Suddenly he heard a voice talking animately over the dunes. Pat felt a wave of irritation roll over him. He had been looking forward to this day all week. It was the voice of a teenage boy.
"We both had drink taken. It's not my fault you tripped. No wonder you fell, you were looking at the Ivan fella half the night. I saw you, I SAW you."
Pat felt uncomfortable but he was aware that if he moved the boy would know that he had been overheard. The conversation took a turn for the worse with name calling leading to an inevitable break up.
"I don't know why I even bothered with ya. You're only a tease. You're only good for one thing."
Pat winced. This lad should shut up before he completely buried the relationship. However it was too late. He heard a rustling and the boy appeared, standing over Pat. He was tall and skinny but he moved gracefully and with the confidence of a young man.
"Sorry about tha'"
"Sorry too, I didn't mean to overhear it. I was all comfortable here before I realised you were behind me. Just ignore me or sit down, whatever suits you"
The boy sat down beside Pat unexpectedly.
"I just don't know how I keep doing this," he sighed as Pat noticed tears in his eyes. He pulled up his shoulders and it made his whole body shake.
'I'll give you an unsolicited tip. No matter how badly you feel and how much she has hurt you, don't resort to name-calling and tit-for-tat. Be above it. Also, if a woman doesn't show you some basic respect, get away from her. I'm talking from experience.'
The boy looked out at the sea. He never turned his head to Pat but he quietly asked, 'How are you the expert? Did you meet the right lady?'
"I did but she died two years ago. She really was a lady."
They sat in silence together until Pat finally suggested, 'Fancy a pint up at the pub? What age are you anyway? Old enough for a pint, I'd say. What's your name?'
"My name's Patrick and I'm seventeen, nearly eighteen."
"Ha! We've the same name. Come on! I'm buying."