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Rocks by the Marina
Blair: “But I don’t know what it is Jenni, I’ve known him my entire life and these feelings… they just came out of nowhere.”
Jenni: “I’m sure they have been developing, you just didn’t notice it. But gosh Blair, Jack is cuuute! You should definitely go for it.”
Blair: “Yeah, I don’t know. I’m afraid if something happens, it could ruin our friendship forever. I can’t imagine my life without Jack. Anyways, I gotta run, I’ve got sailing lessons to teach in a half hour. I’ll see you in exactly 17 days!! Byeeee love you.”
Jenni: “Okay! Bye! Have fun! Love you!”
Jenni is Blair's best friend from back home. While Blair is at her lake house, which is basically every summer and holiday, Jenni doesn’t know what to do with herself. They have been best friends and haven’t left each other's sides since the first day of kindergarten. They tell eachother everything, but mostly about boys. Right now, Blair is stressing about her lake house neighbor, Jack. Jack and Blair have always had a strong connection when they hang out on the lake. But until this year, Jack was the only one who really caught the feels. Now they are obviously falling for each other, but Blair is afraid that this summer fling might ruin everything, forever.
When Blair hung up the call, she sighed. So many decisions to make. She was stressed. As she brushed her hair, she could see the blonde streaks where he hair had been kissed by the summer sun. She was in a rush, off to meet Jack. They were scheduled to teach kids how to sail at the kids camp this afternoon; every Thursday actually. It was the highlight of her week. Watching Jack interact with the kids put a smile on her face. He was so good with them. After the lessons they would grab lunch at The Dockside Cafe. She would get the chicken tenders and french fries, child at heart, and he would get the fish tacos, two cokes and of course the special monster cookies for dessert. Ughh, she loved Thursdays.
A few hours later, they sat together at a table on the deck of The Dockside. Sitting on the deck, looking over the water, they could hear the waves crash on the rocks and they could feel the warm breeze blow through their hair. Jack was talking about the lesson he just gave, but Blair wasn’t even listening. She was too busy looking at his big green eyes and smooth olive skin. The way his cute brown hair was sticking out of his backwards hat was enough to distract her from the conversation. After their meal, they decided to go over to Mr. Johnston's house and take out the garbage. The truck came around on Friday mornings so most Thursdays they would help him out. Mr. Johnson is another one of their neighbors who has a house on the same lake, Powers Lake. He is a kind hearted 85 year old man with grey hair, blue eyes and wrinkled skin. He’s not much of a cranky old person. Very wise and very sweet. Ever since the kids have been little, they have had a special connection with him. They would come knocking on his door daily. When he opened it, he had two bowls of candy in his hand. One bowl was filled with the “bigger” candy while the other bowl had the “smaller” candy. The “bigger” candy consisted of fun size snickers and kit kats, while the “smaller” candy had lollipops, laffy taffy and mints. The kids could pick either one bigger candy or two smaller candies. Those were his rules. When someone asked Mr. Johnson why he spent most of his time and money to give the neighborhood kids candy, he said, “When I was growing up, I had a candy store right at the end of my block. All my neighbors and I would walk to the store and get candy almost every day. Because you kids don’t have a candy store, I want to be your candy store. Come to my house whenever and I will give you candy”. As the kids got older, they visited Mr. Johnson less and less. It broke his heart a little to see them all the kids growing up and moving on. They were too busy with life that they found no time to get their daily candy. Recently, the kids have found more time, and have become closer with him. They visit him weekly and love to listen to his advice and words of wisdom.
When they pulled in his driveway and hopped out of Jack's silver Ford F1-50, they walked around back to find Mr. Johnson asleep on the hammock. The sound Jack’s car made when it locked, woke him up. They pulled up chairs from the fire pit and sat down. They immediately started talking to Mr Johnson about life, and that quickly progressed to the classic college conversation. After about an hour of talking, Blair and Jack were off to the boat marina. This was their favorite place to go. They would visit these rocks daily just to be together. They would watch all the pretty boats pull in and out of the marina, smell the boat fumes floating through the air, and feel the cool breeze from the water. They would pick up pebbles and throw them into the water as they talked about life. They sat out here talking until Jack got a text from him mom telling him to head home. He told Blair to call him in a few hours because he wanted to hangout and maybe take the boat out for a little night time cruze.
Jack dropped Blair off at her house, and when she stepped out of the car the sun was beating down and there was no breeze in the air. She was feeling a little drowsy and decided to take out the boat to lay in the sun. She hugged Jack goodbye, ran upstairs to grab her bathing suit and started backing out the boat, completely forgetting about her phone she left in the charger next to her bed.
She was too lazy to anchor the boat so decided to let it float out in the middle of the lake. After 30 minutes of relaxing in the sun, Blair spotted a small speedboat labeled POWERS MARINA in big blue font approaching her boat. She lifted her head off the towel and squinted her eyes to get a better view. As the boat got closer, Blair realized it was Wilson, the owner of the marina, driving the boat. Although she saw Wilson almost everyday at the Marina, she didn’t know him that well. He was a very friendly guy and was super easy to talk to but besides that, he was about 20 years older than her so it’s not like they ever crossed paths outside of the marina. She stuck her hand in the air and waved, but was immediately puzzled by Wilson’s facial expression. He looked as if he was on a mission, a mission full of horror and hatred. As soon as Wilson was close enough to reach Blair’s boat, Wilson shut off his engine and started to anchor. Blar was confused by what was happening and started to panic, something did not feel right. She was asking Wilson what was going on and when he wasn’t providing her with a response, she started looking for her phone to call someone. After feeling around the boat, she realized she left her phone at home. Completely out of options, she looked up and Wilson was on her boat walking towards her, nothing in hand. Her first instinct was to scream as loud as she could and then to jump off the boat and swim to safety. The minute her toes left the boat and hit the cold water, Wilson threw off his red shirt, kicked off his timberland work boots, and decided enough was enough. He couldn't bare to see Blair with Jack any longer. Watching their love grow filled him with jealousy. His heart hurt for her, and the only way to stop the pain was to end her life. He dove in. He grabbed her by the foot and took her under. His hand was pushing her head deeper and deeper below the surface. She was fighting to catch a breath of air, but it wasn’t enough. Eventually, her bones gave in and lungs collapsed, sending her to the bottom of the lake, where she rested peacefully for the next 24 hours.
After calling and texting her all afternoon, Jack was getting extremely worried. He peered out his window and saw Blair’s boat in the middle of the water. He relaxed a little bit and assumed she had left her phone back at her house. He got in his boat and started driving towards hers when he realized nobody was on her boat. He saw the keys still in the ignition and started yelling her name. The lake was silent and he could hear the echo of her name bounce off the trees out in the distance. When he didn’t receive a response he rushed back to her house to make sure she was home safely. Her parents answered the door and told him that the last they knew, she took the boat out to relax. Panicking, Jack called the police.
In the dark and early hours of the morning, they found Blair's lifeless body at the bottom of the lake. After many hours of investigation they unofficially concluded that the death of Blair woods was a suicidal incident. There were no marks left on the body, and no evidence left on the boat to prove otherwise. Jack just couldn't comprehend this news. There was no possible way Blair would have done that to herself or him. It just didn’t make any sense. How? Why? Jack decided this was physically impossible. He spent his next day's digging deeper. He knew there had to be another reason behind her death but he just couldn’t pinpoint what it was.
It was weeks after Blair’s death and Jack’s life was completely upside down. He wasn’t able to do anything without missing Blair. She was all he thought about. He would spend hours each day sitting on the rocks that looked over the marina. This was Jack and Blair's special place. Jack spent more time here now, than ever before. He could feel her presence most when he sat on those rocks. Sometimes it felt like she never left.
As he stretched out his legs, stabilizing his body on the rocky terrain, he noticed a weathered piece of white trash sticking out from under the rocks. Curious to see what it was, he reached his arm out pulled. What he thought was garbage ended up being the most powerful piece of evidence. He found a letter, a suicide note. A note written to Jack, from Blair. But as soon as Jack started reading, he knew that Blair didn’t write this letter. Blair always wrote in all lowercase letters. She believed that all letters should be treated fairly and no single letter was more important than another. Jack realized Blair had been set-up, and set-up by someone who knew her and Jack very well. Someone who knew them well enough to place this letter under a rock at the marina. With his heartbeating faster than ever, Jack immediately stood up and sprinted inside the marina’s building. He approached the front desk with Wilson standing behind it and frantically started telling the story. Wilsons unusual reaction along with weird vocabulary and body language deeply concerned Jack. He seemed extremely unnerved. He knew something was up and ran out of the building. After calling the police, Wilson was questioned and later taken into custody.
Twenty years later, Jack is living in a suburb outside of Chicago with a wife and two kids. He works as a corporate manager for the sales department of United Continental and has been profoundly successful. Although it may sound like he is living the life, he thinks of Blair everyday. He is very reserved and this has caused a strain on his relationship with his wife. Jack will forever miss his first love and nothing will have the power to change that. From time to time he can’t help but think how different his life would be if he had not left to hang out with his mother that fateful day in July…