What I Lost at the Lake
Author's note: This piece was written for a short story assignment in school, but I fell in love with the piece.... Show full author's note »
Fireworks.After I had collected my mind, I went back to house to find that the lawn had filled with cars, and hundreds of people had begun to arrive. Though all I wanted to do was contemplate the events of this afternoon, I decided at least to try to enjoy the reason I had come in the first place.
The night got wilder and wilder. Hundreds of people talking, laughing, screaming crowded every inch of the property. Most of them drunk, or hyped out on the excitement of the crowd. I would see Elli here and there, sometimes talking to people and sometime being paraded around as Noah’s new girlfriend. When she wasn’t with Noah, she was with me, but it wasn’t the same as earlier though. We would pass each other, brushing our hands together, eager for the feelings felt earlier.
That’s when the fireworks started. The 4th of July fireworks always called everyone, especially the couples, to the lawn. As everyone sat and watched the display, I saw Noah head with Elli into the woods.
I tried to erase it from my mind. After all, Elli was still Noah’s girlfriend. It still felt wrong though. I had seen Noah earlier and he’d had one too many drinks. Noah was notorious for being mean when he’d had one to many. Again, I tried to just enjoy the fireworks but a twisting in my gut got in the way.
Worried, I headed after them into the woods. I found myself walking faster and faster, my heart beating harder in my chest. I began to run. I came to the edge of the woods, just in sight of the dock. Two figures stood on the deck. It was this I never forgot.
This moment that was frozen into my mind. Noah obviously had had too much to drink; He was unsteady, holding himself up using the posts of the dock. Elli stood at the end of the dock; she looked small, nervous and fragile, next to the unbalanced Noah. He stood himself up trying to act as if he wasn’t smashed and grabbed Elli’s shoulder. He pulled her towards him attempting to kiss her, but Elli refused, turning her head. Frustrated and angry, Noah grabbed her again, this time more forcibly. Trying to steady himself he pushed himself against her, twisting her arm to secure his kiss. Even though Elli was fragile, she was strong. She pushed herself away, now dangerously close to the edge of the dock. This enraged Noah. Taking a step back, he started spitting hate-filled words at her. She was terrified, and I couldn’t do anything about it. My limbs had seemed to disappear. I felt helpless.
Noah went silent. Without warning, he strode forwards rapidly, violently shoving Elli off the dock. I heard a snap. At that second my mouth opened, the simple act of speech escaped me because not a sound came from my mouth. My knees began to buckle but I willed them to run. I grabbed Noah, pushing him against the post and forced myself over the edge of the dock and into the water.
The cold water stung like salt. I grabbed her broken frame but felt only stillness.
“Please,” I whispered, “No…” My whispers became cries, turning to sobs that were interrupted my chattering teeth. “Elli, please!” I cried. I held her to my chest. “I wished could have loved you.” I plead to her. She was gone.
Her dark hair floated around her head, forming a halo. Her lips turned blue, threatening to match her nail polish. What hurt me the most though were her eyes. Her vivid green eyes had become dark, fading into the colors of the gray, glittering lake.
I no longer felt the cold, just loss of what could’ve been. I hugged her knowing that she would never hug me back and, for a faint second, I saw Elli again. Fireworks exploded over the lake, turning into green stars. For a fleeting second, her green eyes lit up once more.