Come he cries and of course I follow him. The sky is dark and it looks like rain so so dark and cloudy. The clouds are big and thick and heavy the ones that say downpour. The air already feels wet it is warm but I am cold. I shiver and wish that I'd brought a sweater but I can't go back now. He is here and I am too so I have to follow. That's just the way it is. He runs to the edge of the beach and stands there waiting for me to catch up. The wind blows his parka and my hair blows in my face so that I can taste it. It tastes like Johnsons Baby Shampoo and peach conditioner and for some odd reason it makes me hungry and my stomach growls. In the wind you can't hear anything and I run up to him and he turns and smiles hi. I smile too because I am so happy. Ready he says. The pier is there see there's the ladder I know it's rusty but it's okay. Just climb. I go first and he follows me so I can't be scared. I grasp the rungs and they leave rusty brown spots on my hands that smell like metal and fish and then I take a big breath and start up. He is behind me I can feel his arms around me and his breath on the back of my neck and I can tell he is laughing. Why why is he laughing. Faster he says climb faster. One two three four I count the rungs. I can see the top of the pier through the hair covering my eyes. He laughs again I love his laugh I love him. We're almost there he cries. I can't hear him in the wind but I can feel what he says in my back feel his lips his mouth forming the words. My breath is shorter and I take the last step and hoist my limp body up onto the rung. I fall on splinters the wood is weak. What if we fall. We won't he says and grins as he comes over the side. Let's go and he takes my hand and I feel okay because his hand is warm and his fingers curl around mine. We walk out through the wind gusts and I'm afraid to look down at the sea below. We're still over land he says still over the sand. But all I can see are waves. Big black and gray and green ugly waves. Mean waves ready to grab me up. Stay near the middle Jason I say but he doesn't listen. Don't be afraid don't be stupid see it's not far it's fine look. Don't don't come here I cry. See I can balance look it's a tightrope. Jason. I fall on the ground crawling on my hands and knees I can't get up. The wind whips by. It grabs his ankle. Jason. It clasps its hand around his leg tightly and suddenly suddenly he is gone. Jason I cry I scream but he is gone. The ugly waves have caught him and he is theirs. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.