaller ones to her right.
It was one of their favorite ways to spend time together, roaming the beach aimlessly with the ocean breeze cooling their skin. Everything was silent except for the crashing waves and whistling wind, interrupted only by her younger sibling’s eager complaints. “How much longer?” she asked petulantly. Sometimes, she ignored her questions, but that only made her sister more impatient. Most of the time, she indulged her, but seldom with a direct answer. “You need to learn to be patient,” she replied. “Good things take time.”
Her sister exhaled deeply, expressing her frustration. They had been walking for what felt like an hour, despite the fact that it was much closer to 20 minutes. Her feet were getting slightly sore, but no matter how much she vented to her older sibling, she loved every minute of their excursions. Hopefully, today, they would find what they were looking for.
The pair inched their way closer to the crystalline shore, sparkling to reflect the day’s nascent sunrise. From the distance, the older sister descried groups of lumps underneath the sand, some moving and others completely still. She decided to leave the moving ones alone, allowing them to continue their crustacean travels. She kept her eye on the immobile ones, noting the minute protrusions in the soaked sand.
A few more steps, and the sisters’ feet graced the tide. “Finally!” her sister sighed. As her sister splashed her feet around, she reached her hand into the sand and unearthed a shell the size of her palm. Its off-white color and tactile ridges struck her. “This is the one,” she thought to herself. She noticed her sister kicking the water around, bringing up particles of sand in its wake, about 10 feet away. She yelled over to her. “Hey! I found it!”
A smile widened on her younger sister’s face, and she ran over excitedly. With the shell still in her hand, she took one final look at it, giving it over to her sister. Her sister took the shell and observed it for a moment, noticing the details and patterns stretched across it in her small hand. She looked up at her older sister, and after making brief eye contact, she averted her eyes and looked at the golden horizon. She held the shell tightly, but looked back up at her older sister, asking with her eyes to show her how to do it correctly. She gave the shell back to its finder.
The older sister took the shell back with a faint smile and held it for a half-minute. Looking out, she released the shell into the distance. It bounced off the ocean’s surface several times, and it sunk into the water’s depths with an audible plunk. Ripples surrounded the point of impact, alerting the sisters of their day’s success. Her little sister looked up at her and laughed. She smiled warmly in return. With the ocean to their backs, they both turned and made their way back home.