Moving On

November 28, 2011
The feel of wind rushing through the trees, the sound of waves crashing on the rocks, sand in between his toes and hot, summer sun was beating down on his tanning skin. To anyone Seth looked like he was in paradise, bronze abs glistening with water from the lake’s spray, eyes closed soaking up the pure solitude of the place he called home. And yet, something was missing. A void waiting to be filled, and as he laid on the sandy, lake shore in all his perfection, he couldn’t help but wish for something to come along and be the piece he’d been missing.
She came up behind him soundlessly, admiring the taunt lines of his muscles when his arms flexed as he put them behind his head, they were strong from football and baseball season, she remembered what it felt like to have them wrapped around her and holding her close.
Her favorite memory of them came back to her. They were at the Texas high school baseball state championship, watching as the teams battled it out in the bottom of the ninth. Seth had taken them because he knew she had wanted to go. Baseball had always been a huge part of both of their lives and being able to sit up in the stands at Disch–Falk Field at The University of Texas made everything perfect.
The sounds of the ballpark echoed around them, people hollering to family and friends or players on the field, the sound of the ball making contact with the bat and the crowd roaring with approval or disappointment for their team. The umpire calling, “Ball, strike, ball, ball, strike,” setting up tension so thick you couldn’t cut it with a knife. Then the yell of the final call, the relief or the agony as the batter takes his base, heads to the dugout or runs on contact.
She remembered the light in his eyes, knowing how badly he wished he were on the field. Hearing the joy in every yell and every laugh, feeling his hand on her leg when the tension grew high, these were the moments she lived for.
She stopped day dreaming and noticed the way he hummed lightly to himself the song she always sang. He sang softly, not loud enough to hear, but enough to make out what he was singing.
“Why don’t you stay with me,” he sang slightly louder, barely enough to hear. “Share all your secrets tonight; we can make believe the morning sun never will rise. Come and lay your head on this big brass bed, and we'll be alright as long as you stay with me.” The Josh Gracin song faded away but he continued to hum the tune.
She rubbed her arms as the wind chilled the humid evening air and blew her long, dark brown curls away exposing her cobalt blue eyes and flawless face. The eyes he’d started into so many times and the face he’d seen every day.
“How did I get so lucky?” He used to ask her as the laid in the middle of the lake on the tube. He would rub her arm until she smiled to herself, he would pretend to try and push her off and when she tried to stay on then would hold her close and kiss her. She’d let him, they would fall onto the tub and lay there, tangled with each other in their own separate world where they were the only two alive.
She should be laying there next to him, wrapped in his strong arms, he’d let her wear his baseball cap like he always did, sing to her in his deep voice whatever country song came to mind. They would lay there and listen to the waves and they would laugh at their inside jokes and he’d let her fall asleep lying next to him. Everything should be normal, but it couldn’t and it never could be.

The sun hit her face and she smiled as she felt the warmth of summer embrace her. Lying on a boat in the lake, no school, carefree, this is how she wanted to remember her senior summer. Eyes closed, the sun turning her golden brown skin, perfection, and her boyfriend driving the boat laughing as she smiled to herself.

“Will you hand me the sun screen?” Codeigh asked Seth as she reached her hand out but not quite reaching it.

Seth took the bottle and poured sunscreen on her stomach. She laughed as he rubbed it in gently over her stomach, legs, chest and shoulders. He leaned close and kissed her lips softly before he went back to steering the boat.

“You know you’re going to get skin cancer like that. Why don’t you give it a rest for awhile?”
Codeigh got off the floor and sat on the cushioned seat behind Seth. She liked seeing his tan muscles involuntarily flex as he steered, it made her remember why she fell for him in the first place. His muscles, deep blue eyes and his killer smile; he was perfect.
“It’s getting late, Codeigh. How about we call it a day and head back home?”
“Sure, it looks like it’s about to storm anyways.” She said looking at the slowly blackening sky.
The sun was disappearing behind dark clouds and wind was starting to come in. Codeigh grabbed a sweatshirt from inside one of the seats and put on her shorts while Seth left the wheel to find a shirt.
“Are you just going to leave it?” Codeigh questioned but not moving from her seat.
“It’ll be fine; I just need to find my shirt real quick. Where did we put it?”

As Seth searched the boat Codeigh grew anxious. There was no one to steer and it was starting to rain. It started as a sprinkle, but before long it was a downpour. Seth still couldn’t find his shirt so Codeigh took the wheel. Neither of them had paid attention to where the boat was going so when she looked up she was shocked.

“Seth!” She screeched as she frantically turned the wheel.

The jagged rocks screamed death, the churning water promised escape and black sky whispered silently, of hope. Seth looked and saw the trap that awaited them, the wind and water had taken them from the middle of a calm lake, to the deadly traps of the cliffs.

Seth took the wheel as water whipped his face and stung his body. Codeigh silently prayed for a release and looked to the hell bent sky for answers.

The boat crushed against the rocks with a sickening sound, they couldn’t do anything now but jump. The black water promised an only escape from the hell that was transforming before them, Seth took her hand and they gave into the dark abyss.

They held on as long as they could, the water thrashing them different ways as their grip grew weaker.

“I love you…” Codeigh whispered as she finally let go of his hand, and of her life.

The water took her and threw her against the rocks as she struggled to keep her head above water. She reached back and felt the warm blood that ran down the back of her skull tangling with water and dark brown hair.
She saw Seth go under from about five yards away and she knew that was it. The tears mixed with rain and Codeigh was thrown against rocks again and then bashed against the boat. She was losing consciousness, everything seemed to be fading away, so she let go. She gave herself into the escape and once she was under, she breathed.
She saw herself, when she was little, swinging the plastic bat unsuccessfully as her dad tossed the small plastic baseball towards her. They laughed and he picked her up and spun her around.
Then she was ten, playing kid pitch softball, she saw her dad in the dugout, her mom keeping the book, and her older brother sitting in the stands next to her.
Soon she was thirteen, starting middle school, she was scared and didn’t know where to go. Seth came up to her and took her hand, “You don’t know me but I want to show you to your class. Where do you go first?” And the rest became history after that, they were inseparable.
Then came freshman year, his football and baseball, and her volleyball and softball, for both of them was track. She saw all the football games and track meets and softball and baseball games. The playoffs and going to the state championship game at Disch–Falk Field; everything came back to her.

She let herself sink deeper and the water embraced her, holding her tight, taking her life. The current pulled at her, turning her in the watery grave. She didn’t know which way was up but in the darkness she saw Seth’s face, eyes wide and shocked. He was alive but she was too far gone, she looked at him with desperate eyes, took one final breath and let herself go.

She wiped the tears away and sat on the sand next to him, so calm and so peaceful. She was glad it was her and not him; she only wished that he could move on. It had been a month since she had died. Seth had come so close, but he had gotten lucky and Codeigh’s prayers had worked. He was safe and she had taken his place. Seth stood up and walked slowly into the lake, he stood at the edge for a moment, knowing this was the same lake she had died in, that accident that was his fault. He held his head high and walked steadily into realization that she was gone and there was nothing he could do except go to school tomorrow and face senior year without her.

He walked further and the water caressed him with a gentle wake, he pulled in a deep breath and went under enjoying the feel of the water all around him. Codeigh watched from the shore with a slight smile on her face, he had finally moved on, finally faced reality. Now she had to leave. She took one last look at Seth and only for a moment it felt like he looked right at her. Not through her, but as if he knew she was there.

She turned her back and let the tears flow. As she walked she faded, faded into Heaven and out of Seth’s life.

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