I'm losing track of time, and these Irish waters bare their fangs while they spit in my face. I smell the salt in it's breath as it wails it's rage against my very presence. The deafening howls twirl my hair, and my skin is drenched, shining in the moon's light.
Nature herself knows this is unnatural. She fights me. She needs me to leave, but I have nowhere else to go. Her rage is potent still, as if this transgression was solely my own.
I'm sedentary in the sand, clutching at handfuls, but I can't catch hold. My head is pounding with the force of holding back mournful sobs, and even as a traitorous tear slips past, I don't feel it fall.
In the distance the waters are restless. The feeling is mutual. Their deep indigo breaks own so many secrets; most of them my last moments. I can't remember how long it has been, but splinters of the wreckage are still lying along the shore.
I haven't found the courage to see it up close. Not yet.
My heart is lying somewhere in between sorrow and relief. Sorrow for what I have lost. Relief that the pain has ended.
The crash was spectacular in the most horrific way. It was suppose to be fun and adventurous. My little girl and I, out on the open waters, a trained guide speeding us along the ocean's surface in a metal machine designed to go fast. We were laughing. Laughing so loud I almost didn't hear the hollow metallic sound of gears breaking beneath us.
Laughing one moment, screaming the next. It was suppose to fun.
Instead, I'm haunting this beach. I'm alone, and that should make me feel placated.
She made it then, right?
I force my way over to what was left of the speed boat. Seeing footprints in the sand drove so much pressure into my chest I thought I'd explode.
I was running. Just follow them...follow them.
Flecks of red dappled the ground, and I felt so alive. I'm sure I couldn't possibly be flushed, but my face felt hot. Stagger-running up a grassy embankment, I could see flashing lights flickering against the black sky. Ambulance. This was it. I fell to my knees and crawled to the crowded parking lot.
Men in dark blue uniforms waving flashlights. Women in firefighter jackets holding blankets and notepads. So many people, and no one I recognized. Except one.
My little girl.
There she sat, huddled under the arm of a man I didn't bother to look at. She was cold. She was scared. Her sweet face red and puffy. I ached to kiss the tiny scratch across her upper lip. I just wanted to make it all go away.
"Everything will be alright, love. I'm here now."
Deep. Dreamy. I missed it. Spending months lying awake needing to hear it again.
My daughter's father. He had been gone for so long. Hearing his sonorous tones, I was immediately reminded of all the nights my girl would stay up, asking where her daddy was. He was a good guy, and a marvelous father. I had been the one to push him away. My lies, my cheating.
It was too much for him. I drove him to leave, and hurt my angel in the process.
I glanced over my shoulder to the beach below. The waters were calm now. Inviting.
A hiccup and a cry brought me back to her shivering body. His arms held her tight, and I knew they wouldn't let her go again.
I don't know if I smiled, but my baby did. It was a sad smile, but it was for her daddy.
I turned to make my way towards the ocean, passing by a gurney carrying a white body bag, tufts of my red hair peeking out from under the zipper.