Floating in the ocean is supposed to be peaceful. Not today. If I pull my head under again, it might just take me this time. God, I wish it would. Here comes another wave. If I’m lucky I won’t see tomorrow. I won’t have to live with the regret and painful nostalgia that comes with sleepless nights and immeasurable days. I can just float, forever, away from this town. Eventually something will kill me. The wave came down, slapping him in the face and his lungs took in an enormous amount of water. I can’t breathe. This is the end.
Jesse woke with the image of a piece of driftwood floating away as he opened his eyes. Eleven months after leaving Minnesota and nothing had changed. The nightmares; some new, some old. The anxiety, paranoia, and depression; always changing and in rapid cycles. It could take minutes or days to switch, without warning.
As Jesse looked around his room, his eyes went straight to the window; ignoring the unpacked boxes in the corner and his drum set that he never assembled. There was still a smoky haze from the night before as a reminder to look beside him to make sure she was gone.
Damn. She’s still here. I obviously didn’t make myself clear enough last night.
Stretching her arms and arching her back, the sheet that had been covering her naked body was freed, exposing her breasts.
“Good morning, gorgeous,” she said yawning. His eyes shifted down to her dark nipples and he looked away.
“Get out,” he said.
She stopped mid-stretch. “Wow. Okay.” Whipping the sheet back and rolling her eyes, she rose and looked around for her clothes. Lying naked in his bed, he kept his focus on the overflowing ashtray on his bedside table. Picking up her scattered clothes from around the room, she began dressing herself.
“Cool ink,” she said, trying to make small talk.
He rolled his eyes and went to light a cigarette.
“Where’d you get the frog?” she asked, tying the laces of her tennis shoes.
“Why are you still here?” he said. He stood to get a clean pair of boxer briefs.
“You’re just delightful,” she huffed. “Fine. I’m ready. You can take me back to my car, it’s parked at the restaurant,” she said, finally taking the hint.
“Not my problem,” he said, pulling his briefs over his hips and running his hand through his hair.
“You’re not even going to give me a ride!…Oh, never mind. I’ll walk. Really, Jesse, it’s been fun. Dickhead,” she said walking toward the door.
As she was about to cross the threshold she turned back to him. “Oh, and my name is Carly, not Charlie, asshole. Next time you take your next victim home, make sure you have her name right. It makes for an awkward fuck.”