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Next year we’re going back to Bibione together

I wake up with the first rays of sunshine. What starts out as a faint glimmer soon explodes into dazzling light shining from behind the pine woods towards the mountains, where part of me came from. I head to the beach slowly, like the waves.

I settle down on the wet, closely packed sand by the shore as the water gently laps against me. As the day begins, the silence is only broken by the rhythm of the waves, which tell a timeless tale every day and in every season of the year.

Lots of people are still sleeping at this time and that’s no surprise because they’re on holiday. All the same, they’re missing out on a part of the day that’s as golden as the light shining through the pine trees, which fills the surface of the sea with unique hues.

People start to arrive. There’s a woman running and an old man walking along with his feet in the water. The place is gradually coming to life. As the sun climbs higher and higher in the sky, families and children arrive with the cool morning breeze.

One of them picks me up. He has an accent from a distant shore and the same smile as every other child across the globe. He holds me in his hands, admires the way the light reflects off me, then pops me in his pocket.

When he gets back to his umbrella, he puts me in a bucket with lots of other shells. I sit patiently in the shade, curiously waiting to see what will happen next.

The boy wants to keep all of the shells but his mother says that they already have more than enough in their apartment. She tells him that he can keep one but he has to leave the rest on the beach. Out of all the shells, he picks me.

I stay with him all through his holiday. In the evening he puts me on his bedside table and looks at me before he falls asleep. Sometimes he takes me with him when he goes out for an ice cream or a bike ride. Other times I stay on the table and listen to the breeze rustling the leaves of the countless trees in Bibione.

One day, the boy is looking very sad. His mother tells him to make sure he packs everything because it’s time to go home. He forgets a few things all the same, but not me. He holds me tight in his hand and we embark on a journey together.

We go across the plain and then through the mountains whose rocks helped to make me. Afterwards, we carry on heading north until we reach a city that looks out over the sea, but here it’s cold and grey.

The days go by and the boy goes back to school. He sometimes looks at me while he’s doing his homework and I know that he’s thinking of the beach where he found me. Soon Christmas comes around and it starts to snow. The boy wakes up early, bursting with excitement. He rips open a present and finds me inside, with a message saying that next year we’re going back to Bibione together!