The cold water rushes between her toes and she doesn't even flinch. Hell, must be miles away from here in some cracked out dream of unfulfilled expectation. Maybe she'll find that sugar coated pain reliever in the back of her mind, tracing its way through some dingy run-down alley. Her eyes vacant and staring off to the right at something far from that lamp post by the drive and she doesn't move. She doesn't dare give a damn, because caring makes it real. Caring makes it hurt. And she's hurt enough for today. I see her wriggle her toes in the waves, like life struck her, eyes wild with ecstasy, only to see the light go out again.She sat there staring the rest of the night, and I sat there with her. Silent. I light a cigarette.
I want to yell at her, say that it’s her own damn fault it’s like this. She made the decisions that got her here and it’s her own fault. I should be screaming at her, say something Karen say something for all the lies, and the pain and the fucking bullshit that has been the past year. Say something. Something that will make me love you again.
I hold my tongue. Fidgeting with my zipper on this stupid jacket, I hold my tongue. My rage is swelling like the waves of the ocean, not the little waves that tickle her toes and bring the wind through her tousled hair. Big, angry waves like a hurricane that ruin and destroy. Waves that take away, swallow, and leave nothing behind. I guess Karen was a hurricane. Damn, Hurricane Karen. I laugh, shit’s unreal but, hey. My laughter goes unnoticed. The Karen I used to know would have wanted in on the joke, crawling up to me and prodding my shoulder for the insight, eyes alive with wanting. Hips full, body aching—God, that body. Her lips sweet on mine and her hands in my hair, soft thighs locked around me…
I gotta keep telling myself that shit’s over and done. Karen, the way she is now, thinned and bruised, lips cracked, eyes wild and dead. Those hips gone, that body wasted. Wasted like the fucking wasteland that her soul is, that our lives are, that this side of the beach is. I hate her. I hate her for what she did, what she’s done. Mostly, I hate her for not taking me along for the ride. We could’ve been lost together. Now I’m just stuck picking up the pieces.
I flick my cig in the sand and look at the dead thing beside me. If she doesn’t die tonight, she’ll die tomorrow. I lean in, and try for one last rise from those cracked lips, that wasted body and abandoned hips. Gone, like a hurricane after the storm, leaving nothing behind in the calm but devastation and loss. Karen wasn’t coming back. She didn’t even notice I kissed her.
Bitch, I want to say. I can’t seem to say it. It doesn’t feel right bad-mouthing the dead. I get up then, and dust off my sweats. I walk away and leave her there with the ice cold water rushing her toes, and eyes far away in some cracked out heaven somewhere in the stars. I hope she’s happy. I hope she’s sorry. When I look back, it’s like I never left; she hadn’t moved an inch. She didn’t notice me leave. Maybe she didn’t know I was there in the first place.