The sea, a foamy grey gauntlet of infinity, stretched out before its red-clad challenger.
Andi stopped swimming.
The sky reflected sea reflected sky: dark storm clouds layered, crossed, frothed in the ever-stronger wind. She no longer heard the rhythmic crashing of whipped-up waves striking against the sea wall rocks. The sea wall, and its proffered protection, were far behind her. She hated that sound.
Andi closed her eyes.
She was aware it was cold: not just the late September in Maine chill when only the most dedicated, or foolish, would swim in the ocean; but the rigor of a morgue or the venom of a poisoned memory. Goosebumps formed on her too-thin frame; blue-tint washed across her lips and her nails. She hugged herself while salty water washed away her unacknowledged salty tears. Had it only been a year?
Vignettes, the subconscious cinema, cycled with the pulse of the waves, the beat of her heart. Jared mirroring her image, wearing her grin and flipping her off. Double dating the Douglass twins at their junior prom. Taking out Machina del Verde for quick sail around Deer Point, just the two of them. The storm. The waves. A loud crack. A flash of lightening in the dark. Jared, eyes wide, in the water. Screaming. Crashing waves on rocks, waves on rocks, waves on rocks, waves on rocks.
Andi started swimming.
Precipitation fell, fat freshwater drops into an immense salty bucket. She ignored it, as she had ignored most things of life lately. She focused on her destination: wherever her twin waited for her, beyond the reach of the tide.