(Blame was laid thickly yesterday. The shouting carried across the water, fists flew, opinions were shoved to the floor and trampled on, kicked and beaten down. When the breaths came more ragged and the limbs were sore from the fight reason prevailed.
I am the only one at fault. Earn enough trust and become the only word necessary when I tell one that another will join me in my explorations, that everything is fine, that I have my world under control when in truth I'm clinging to the edge with whitened fingertips, feeling pure terror as it speeds up.)
I just wanted some time to myself. Maybe I still had my pride wounded by Christian's stinging words, maybe it's worth more to be able to think for five minutes without someone asking how I am. Maybe time isn't up, maybe there is no measure of time and there doesn't have to be improvement. Maybe I can wallow. Maybe I can just look out at the water and miss Jake without anyone trying to fix it.
I climbed up the rocks to the top and looked out over a roiling grey surface. It's raining. I wobble once and then before the alarm can even register I'm in the sea. On the wrong side of the breakwater where it's deep. I hit my head on the rocks beneath the surface, never even having time to register that I would never be able to defend myself against this. That they would think I did it on purpose. That I probably would have, save for the fact that I can't.
Lochlan hit the water at a thousand miles an hour, they say, drowning his flames, landing directly on me, knocking out whatever breath I had left, lifting me up out of the water with his bad arm before realizing he broke it again on the way in, smashing it hard on the same place I smashed my little head. August took me from Lochlan and then PJ pulled Lochlan out. That was the cold damp flannel. The voice I heard. It was August bringing me back to life while I continued to fight to swim to wherever Jake was, except he isn't there anyway and it was a wasted rescue. Lochlan finally can't take it anymore and shoves in to cradle my head. My eyes are cloudy and red. My throat aches so bad. My limbs feel like concrete. He clutches his arm against his side. There's a bone sticking out of his arm, right through his sleeve. He's bleeding everywhere. PJ swears. Lochlan laughs and swears back. Then he looks down at me again. He isn't laughing.
Where were you going?
I shake my head. It doesn't matter what I say. There's no right answer. Nothing I can say that will save his heart from breaking. Nothing we can do to prevent this inevitable return to form in spite of best efforts. No amount of time is fixing this. Everything is a distraction. Eventually the glare returns and I squint at reality. I can make this Utopia virtually bulletproof and Jacob still kills me every single day.