We walked along the foamy shore, stopping every few steps to skip a smooth, flat rock across the sea glass surface of the water.
The air was crisp and the breeze pushed through my hair as I pulled the light fabric of my jacket closer to my body and squinted, staring out over the soft-rippling sheath. The sun glinted off the mast of a sailboat in the distance, its white sail taut and strong in the wind.
He stopped again, slightly ahead of me, stooping to search for another flat rock. Finding one, he straightened, the flush slowly disappearing from his cheeks as the rush of blood retreated.
“I don’t think there’s much left to say.” he sighed.
My grip tightened and my jacket imprisoned my thudding heart. I kept my head down, eyes on the lick of foam coating the toes of his shoes.
“So, you’re just giving up?” I’d intended to sound indignant, but I’d come off sounding damaged instead.
The rock rolled over and under, back and forth between his long, slender fingers and I watched it for a while, wishing it was the only thing in danger of losing its position.
“I can’t be what you need.” his head sagged, a long breath escaping him as he continued to manipulate the rock.
I scraped my gaze off his shoes and looked up at a griping Gull. My eyes stung; salty sea spray mingling with briny tears.
A small part of me wanted to argue, to convince him to try. But a bigger part of me wanted him to fight. After all, if I had to persuade him, what was the point?
With a flick of his wrist the rock lost its footing, leaping headlong into the deep.
As it disappeared through the tear it made in the water’s surface a strong wind nabbed the sailboat, assaulting its sail, leaving torn flaps of cloth floating in its wake.