Join Me

I watched the sky turn golden as the sun peeked over the mountains. I listened to the waves crack against the shore and the flap of wings and crowing of seagulls overhead. I breathed in the salty air that tickled my nose. I felt the morning breeze against my sore body. I sat limply in the wicker chair on the deck. I watched the sunrise with a sense of longing wishing it would go on forever. I watched a small family creep up the dunes with buckets and an umbrella, going to get a good spot on the beach. A young girl trailed behind slowly. Her arms were crossed and she was fully dressed in jeans and a turtleneck. Her face was scowling. I crooked my neck in curiosity and squinted to get a better look. She looked like a teenager who had been dragged kicking and screaming.
“How could she be upset?” I thought to myself.
My eyelids felt droopy. I wish I could be her. Walking out on the sand feeling the sand in my toes. Feeling like the world was playing in slow motion around me. Watching the waves swell and collapse over my feet. Bending over and picking up a broken shell. Knowing my whole life was ahead of me. I wished I could be her. I looked down at my arms. They were covered in bruises from failed attempts of getting blood. I reached up slowly to pat my head. I looked longingly at her long curly brown locks tucked messily into a low bun. I felt around my scalp but it was bare. I was about her age. If I were better I may have been friends with her. Maybe her family lived in our neighborhood. I watched her slouch into a dune and wince at the sky. She seemed to curse the sun. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face felt good. It gave me hope, like maybe God was talking to me. I hoped that maybe I’d get to watch sunsets forever someday….
I felt teary as I wished I were her. She wasn’t counting the days. As I stared at her she turned to look up. I think she noticed me. Her eyes softened. We locked eyes. Her lip quivered a little. I looked down as I heard the sliding door open. My mom stepped out.
“Honey,” she sat a tray with a glass of water and a bowl of pills on my lap, “You need to take your pills.”
I took my pills and swallowed them down with a sip of water. With every pill that went down, I lost a little more hope.
My mom took the tray back into the house but not before giving me a loving glance. She kissed my bald head.
“You coming in soon, hon?”
I looked out to the dunes where the girl sat. It was empty except for an indent in the sand.
I turned and nodded at my Mom.
“Yea, I’ll be right in.”
I got up slowly and held onto my walker. My arms ached, and my legs wobbled a little. I looked out further than the dunes to the sea. I saw the family playing in the waves and the girl was there.
As I walked into the house I thought to myself.
Very soon, I would walk the beaches and collect shells. I’d watch as many sunsets as I wanted and I’d comb my long brown curls. I’d be me again. And maybe someday she’d join me…





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