Nestorides, 1972-1973

Red, White, and Blue Swimsuit
by Maria Nestorides

Weston-Super-Mare. Beach. Stretches and stretches of it. And bathers by the thousands. I’m wearing my red, white and blue swimsuit. It’s a one piece, and the white part is a frilly skirt. I absolutely adore it. My sister’s is similar, except it doesn’t have a skirt but has four military-style gold buttons down the front. I like mine better and as I play in the sand, I love that my frilly white skirt flaps up and down. I think my sister likes mine better too, but I manage to persuade her that the gold buttons on hers are really glam.

Where is she? We’re supposed to be making a sandcastle. I ask my mum and I see her eyes dart to and fro trying to pinpoint her. My father, always the more laid back of the two, wrinkles his brow but doesn’t say a word as my mother’s stream of worried Greek gushes towards me.

And then I hear it over the loudspeakers. “We have a little girl here wearing a red white and blue swimsuit with four gold buttons on it. Please could her parents pick her up from the ‘Lost and Found’?”

“Dad,” I say, and tug at my dad’s hand. “The man just said they’ve found her.” We rush to the makeshift ‘Lost and Found’ desk in the middle of the beach and there sitting on top of it, waiting, is my sister. She’s not crying as I’d thought she’d be. Instead she smiles when she sees me. My mum buries her in kisses, barely containing herself, I think, from walloping her one for the sheer fright she has just put her through. But the day has been saved and she has been returned safely to us, red white, and blue swimsuit, gold glam buttons and all.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The photo is one of me on the trampolines at Weston-Super-Mare, circa 1972, age four.


Maria Nestorides
 was born in London, England, in the swinging sixties, but her whole family relocated to the Arabian Gulf when she was just seven years old. She now lives in Cyprus with her two teenage children and her husband. Several of her short stories have appeared on Inkitt and on The Story Shack, and she has also contributed a six-word memoir to the book Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure, by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser (Jan 6, 2009).