Today’s flash fiction piece is inspired by a One Republic song called, If I Lose Myself.
Zoë wandered along the familiar stretch of beach ignoring the brightly colored stones and bits of sea glass glittering in the sand. Had this been a normal day, she would have picked them up and shoved them into her pocket. But, nothing about today was normal. In fact, nothing had been normal for a while.
It was low tide, so she walked to the farthest outcropping of rock and began to climb. Usually, she liked the large formation closest to shore. It was the one she and Aidan liked to sit on, when they came down here. A tight ball of pain settled behind her sternum at the thought of her little brother, but she tried to swallow past it.
The rock was slippery beneath her feet. Layers of slimy seaweed clung to the porous surface, but she finally made it to the top, green and black gunk beneath her nails. She thought about picking it out but couldn’t really muster up the energy for it.
There were a lot lot things she couldn’t muster up the energy for lately. In fact, she’d wanted to come out here at low tide for over a week, and this was the first she’d been able to manage it. Hell, it was the first time she gotten out of bed in three days for more than a cup of tea or to go to the bathroom.
She was just so tired. Tired of feeling like a failure. Tired of feeling like she had no one to turn to other than Aidan…but Christ, he was fifteen, he didn’t need her shit fucking up his life, too. Mostly, she was tired of herself. How was she supposed to wade through this when she couldn’t even stand herself?
This stretch of shore was where she came when she wanted to think. She used to tell Aidan that this was the place she could give her problems to the ocean and let them wash away. It was a lot harder when she was the problem.
The wind whipped through her hair, and she could taste salt on her lips. She pulled a tube of strawberry lip balm out of her pocket and smoothed it on. Her phone vibrated in her pocket as she watched the water creep closer, inching up the side of the rock, in waves that rolled harder by the minute. Her shoes were getting wet.
Her phone rang again, and she tugged it out of her pocket. As expected, it was her mom–just like it had been the other four times. She let it go to voicemail. It had been variations on a theme since she’d picked up Zoë from the police station, she doubted the woman had anything new to say now.
You made your bed. Lie in it.
I told you that boy was no good, but you never listen, do you?
Your Dad’s drinking again. I hope you’re happy, now.
When the ringing stopped, she pulled up Aidan’s contact info and texted him the selfie she’d taken of the two of them on the ferris wheel at the street carnival last month and another message that said: I love you.
The water climbed higher, and for a second, she looked behind her, wondering if she could swim for shore. But that would mean she’d still be stuck with herself. No, she was better off giving her problems to the ocean and let it wash her away.
I’m not positive, but I think I’m the only one blogging today. Hopefully, everyone’s schedules will get sorted out and there will be more stories for you in two weeks. 🙂