I groggily heard an annoying noise, close to my ear.

Ughh, go to hell… Wait. Is that my phone? Far out! It's still dark.

I slowly sat up and rubbed sleep from the corner of my eyes, and looked at the clock on my phone. 5:49. Way too early for anyone to be calling. If this is a prank caller…

"Hello?" I resented getting up this early, let alone talking. I didn't register the caller ID.

"Hi sweetie! It's been too long. I miss you! How are your grandparents? Are you eating? What food do they have here? Do they have Special K? Is your room alright? Did you sleep OK last night? Have you met any nice people yet? Are they bein-"

"Hi mum. Love you too." I replied, getting comfortable in the bed, rearranging the covers, so I was tucked in, "But. It's really early here. I'm so sleepy…" I trailed off.

"So its not 6-ish pm?" she asked.

"No, mum. Its am." I grouched into the phone.

"Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. You must be so tired from the jetlag. I think. Or have you gotten over that?" she gushed.

"Not yet, not yet. And they don't have Special K here, so I would greatly appreciate it if you sent me some via airmail. I miss you", I added.

"I miss you too, pet. So, what's Greece like?" she asked.

She knew I had always wanted to go to Greece. When I was 13 I had begged my parents to go there in the holidays, they had said they would think about it, so I had taken it upon myself to book flights, and buy Greece travel books, and decided to learn a little of the language. My joy was short lived when the travel agent called a confused mum and dad who cancelled the trip, and grounded me for months and months. The obviously said no straight out, the year after when I had asked again, and then swiftly warned me not to book flights online again.

"You know all those pictures on the internet, that looks wonderful?" I took her pause as agreeing with me, "It's a million times better. I only got here last night, so I hope to go exploring today. When it gets light."

"Yes, yes honey." She mused.

"So what's happening in Sydney? Have you heard from Dena?" I questioned, Dena being my best friend since kindergarten, my polar opposite. She was shy and pale, with white/blonde hair. I loved her like the sister I never had.

"Yeah, she came over yesterday, and sent you an email from your computer. We had a nice chat. Her words: she wants to know about the 'cute Greek guys'" Mum laughed, continuing, "Your father is coming over to sign the divorce papers next week." She was silent.

"Aww, mum" I replied, not knowing what to say to her. I loved her, and although I hated what dad had done to mum and myself, I loved him as well. I hated taking sides, but I was definitely on mum's side. 100%. But he was still my dad. It hurt.

"Anyways, I'd better go. There's a Gilmore Girls marathon on fox tonight, and some ice cream in the fridge just calling my name."

I laughed. It was our secret obsession. "You have fun there. Oh, and also, can you please send me over some movies, you know my favorites, and She's The Man, I'm totally dying to watch it for some reason. And don't forget the special K. And some more Proactiv would be nice as well. Love you"

We said our goodbyes and she hung up. It was always nice to talk to mum.

I heard the same noise from before.

Go away! I'm trying to sleep here!

I rolled over, and felt the phone pressed to my cheek. A sign… I looked at the time on the clock. 10:23. So I answered it when I saw who was calling.

"Hey Rhea, what's up?"

"Hello. We should do something today, no?" she asked. She didn't sound tired at all.

"Sure. What did you have in mind", I questioned, pulling the covers away from me and got out of bed.

"Hmm, I was thinking giving you a little tour of Kythira? There are so many gorgeous spots on the island, you need some local knowledge of where to go" she replied.

"Sounds good. I'll just have to check with the grandparentals, but it should be sweet. Where and what time do you want to meet?" I added, looking into the mirror, and deciding I still looked tired. Eugh.

'Well…" she paused, "We can meet in the town square? At, say, 12?"

"Yeah, that gives me heaps of time." I said, "I'll see you then ok?" We said our farewells and both hung up.

I made my bed, and put on some fluffy slippers, and made my way downstairs into the kitchen, to find Helena sitting at the table making coffee, and cutting up some oranges. Theos was reading the newspaper ( I think that's what it was) in a squishy looking armchair, on the backyard porch, connected to the kitchen and lounge room.

She saw me, and stopped what she was doing, and came over to give me a hug, and said something in Greek, what, presumably was good morning and/or hello. She smelt like spices, mixed with peppermint.

"Kalimera" I knew that one. Good Morning. "So, is it ok if I go to the beach today with Rhea?"

Grandma Helena looked confused up until the point I said Rhea. I tried again, and still, no luck. I heard my tummy rumble, and decided asking Helena could wait; but my tummy could not. And after eating everything I had eaten last night too!

Apparently grandma had heard my stomach growl, because she pushed a bowl of tropical fruits, I think were oranges, mangoes, grapes and paw paw towards me, and put some toast into the toaster. Luckily I had brought nutella. I got a spoon from the draw, and walked outside. Grandpa patted the seat next to him, and I sat down, slowly eating my fruit salad. It was so good. It tasted like summer.

We didn't talk. It was like we didn't need to. I mean, even without the language barrier, talking would have complicated our little morning breakfast thing. I didn't even know what to call it. It was just so simple. It felt natural.

But like all good things, they come to an end, when Nichos came down the stairs, already dressed, singing some Greek song a little too loudly.

He greeted his parents in Greek, and added, "morning Maria."

I smiled at him, "Same to you. Um, can I go to the beach with Rhea today? I mean, I tried asking…"

"But they don't understand, am I right?" he smiled easily at me, " Sure. Because Kythira is so small, you will find you will get a lot more freedom from us."

"That's pretty cool" I replied. And it was. In Sydney, mum always had to know what my plans were. Knowing they just wanted me to have fun was great. They must know why I'm here then…

"Finish your fruit salad, Maria. Coffee?"

The main square of Potamos looked totally different from the night before. All the tables and chairs had been rearranged back to what was obviously its original positions, the "stage" gone from the center; where we had danced the previous night was now a mess of chairs. The sky was extremely blue, not a cloud in sight. Birds chirruped in trees, and everything was perfect.

I daydreamed, and people watched, I was early for a reason. Little old men, predominately were everywhere! Sitting on chairs, smoking. I saw a cat roam the square, and waiters brought platters of food out to locals, drinking from tiny cups of coffee. Teenagers sauntered past, looking at me and talking in Greek. It was those teenagers described as "odd" by Talia and Iona last night. They certainly didn't look that bad. I wonder why they didn't like them too much?

A bright blur scooter revved up, and a cute horn tinkled into my mind and snapped my attention away from the beauty of the square in the daylight, and to the rider. Rhea chucked me a helmet, "Come on, let's go!"

The wind blew my hair back… Well, at least it would have if it weren't tucked under this helmet.

I was riding on Rhea's scooter, heading towards the beach at Diakofti.

We had explored the island, and going on the quest to find Internet in the main town as fantastic, especially when I got to update my facebook page in what seemed like forever. She showed me all the hang out places for kids from the island, and the nicest beaches. I pretty much had local knowledge. My own personal tour guide.

Now, we were speeding to what looked like a port, with a whole bunch of towns on the other side and…a ship. But, it wasn't just a ship. It looked kind of permanent. It was a shipwreck. Cool!

The bright blue scooter stopped near a picture perfect beach, with tiny, gentle waves, a deep blue and green colour – it was hard to tell. The sand was pure white, with little sea shells every now and then. The sun was lowering gently over the sea, making the Mediterranean dance and sparkle. It was amazing.

"It's beautiful, is it not?" Rhea asked, obviously noticing my awe.

"Stunning… Is it always this beautiful…?" I asked staring out into forever.

Her reply came as a laugh. "Come, on lets get some drift wood."

"Huh? What? How come?" I asked, turning to face her, confused.

"Ahh, that's the little surprise we were talking about!" she replied, a gleam in her eyes, "…But first, collect some rocks, and some wood, okay? Meet back here in 15 minutes"

I nodded and set off down the beach, Rhea walking in the opposite direction. There wasn't really much wood or rocks around on the beach. I searched up and down the sand for a minute, and then decided that there couldn't possibly be wood or rocks on a beach. That would be stupid.

A grassy patch of area caught my eye, not too far away, near a white painted house. Let's try over there then! I walked over to the house and got down on my knees. Sure enough, there were rocks and pieces of wood. I picked up a few pebbles, and pushed them into a bunch. I gathered some wood, and made a nice little heap. I was quite pleased with myself.

"What are you doing?" A voice from behind me spoke.

I fell over, startled. "Um, nothing" I replied, blushing. He had caught me. Gathering rocks.

He seemed about 18. With tanned skin, and blue eyes and a big nose, he was the typical Greek boy.

"Well, from inside my house, it looked like you were trying to break in" he stated, eyebrows raised, looking for an explanation. He stepped closer to me, smirking.

"I was… rock collecting." I replied, still blushing.

"Rock collecting. That's a new one." He said, "Do you want some help?" he was mocking me.

"Yes. My friend and I are…" I realized I had no idea what we were going to do with the rocks

"Are what?" he questioned, as I stood up, and sheepishly brushed the dirt off my knees.

"That's none of your business" I said, slight anger bubbling in my blood.

"Relax, relax, I didn't mean to offend you, I mean, you got to admit it did look a little suspicious…" he put forward.

"I guess it did," I said, smiling. He laughed as well. He had a slight gap between his front two teeth. Cute.

"So who are-" "What's you na-" we both spoke at the same time.

"I'm Ma-" "My name's Dim-" again.

"I'm Maria," I blurted out, not wanting to speak at the same time again.

"Dimitri" he replied, "I've never seen you here before…?" he looked quizzical.

"Yeah, I'm staying with my grandparents this summer" I replied, looking at him. He was pretty fit, and he had nice hands.

"Oh that's cool. I live with my parents here. Full time." He flashed a smile at me.

I laughed politely at his crappy joke. He was super cute. I started walking a little closer to him and promptly tripped on the rocks and wood I had been collecting. Dammit. Everything stopped for a minute. I closed my eyes, and braced myself to hit the ground – not to mention the rocks that I had collected. I braced myself for the fall. This is going to hurt…

Only it didn't. Dimitri caught me, well, he caught hold of my arm, and pulled me back up, and wrapped an arm around me to stop me from falling down the other way. He was warm, and strong. I knew he could hold me like that forever, his arms. I could feel the pulse of his heart, beating.

"Someone's a little clumsy there" he released me, laughing.

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry" my face going as red as a beetroot.

"Nah, don't worry about it. I'm used to girls falling for me…" he winked.

He is joking, right?

"Um, well…Ahh, I should go. I'm sure, she's probably, definitely waiting for me…" I trailed off, wishing I was anywhere but here, and I turned around to walk back to the beach.

That's when I tripped again, falling backwards. He caught me, again, grabbing the sides of my waist, pulling me closer to him, ever so slightly.

"Gravity really, really hates you, doesn't it?" he whispered into my ear, sending shivers down my spine. He smelt nice, like coconuts and fruit. I could feel his breath on my neck, and his touch, however gentle, felt red hot to my skin. He let go.

"Shut up" I playfully snapped, and started towards the beach, away from embarrassing myself even more, not daring to look back.

"Um, Maria?" he called back, "Aren't you forgetting something?"

I looked at him, not knowing what he was talking about, a look of pure confusion written on my face.

"Your rocks?"

Rhea had dug out a little moat, around her pile of wood, and had collected a few stones. It looked like she was making a fire of some sort. I piled my wood on top of hers, and helped make the design with the rocks I had found. We had a nice little fire pit.

"So what took you so long?" she quizzed me, after we had built our fire pit.

I wondered whether I should tell her about my encounter with Dimitri. Nah.

"Uhh, nothing. I tripped, that's all, and these rocks were hard to find" I replied, noticing a ferry boat pulling up at the port not too far off, people piling out onto the island. I got off there…

"Hey let's go for a swim, before they arri-" Rhea only just stopped herself, "I let it slip, you'll ruin the surprise if you ask me now!" her face pleading with me, not to ask.

I humored her. "So… What's the surprise?" I asked, followed by, "I'm absolutely joking. Lets go for a swim! Race Ya!"

Her look of anxiousness turned into one of surprise and then quiet confidence.

"You're on" she said as we pulled off out clothes, to reveal bikinis on underneath, and we raced into the ocean, splashing each other.

The water was warm, and tasted like salt on my lips. I loved it. Greece was amazing.

We played in the water for ages and ages, surprising each other and swimming under each other's legs, only to pop up out of the water and scare each other. We stayed in the water until it was about twilight, and the last rays of sunlight were about to disappear for the day.

We sauntered out of the water, dripping with water, lit the fire, and eventually lay down on the sand, hoping to dry off: neither of us had thought to bring towels.

"Rhea! Maria!" a familiar voice exclaimed.

Talia was walking towards us, with Iona, and a few other people I didn't recognize. She came over to us with Iona, and hugged and kissed our cheeks, and then introduced everyone else. Phil, Xena, Cole, and Kostas. The boys were carrying a large box, which they set down with little difficulty, and opened the lid to reveal an assortment of food and drinks, including meat,, what looked like salad and some soft drink.

"Hey, Cole, come help me get the slate?" Kostas smiled at me, though directing the comment to Cole, and they walked off, barefoot, over the sand towards a beaten up looking Ute, Cole playfully punching Kostas in the arm. They were all so buff! They could put some of the Australian boys to shame. You know what they say about European boys, after all…

They returned, carrying a large metal piece of metal, that they set up, so that it formed a sort of BBQ over the fire we had created previously in the day. Phil securely dug some bamboo pole beach light things into the ground, and lit them, just as the sun dipped out of sight, and it gradually became darker, yet still warm. It was amazing.

Xena lit the lamps with her lighter, and lit herself a cigarette, and sat down next to me, puffing away nicely. She smiled, "Liking Greece?"

"Yeah. It's amazing here." I looked around. Everyone else was doing a job to get ready for what ever my "surprise" was (which was obviously a 'welcome to Kythira' BBQ). "I feel kind of useless, but" I gestured to everyone else.

"Well, then go help!" she stated simply, as if it was the most obvious thing ever, and puffed a little bit more on her cigarette.

"I think I will then," I said, standing up as Iona came over.

"Sit back down, Maria! You're the guess to your first feast, you don't do the work!"

"But I feel so useless…" I trailed off, pouting at her, pleading with my eyes. "Don't worry, I still love you" I gave her a small hug, and tickled the sides of her tummy.

"Ugh, fine" she replied trying to be pissed, but succumbing. I bounded off to the Ute, after high-fiving her, where Cole was pulling out a small table.

"Want some help?" Even though it was small, it looked a bit heavy and awkward to hold.

"Actually, yes, It's heavier than it looks" he picked up one side, and I picked up the other, carrying the table over to our little bonfire area. It was heavy; he wasn't kidding. We moved the table, a short distance away from the fire, and some of the others started to unload the food from the Ute onto the table, and meat had just been placed onto our makeshift BBQ, and beginning to smell fantastic.

Kostas was manning the BBQ, while everyone else was preparing salad or laying out cutlery and so on. Except me. I was feeling very left out of this communal… thing. I was sitting in the sand around the bonfire, feeling warm and happy, apart from the slight feeling of being left out, I was fantastic.

Xena, sensing my discomfort came over, "Hey, I need you to… um…" she paused, thinking, "Come help me wi-"

A motorbike revved loudly up to the road and parked right next to the Ute. Everyone turned to look, at the mysterious person arriving. The person gracefully swung one leg over the seat of the motorbike, took off the helmet and walked purposefully towards the group.

He was amazing. His dark hair was cut short, but not too short, his hair was curly. His skin was tanned, dark. His eyes were green, and they were crinkly, but not in a creepy pervert kind of way. More like a laughing way; like he enjoyed life. His mouth tweaked at one side, smirking in an amused way.

No fucking way. It can't be…

It was him.