High Tides

January 15, 2009
By Eddison P. Maxwell, Bountiful, UT

I stood up, my mouth open, and stared. Stared at the spot where I thought I would find Ami. I have no one. I don’t even have the body of the person I thought I had. Instead there is an empty hole, taunting me, mocking me. Screaming that I was too late. That I'm a failure.

The sea pushed water into the dark pit where Ami once lay, the tide trying to cover up any evidence of defeat. I got on my knees and scooped a handful of sand into my callused fist, letting it drain out. It sickly reminded me of a story my dad had told me in my childhood, about an hourglass that told the time left of the one person that would keep your will to live.

It was dark by now, and the stars were glittered over the ocean, like light snowflakes falling on the dark, deserted streets on a cold winter morning. They gave the dreary scene a serene beauty. One that I only saw as the sun sets on our world.

I walked along the shore, kicking shells as I passed them, distracting myself. Gentle waves washed into my shoes, the cool sensation relaxing my tense body. All hope was lost, it seemed, as I looked into the sky ahead, empty except for the stars.

On the more popular side of the beach, happy couples come and make bon fires and stare at the picturesque ocean. I jealously walked past them, reluctantly remembering my own. Somehow I thought to myself that I could have that, only to realize I was just lying to myself.

More and more fires passed me, my shadow dancing with the flickering fire, as I sulked my way past, like it was in its own world, like it wasn’t me; instead, a painful realization of what I, as a child had hoped to be. This beach, the one I'm standing on right now, was my safe haven as a child... I remember now. Every Sunday, my dad would take me here, and we would have a picnic, and every day, as the sun was setting, I would go out to the ocean and tell it I loved it. My dad always said I would get whatever I wanted if I did that. All I wanted was Ami... He lied to me...

The last of the fires passed, and I sighed in relief, that I could continue in my misery alone, and unwatched.

The night got older as I trudged along the wet, sandy beach, the feeling of the doughy sand between my toes relaxing. A gentle breeze passed through my short brown hair.

Off in the distance, a solitary fire burned through the darkness, a single person huddled in a ball around it. I continued walking, not knowing if I could bear seeing another person before I took myself out of my misery. The fire got more extensive, so did my grief. The will to live was slipping right out of my fingers, but somehow, my legs continued to walk towards the light, guided by my shadow behind me.

At last I reached the flame, Its light, again, reminding me of what I didn’t have. I slid up to the body, and tapped the person on the shoulder. In the split second between the time I touched the person, to the second the person turned, I thought of one thing: Please be death. My will to live was gone now, and I was temped to jump into the ocean, but as the head turned, her oily brown hair was thrown off her face, and I saw two beautiful green eyes, eyes that I knew like the back of my hand, the eyes of the person I had thought I lost.

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