Last Sunrise on the Beach

by David Williams

"Dad, it's still dark."

"We have to be here before it rises to see it."

"I need coffee."

"Listen to the ocean."

"Sounds like an ocean to me."

"Listen.  It's God breathing."

"So, what do you think about Jesse and me?"

"It would've been nice to meet him."

"Yeah, sorry he was gone."

"You're sure about this, Sweetheart?"

"Oh Daddy, I'm so sure.  I'm so happy."

"This breeze feels good."

"I'm cold."

"If I lived here, I'd be out here every morning."

"Everybody says that.  Then they come about twice a year."

"It's so alive."

"It's so early, is what it is."

"It'll be any minute now.  See that red glow on the horizon?"

"Looks like the light on my coffee pot."

"Beth, you don't think you're rushing things?"

"It's been three whole months."

"I knew your mother three years before we married."

"And look how that worked out."

"I'm just saying..."

"You worry too much.  Okay, Sun, any time now."

"Listen.  Listen to the ocean."

"Still sounds like an ocean."

"Um, I've got something to tell you."

"What's that?"

"I've been to a specialist..."

"Everything okay?"

"No.  It's why I came down."

"Oh Dad, you always worry too much about doctors."

"This is different..."

"You'll be fine.  You always are."


"Oh, and guess what.  Jesse has these, like, really cool friends who play in a band, and they're gonna play at our wedding."

"That's great."

"Isn't it, though?  It's like God's opening all these doors, just like you always said."

"Does Jesse go to church with you?"

"Oh God, no.  He doesn't believe in organized religion or anything.  He says we can worship just as good out here on the beach, right?"

"Twice a year?"

"You're not going to get all preachy now, are you?"

"Heaven forbid."

"I told Jesse you used to be a pastor and he says he wants to debate you sometime."


"Daddy, I'm so excited.  I really think this time's the real thing."

"I hope so, Sweetheart."

"But, there's, like, something we need to talk about, okay?"

"What's that?"

"I mean, don't take this the wrong way, but you can't come to the wedding."


"I'd like you to be here, you know, to walk me down the aisle, and all that stuff, but it's just that Mom and everybody..."

"I understand."

"Do you, really?"

"Don't worry.  I won't be here to mess up your wedding."

"No, not mess it up.  That's not what I meant.  It would just be, like, awkward, you know?"

"I know."

"You always understand, don't you?"

"Look, here it comes."

"It's about time."

"Watch.  It won't last long."

"I see it."


"Just looks like the sun."

"But it's so beautiful.  So big, and so red."

"Yeah.  Something's biting me."

"And see the light dancing on the surf?  It's so alive."

"So you're not gonna get all worry-wart about me, are you?  Jesse has some good job leads and so do I."

"I'm pretty sure worrying is in my job description."

"I'm a big girl now."

"This is breathtaking.  Thank you Lord."

"Can we go get some coffee now?"

"Sure.  Thanks for bringing me out here."

"I'm glad you came down this weekend, Daddy."

"I love you, too, Sweetheart."

"Are you crying?"

"It's just the sunrise."

"Yeah, it's nice." 

"Yes, it's still beautiful."

BIO: David Williams has written numerous short stories and is now working on a novel. He won the 2009 Bartleby Snopes Dialogue Only contest with his story "Cooking Chinese." David lives in Kansas City, Missouri.