“You’ve always wanted to come here, right?”
“Not…not like this.”
I stare wistfully across the distant openness of the sea, the sunset surf pounding against the coastal rocks with tremendous roars while the seagulls squawked in harmony, gliding across the yellowing sky.
It almost drowns out our conversation.
“How else would you have wanted it?”
I watch as she takes a stray strand of hair, twirling it around her index finger like candy maker would with a long string of taffy. I feel like pushing her into the ocean, but I’m pretty sure she’ll take me down with her.
“I didn’t mean it in this way.”
And I know what she means – none of had really thought about the after, preferring to focus on the now and the present, since they were hard enough to deal by themselves.
But, as it always does, we all have to face the after sometime.
“Well, we’re here, like it or not.” I say, a bit roughly, and immediately regret it as I watch her face turn slightly ashen. I hurry to explain. “That’s not – ”
“No, it’s okay.” She cuts me off. “It’s true, after all.”
I ponder it for a minute. Yes, it is.
“It’s funny.” I say aloud, mostly to fill the void.
“It just…is.” I start throwing random pebbles that I found in the cracks of the lonely rock we’re both sitting on. They arc across the air and fall down, down, down until they plop! into the foaming surf and vanish into the maelstrom.
“What’s so different from coming here before, and coming here after?” She asks, kind of rhetorically. I wonder if I should answer it or not – her mind already seems to be on other things – and I decide to sneak my way out with a humorous answer. Hopefully she’ll at least laugh.
“Well, first…no worries.”
She doesn’t even crack a smile. Her façade remains as unemotional as ever; sometimes, I wonder if she has any emotions at all, then I remember that yes, she does.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen that side of her, though.
I hear the broadcasting call of the bullhorn that draws us like moths to a flame. “We have to go in.” I say, and am about to stand up and jump back to the mainland when she suddenly grabs my ankle and I nearly lose my balance, about to tumble into the ocean five feet below, and when I gradually retrieve my inner balance through some egregious arm-twirling, I shoot her a venomous look that, in happier times, would have gained a nervous giggle.
But today, she’s just looking up at me with those dark brown eyes of hers, unblinking and uncaring, and I don’t know what she wants, and I just don’t care anymore, and I’ve given up on ever –
Her whisper carries across the squawking of the seagulls, the gushing of the tides, the bullhorn of the people, the whistling of the breeze, to penetrate my brain and immediately halt my train of thought in its tracks.
We must’ve made a peculiar sight – me, standing at the edge of the rock, her sprawled over it, her hands clutching at my ankle, her eyes looking up at me – a peculiar sight, indeed.
But something pretty interesting about peculiarity is that it usually goes hand-in-hand with notability. Meaning: it’s important in some way.
I think this could possibly be important in some way. Just perhaps.
I sit myself back down, crossing my legs and watching as she sits back up herself, combing her hair with her fingers out of slight embarrassment.
“Don’t go?” I ask.
She hesitates, then nods.
I feel a smile tugging at the corner of my lips. “Well. And whatever happened to not like this?”
She avoids my gaze – I find that ridiculously cute, like I’ve always done, and in the back of my head, I just know something good’s going to come my way. And she doesn’t disappoint.
“Like this…is fine.”