The sun beat down on her. She could see it even through her closed eyes. Her eyelids turned it from a blinding light to a bright orange-red glow.
A bead of sweat broke loose and stole down her neck to gather with its brethren in the hollow of her throat. A voice penetrated the barrier of her headphones and the sounds of The Boss. She reached lazily up and slipped the headphones from her ears, leaving them to loop around her neck.
"It's time to go!"
With her headphones off, she could hear the splash of water and the delighted screams of children. She was no longer alone, lost in the sounds and the heat and the imagined solitude. She opened her eyes, squinted against the glare of the sun, and reached out for her sunglasses. She slipped them on and did not turn to her companions until her eyes were shielded.
Her lips curved up in a well-rehearsed smile. "Yes. Okay."
The heat clung to her skin as she made her way from the sandy beach back to reality.