What's the surprise, you ask? Read and see.
Toes dug into the cool, wet sand.
She feels the ocean spray on her face, mingled with the slight fragrance of cocoa butter on her body. In the distance, gulls circle a barge, its loud, obnoxious horn intrusive and unrelenting.
Her back is to the sun as it fades into pinks and oranges, then sinks into cooling lavenders. She knows she should have put a cover-up on hours ago, but a soothing shower and some fresh aloe will make everything better.
Slowly, she makes her way across the shell-sprinkled beachside, littered with the corpses of kelp and small crustaceans. A half-buried can catches her eye, glinting in the last rays of sunlight before nightfall.
The shower is wonderful, the aloe even better.
And the drink... bourbon, neat.
Not her drink of choice, but this drink was for him wasn't it. Not for her.
She stands in the bedroom, still wet from her shower and somewhat sticky from the aloe. Bourbon in hand, she slowly lets it roll across her open lips. Swallowing the last sip, she makes her way into the living room and lights the gas fireplace. It’s gone chilly and she wears only his sweatshirt from college. He always liked it on her.
She sits the glass down, careful to place it on the coaster, wouldn't want water rings on the table, he wouldn't like that.
She couldn't believe how quiet it was. The stillness wasn't something she knew.
Perfect silence comes at a price.
The mess in the kitchen would have to wait until the morning. She’d meant to clean it up sooner, but couldn't quite find the time.
From the mess in the kitchen, she focuses toward the dining room table, the puddle collecting on the rug he picked out. She thinks she can see it going deeper Burgundy by the moment. It's been hours now, she thinks, puzzled.
She picks at food that’s gone cold on dinner plates. She’s moved onto a second drink. A Budweiser that feels cool and refreshing.
A second thought enters her mind…
Does a body keep overnight?
I did not write this. A friend, inspired to write something for me, emailed this piece. Except for a light edit, fixing a couple of tense issues, it is as she sent it.
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