she packs her bag carefully: a book, a bottle of wine, the strawberries that have been sitting out on the counter since tuesday. she checks her hair in the mirror and puts sunglasses on to cover her eyes, puffy and red rimmed from hours of crying.

she’s going to the water. she’ll find her answers in the waves, will take solace in the predictable push and pull of the currents. she’ll get her feet wet, then her ankles, letting the salty stickiness cling to her skin. she’ll wade through the water for a while, and will then retreat to the beach, letting sand permeate every single centimeter of her and her belongings. when she returns home there will be sand between the pages of her book, in the cavern of her belly button, stuck stubbornly between her toes. 

she’s fully clothed and lying facedown in the sand, letting the scratchiness infiltrate her ears and eyes. she’s almost inhaling it, as if she could disappear into it at any moment, be sucked into the beach completely. she can barely breathe and the sand surrounding her eyes and nose is suddenly damp. she’s crying again, she realizes, and sits up. she dries her eyes, takes a swig of the wine waiting patiently in her bag. the tears are pouring and the tide is moving in and out and the clouds are collecting, threatening rain. 

and then,

without any further warning, the wind picks up, throwing her hair into her face. the pages of her book are flying in the breeze and her skirt is tangling and twisting itself around her body. she pulls her knees to her chest and watches through the swirling tangles of her hair as lightening strikes deep into the waves, thunder reverberating in her ears.

the rain is coming down harder now. her book is ruined and she should get up, should go home where it is safe and dry, but she stays anchored to this spot, holding her ground, melting with the rain. the storm continues on without any concern for her, hurtling bits of seaweed and driftwood mere inches from where she sits. she’s stony faced and silent. 

"i’d rather be here," she thinks.

"i’d rather be here."