|Perdido Key, FL|
Others will only make you miss me more, he says and she knows so she nods, turns and walks away down a beach, into a horizon which never nears. Miles past swimmers and families and surfers and any form of human life she notices a tent and a loner and the sun begins to beat down. She says hi. The loner says nothing. Determined she continues but disappointed she feels she never planned on this, never thought she'd need water, didn't anticipate the heat. Her head says turn around but her heart urges her to keep going. Still she walks.
Years later they meet at a cabin in the woods and she feels his disappointment which makes her remember her own. They try to get past it, try to remember why it was important to remember. Both realize but neither mentions they never had to try before. Then they don't anymore.
Now she uses the faded memory of what it was like before the try as a deterrent to those who do not choose to sleep in tents and be loners on beaches and she smiles when she walks by my tent in the earliest of morning as the sun peaks over a distant horizon. Now she wears a wide brimmed hat to protect her from the sun. Now she always has a water bottle. She never says hi anymore. It never did her any good.
I think to myself in the story I have created for her, That looks like gratitude.