I’m standing in shallow surf holding Luna when Lily begins walking parallel to the breaks. Her eyes are down, combing the sand for treasures. When she’s 100 yards away, Lu runs after her. I watch Lily pause and turn, waiting for her, and then they walk side by side, stopping occasionally to pick up a special piece of coral or a shell in the shape of a butterfly.
I follow them at a distance. Luna curls her body into mine, alternately blowing raspberries into my shoulder and chewing on my collarbone with her sore gums. I’m almost breathless, hoping they won’t notice me, hoping they’ll continue on their way oblivious to the magic that trails behind them.
For nearly an hour, they walk. Picking up treasures, pointing out others, and gathering the chosen. They stoop to wash them in the surf. They touch each other casually and walk with the same gait, though Lily’s legs are longer. Lily glances in my direction a couple of times, but it’s as if we have an unspoken agreement: I’ll follow and make sure they’re safe, and they’ll continue on as though it’s just the two of them.
The sun sinks lower in the sky, and regretfully, I tell them we need to turn around to go back to Daddy. They resist a bit, but then resume their slow, searching stroll back along the waves. Their blond heads and tanned limbs the same shade. Sisters. Luna leans back to smile up into my face, and I imagine her walking with them too, a world unto themselves, trailing magic behind them.