A Long Sunset

April 15, 2009
By , Albany, CA
The sunset glowed pink, lavender, and brilliant orange as the sun began its descent from the highpoint of the sky. We huddled around the fire pit, shielding each other from the rapidly cooling wind blowing from the west. I leaned my head against his shoulder and stretched out on the sand. A girl frowned at me, pulling her knees up in front of her and waved at him. Someone switched the radio on and loud rock music blared out of the speakers. A huddle of people, wanting quiet, began to walk along the water's edge, easily escaping the pulsing of the music. I clasped hands with him and we walked along the water, listening to the crashing of waves on the sand. As we made our way along the crescent-shaped beach, the tide crept in, erasing our footprints in the impressionable sand. I stopped walking and put my arm around him. I dug my pale toes into the wet sand and inscribed our names. I waited for the tide to wash it away, but the foamy waves never came. He smiled down at me, in the dim light, his bangs blown across his face by the salty breeze. We continued to walk, his arm around me. The beach curved into darkness, yet I didn't feel the real emptiness of it, with his warm hand in mine, keeping me safe. In the distance, a person was coming closer, luminous despite the darkness. She flung her arms around him and whispered in his ear. I waited for him to push her away, but he never did. Together they strode away, disappearing into the darkness, leaving me alone. I turned and began the trek back to the fire pit. The pounding of my heart and the crashing of waves on the the rocks in sync. Every step I took seemed heavy and strenuous. Why would he betray me like this? The sun had set, leaving only the faintest shimmer of red on the far off horizon. How long until the moon rose? Would it ever rise? I was in darkness without him. He was my sun that had now disappeared into nothingness. In the darkness, I found the inscription I had made in the moist sand. The tide had finally washed over it, leaving only excess sea foam in its place. I stared at the spot, desperately trying to keep back burning tears. The words I had written in the sand were etched in my heart, forever to stay. I sat down in the course sand and put my head in my arms. The tears I had been bottling up inside of me came forth, blinding me, bringing back the memories of what we had once been. Crying, I listened to the waves collide against the nearby rocks. There was no trace of the beautiful sunset now and a full moon was beginning to rise. The silvery glow of the moon shining on the silent beach made me lift my head again and look around. I got up sluggishly and strode over to the dark, icy water. Dipping my foot in, I tried to forget. The sound of the song changing echoed down the beach at the bright fire pit. I looked down at the silhouette of my pale feet in the water. Maybe now was the time to switch to another song, move on and be someone different. I stepped out of the tide and reached up to wipe the still running tears trailing down my cheeks. Walking towards the music once more, I thought about a different aspect of the situation. Maybe he wasn't all gone. I was left with a shimmer of hope with me. I walked into the light of the fire pit and the chatter of my friends. He knew the whole time that he wasn't the one for me.





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