He leaned on his elbows and watched, periodically checking the clock and the tide-chart that hung next to it. Any moment now.
The briny air tickled a sneeze out of him, and he debated whether he had time to go fetch a handkerchief or if he could just use his shirt. Laundry day would not be for another full week. The handkerchief won. He rushed back to the window, flushing with a combination of exertion and embarrassment.
It was sobering to be faced with his own obsession.
The waves hissed and brushed against the beach. The ocean sighed. The breeze picked up. It would rain tonight. He believed his bones.
Then he saw her, walking on the exposed strip of rock-spattered sand. Her head was down, searching. She held a plastic bucket in her hand. It had seen better days.
They both had.
She was his treasure in the sand.