NEW IN TOWN. Tommy sat on the white sandy beach, a gentle breeze blowing his long, blonde curly hair, watching, and listening to the tropical blue waves roll gently into shore. He had sat here every morning for as long as he could remember and would never grow tired of this scene, but today he felt like something was missing, or more like he was missing something. Tommy’s Mother May, walked down the dunes and sat down beside her eldest son. “It’s so lovely at this time of the day, but it’s going to get very hot later. Are you okay Tommy? You’ve been very quiet lately. Is everything okay at work?” Tommy looked at his Mother’s work-worn face which he loved very much. “I’m fine Ma, but I have itchy feet. I’d like to have a vacation away somewhere, far from the beach and far from this island.” His Mother looked at him and her mouth dropped open, but she didn’t know what to say. “But Tommy you’ve never been anywhere else. Where would you go? Why after all these years would you suddenly want to leave your family?” “Ma I’m not leaving for good! I’d just like to get away and explore a different part of this world. I’ve lived on this Island for 25 years, and I love it dearly, but it’s time I saw some other places.” Having made up his mind, Tommy booked passage on the first boat leaving the Island, and headed for the mainland. Coming ashore he looked up, and what he saw blew his mind. Right from the edge of the sand the high-rises lined the edge of the beach. The taxi’s were lined up along the wharf, so Tommy caught one to the nearest Hotel, which he had booked into on-line. “On vacation mate?” The driver asked. “Yes, just getting a few weeks away from the hum-drum, can you suggest a good place for dinner?” “Sure, most newcomers like Pedro’s. It’s clean, cheap and they have the best food on the Coast!” “Thanks I’ll try there, could you drop me off at the Westin, thanks!” After dropping off his luggage and changing into something more appropriate for dinner, Tommy headed for Pedro’s. The driver was right, it was cheap, clean and the food was delicious, except he missed having all his family there with him. Tommy went back to the Hotel, watched some TV and was in bed by 12 o’clock. The next day Tommy explored the usual things like the Library, Museum, the Arcades and even went to the Zoo. It was all great, but he felt so lonely. Tommy knew he had family living not far away, so he went to visit his cousins. They lived in a high-rise, on the 30th floor. His Aunt welcomed him with a big hug and his cousins looked him up and down like he was a country yokel. They invited him to a local night-club that evening, saying it was the place to be, on the Coast. After paying an enormous sum of money to get in, the place was packed like a tin of sardines. They eventually found a few seats and sat down thankfully. The music was so loud it was hard to hear anyone talk, and the air was filled with the smell of crowded bodies and drugs. Tommy was not enjoying himself. He stood up, and told his cousin he was going somewhere else. His cousin pushed him back down into his seat. “Hang on a while cous, we have a little business to do here then we will take you somewhere else.” Tommy didn’t like the sound of that. Sure enough a very tough looking character arrived and passed over a small package to his cousin. Tommy knew what was going on, and knew he had to get away from there, before he got pulled into the drug selling ring his cousin was in. “I’m just going to the loo cous, won’t be long.” Tommy slipped into the crowd, and when he had the chance headed for the front door. The next morning he was packed and back at the wharf, heading across the bay to his Island home. Tommy had wanted to see the world, but unfortunately had seen some of the worst of it. “Tommy!” His Mother hugged him when he arrived at the front door. “Why are you back so soon? I thought you were going to have a month away? Didn’t you like the mainland? Did you visit your Aunt and your cousins?” “Yes Ma, I visited them, and I did some exploring, and I wasn’t very impressed.” After Tommy recalled everything that had happened to his Mother, she was upset. “I’m so glad you got away from your cousin. He has always been the black sheep of the family, always causing trouble. I hope he never decides to come here to live.” Back on the mainland, Tommy’s cousin Rex was in a lot of trouble. The drugs he had been given to sell, had been stolen. Someone had ransacked their apartment. Now his Boss wanted his money back, and Rex had to find $10,000. But before he had much time to worry about it, his apartment was raided again, this time by the drug squad, who also found a stash of drugs. Rex was eventually sent to jail for 12 years. Tommy read the story in the newspaper, and thanked his lucky stars he hadn’t been caught up in it. He went back to his job at the local Newsagency and settled down into his routine Island life. Not long after, he met a young lady by the name of Myra. They became good friends and a year later Tommy proposed. After several years of bliss, Tommy’s wife came to him one day with an idea. “We never really had a honeymoon, how about we go to the mainland for a few weeks, and stay in a luxury Hotel?” “Myra, I love you to bits, but I am never going back there, ever again!” When Tommy related the story to Myra, tears ran down her cheeks. “Why are you crying?” “Because I could have lost you, before I even found you! I’m so sorry Tommy, I’ll never ask to go to the mainland ever again!” Every morning very early, just as the sun was coming up, Tommy and Myra sat on the beautiful white sand dunes watching the crystal blue waters gently cascade onto the beach, and thanked the Lord for their Island life. Three generations later, young 24 year old Tommy Jnr, sat on the dunes early in the morning, and decided it was time he saw a bit more of the world. He booked the next boat leaving the Island for the mainland.