I almost called her a slut. The word sat on my tongue. I think the s-sound even started to form there but I held back. I stopped that word. And instead launched into attack number two.
“How many boyfriends do you need, Odette?
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m going to tell Chris. I’m going to tell him that now you are fucking some nerd at the beach.”
She looked amazed. I thought for a second she was going to laugh. She stepped towards me and launched into, “I’m not doing anything wrong. But I can actually do whatever I want. Chris and I are separated and you and I are…nothing. We are nothing. So why are you here yelling at me? You have no right to even talk to me.”
I honestly wanted to pick her up and run her down to the ocean and throw her in to the sharks…to be carried to an island far away where she would become a mermaid and sit on a rock and brush her long hair all day, crying about missing her humans.
But she wouldn’t be crying about me. I wondered how far I was going to take this. How much of an asshole was I going to let myself become. I should walk away. I should just put her out of my head forever. I know that when a girl really falls for me she instantly becomes old news, but I suddenly realized that Odette had sufficiently tortured me enough that if she fell for me completely, that I would love her back, completely. So as I stood there utterly cut off, ready to toss her into the ocean, I grabbed her around her waist. The shock of her soft warm skin of her back put me over the edge and I pulled her close and kissed her. I kissed her like it was the last time I was ever going to kiss any girl ever.
I held her and my heart beat hard against hers and then I realized she was kissing me back. God I was so happy I had to tell myself that if I cried I was never going to be able to look at myself in the mirror ever again. I pulled away and looked in her eyes, now streaming with tears and I smoothed her salty hair back with my hands. She looked so beautiful with the sun all gold on her. I pulled her in and hugged her and was stunned at the emotions coursing through me. I thought, I’m in love with this girl. What the fuck am I going to do? She let me hold her for a minute then she pulled away and just picked up her orange towel from the sand, shook it all over my legs and walked off.
“Odette, don’t.” I said, like a complete asshole. “Don’t go.”
She turned around and screamed at me, “Leave me alone! Just leave me the fuck alone. I can’t deal with this anymore. It’s killing me and its killing you. Just GO!”
I picked up my board and walked down the beach away from her. There was a rushing sound in my ears and all I wanted to do was break something. If I broke something then all this building up in my head would be released. I looked out at the ocean. I had been hesitant to ride such huge waves earlier, but now I found myself running towards the water. I splashed in like a maniac and paddled out, ducking under the huge swells until I got out past the break.
I sat out there on the water and cried like a baby. I didn’t care. There was no one else near me. The sun was setting and throwing gold all over the water. I saw a fin cutting through the glassy wave and my heart really started to pound. But then the fin bobbed up and down so I knew it was dolphin and I was suddenly laughing. How fucking awesome that a dolphin came and found me. It swam up to my board and I reached out to touch it but it moved away. I got down into the water so I wouldn’t scare it, and swam over to it, my board tugging behind me attached to my ankle. Then a wave caught my board and sent it flying.
I went tumbling after it, over and over and managed to tear my leash from my ankle so it would stop dragging me. It seemed like forever that I was spinning under the water and I knew I needed to come up for air. I opened my eyes under there and just saw green swirling ocean. I wasn’t sure which way was up. I let some air out my mouth and followed the bubbles. But when I finally got my head to the top and took a huge breath, my board slammed hard against my temple. I went to grab it as it flipped over my head with the next wave, but I missed it and was back down tumbling under the water again. I saw red and realized I was looking at my blood floating in the green then suddenly mixing in with white foam. I saw myself in my bed as a kid, my mom kissing me goodnight on my forehead. I needed to take a breath so badly but I knew I would die. Then something smacked against my arm. It was the leash to my board so I frantically used that to pull myself up to the underside of my board. With my last bit of strength I wrapped my arms around my board, pulled myself up and gasped in air. I lay on it, coughing up the ocean, throwing up the ocean.
Then the next wave took me and I managed to hold on as I was powered towards the beach. With one more huge wave I fell off my board and it flipped out of my hands. But I was elated to feel sand underneath me. I tried to stand but was thrown and dragged over the shells and rocks along the bottom and could feel my skin shredding against them. When the waves receded the rip tide seemed like it was too much, but I planted my feet in the sand and somehow stood up. Suddenly some guy was grabbing my arms. Everything was blurry but he helped me to the beach where he just dropped me and as I lay there on the sand someone was wrapping a towel around my head and something around my arm. I remember thinking happily that I didn’t even care at all about Odette at that moment. Then I thought I heard her voice.