The light hadn't reached her eyelids yet; there was still blackness. She blinked her eyes open to the sound of her shepherd barking a few yards down. She turned her head to look at him yapping at the waves as they rushed onto the sand. The last moments of the moonshine pulled the waves with a comforting, resonating sound. She buried her feet under the sand, feeling the grains slide between her toes. She kept grabbing handfuls and feeling them fall through her fingertips. She secretly wished he was there to to experience it as much as she was.
The thought of that secret wanting opened up the pit in her stomach. She felt her chest tighten and shake. She wrapped her blanket around her shoulders and swore. She remembered how it felt just a few hours before...
Seemingly peaceful sleep, then waking up to a loud voice. She looked at him like he was a stranger. A parade of images flooded her brain....
A bouqet of roses in a blue vase.
A telescope and a red and white checkered blanket.
The first time he kissed her under the fireworks.
A long car ride in the middle of the rain.
His nervous hand touching the small of her back when he pulled her in to dance.
The face of her shepherd when she rescued him.
Autumn leaves and mountains.
The tossing of bed covers and pillows in glory.
A picture of them on a deck on the lake on that first night.
A black dress with a wine stain.
Rain cascading down the windows as well as her eyes.
The sound of a door slamming closed.
Apologetic hands on her face asking for forgiveness.
A blue vase lying in shards on the floor, the light catching them ever so humbly.
When she opened her eyes, the sun was peaking out from the horizon. The waves made one last crash before they died down to calm rolls. Her shepherd sat at the bank and watched the seagulls glide across the water. The wind tickled her neck like he used to. The corner of her mouth released a sliver of a smile before she remembered her purpose there. She grabbed the small bottle at her side and drank the small amount that was left. She ripped a piece of paper from her notebook as quietly as she could, for fear of shattering this peaceful moment. She wrote a solitary sentence. She folded it, creasing it again and again for perfection. Before she glided it in the bottle, she kissed it ever so softly, giving it a piece of her to take with. She placed the cork tightly inside the opening, and gripped the neck.
She rose up, and her shepherd joined her at her side. She rubbed her hands through his hair, letting him know that she was okay. That she would be, no matter what. Gripping her blanket tightly around her, she walked towards the bank and stopped when the water rushed past her ankles. The water was smooth and crisp, and she smelled the bitterness and welcome of the ocean salt. She closed her eyes one more time, taking it in, watching the orange light of the bright star fill the darkness of her eyelids. She released a long breath, and with one swift movement, she threw the bottle in the ocean. She saw the light twinkle in the reflection of the blue glass before it splashed into the water. Her shepherd barked. She looked at him with tears in her eyes. He stood up on his back legs, pawing at her hip, almost hugging her. Her loyal man. They came few and far in between now. As the warmth of the new day encompassed her body and her soul, she peered off in the distance and faintly saw the bobbing head of the bottle on the beginning of its long journey. She turned her back to it, casting a goodbye. She hoped her message would find its way to someone else who was lost, comforting them in her words sealed up in glass and salt water, which spoke loudly...
"Everything will be alright."