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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By TheAgonyofBlank


You're sitting at the edge of the camp, watching the waves roll into the shore. The setting sun casts a pink-purple backdrop against the sky and amidst the sound of the ocean and the more distant laughs of people at the camp, you're vaguely aware of the lack of birds on this beach. This makes you glad; somehow you feel as though the cries of birds would only disrupt the calm of the scene before you.

You sense her presence before you see her. And then she's sitting right next to you, her shoulders just barely brushing yours. But that's all it takes for a warm feeling to course through your veins and a small smile to form on your face. The breeze is cool and refreshing, a welcome change from the earlier heat. You're both quiet as there's nothing to say, nothing to do, but stare out at the ocean and wish you were back home.

When she does speak, it's clear and it's sharp and it cuts into the silence like a knife through butter.

"What are we doing here, Kate?"

Her question catches you off-guard, and you look at her out of the corner of your eye. She's not looking at you, and you're secretly relieved because it's hard to collect your thoughts when she looks at you with that look. You've been thinking about it too, about you and her and the both of you together, and how it all fits together in the grander scheme of things.

But you can never come to a conclusion. When you think about the future, you can only see a vast, blank space, and somewhere in that space are you and her. Somehow you know this is wrong, because at some point in the future you know you will be rescued, and when you are, you will return to your normal life – and she doesn't belong in that life. Yet you can feel her there, and you can't explain it, but it's like she was there all along, even when you didn't know her.

And you know she's not going anywhere, not for now at least. Sometimes she scares you more than you scare yourself. She can be kind one moment and cold the next. You don't really understand her, and you don't want to try to. You just want to enjoy her. She's different from most people you know, she's strong and beautiful and so uniquely human, and she's the only one who complements you so well. Sometimes you don't know why she bothers with you. What you do know is that you're the one who's holding her back.

That's why you have to end it.

"Nothing," you say. "We're not doing anything."

You don't mean it, but she can't know that.

If she knew what she meant to you, she would stay. And she can't stay.

Now she turns to look you in the eye, and you stare right back.

You can't keep doing this nothing-but-something with her, you can't keep on talking to her and act like everything's okay, because you know when you get back to the real world, nothing will be the same again. You can't be with her, and that's that.

She gets up and leaves later on, but not before she presses her lips against yours. It's soft at first, but it grows more insistent by the second. You break for air every now and then, your hands skimming over her belly and her hands tracing small circles on your hipbone. Before you know it, your fingers are slipping under the waistband of her slacks, and then she's digging her fingernails into your back, and everything's heated and rushed and then there's a soft cry, and everything slips easily back into place.

"This doesn't change anything," you hear yourself say minutes later, your voice hoarse. "It's nothing."


"I know."

The words are honest, and they hit you with such brunt force that you have to look up at her, and she's looking back at you critically, and it takes all of your might not to crumble under her gaze.

You didn't mean a word of it.

This means the world to you – she means the world to you.

But she can't know that.

She brushes the sand off her clothes and smoothes her hair down, and then she leaves you with nothing but the sand and the surf and your tears.

The End

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