I sat on the sand and just let the breeze flow around me. I pondered my past deaths and how foolish I had been to die so young anyway. I literally had every chance in the world to turn things around and I didn’t do it because I was so hellbent on doing things my way. Had I known how my way was going to work out, I would have taken every opportunity to change things, to get myself in a better position to give my daughter a better life.
If I had changed before my husband was deployed the second time and cherished what we had instead of trying to see what I could get into because I was bored with being a housewife… If I had concentrated more on being a mother than having a social life and parties like I did when I was single and unattached… If I had just gone home after the divorce and let my family see me vulnerable and help me… If I had known that I would be leaving my daughter alone in the world without me for the rest of her life I would have gladly gone home for a year or two to get myself together so I could still be here with her now.
I could almost laugh at how stupid I was. Almost. I could almost forgive myself for being so blind. I could even almost kick myself for being so stubborn. But, I think I paid for that one already. Death is so final. Not because you don’t continue on, but because your story ends here and there is no changing it. The story you begin happens and it’s like it’s in a separate book that doesn’t touch the story you want to complete and change. My life ended and where it ended is just stuck with all of my could have beens, and wishful thinking.
I don’t know when the mist cleared or when the sun got so hot. The humidity is choking me and my hair looks like I stuck my fingers in a light socket. But, at least I’m alone on a clean and beautiful beach, not in a tent for the homeless, not sitting in the result of all of my horrible choices. Not, reaching for the new last memory that I can leave for my daughter. I died and there is nothing that can fix that for her.
“Are you alright?” a woman’s voice came behind me.
“Yeah, just killing time before my cruise ship takes off.” I lied.
I have nowhere to be. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what I got approved to come here and do. I’m hoping Leatherface doesn’t have family in Hawaii. At least I think that’s what I asked for.
“Well, would you mind giving me a hand? I can pay you if you like. I just got turned around on a tour exploring and need some help getting back to town.” she continued. I looked over my shoulder at the giant hotel behind us and felt like a tourist caught in a scam.
“I think if you just head that way you’ll be fine.” I said annoyed and pointing behind us.
“Okay, the truth is, this guy was following me. He was super creepy, so I just walked away and kept going until I hit this beach. I think he thought better of attacking me and went away, but I’m worried he is just waiting in the treeline for me. If you could just walk with me, not even right next to me, just be a witness and call the police…” she pleaded.
Well, I do know a thing or two about being attacked in public spaces and having to evade wannabe tough guys who prey on women. I still feel like this is a trap.
“I actually stayed a night or two at that hotel while docked here. I can take you back using the trail on the west end so you don’t have to go back the way you came. Besides, this whole area is under surveillance, so you’d have pretty instant back up.” I told her as I rose to walk with her.
Most of that was true. I mean, I did vacation here before I fell in love and moved here. She looked at me gratefully and we walked in silence not wanting to help her stalker pinpoint her location.
By the time we made it to the treeline, I saw who she was talking about. He had been lying in wait for his prey. He was every bit as creepy as she implied. He was too pale to have been here for any real length of time, gaunt, unshaven, dirty, and looked like he was aging prematurely.
I had to catch myself. Maybe he looks like that because he’s homeless. I know how hypocritical I am right now. I began to feel empathy for him. Not enough to go over to him, but enough not to judge him at least. He shouldn’t have followed and scared this young lady.
I looked back at him like ‘Really dude!’ homeless code of conduct is kind of obvious. Don’t scare the normal people. They will call the police on you, and while it’s nice to be indoors, you’re stuck with actual criminals.
He smiled at me. A broken smile, but turned and walked away. Maybe he’d seen me when I was homeless and decided to retreat. I turned to look at the young lady I was escorting to the trail to find that she had vanished. Was this a test of some sort?
I realize now that I am not on surveillance camera and have no witnesses for myself should something happen. It would suck to lie in agony until 1:23 a.m. When it’s probably no later than 1 o’clock in the afternoon at the moment.
“He thanks you.” the woman said, from where though?
“I was going to have him, but then I smelled how delicious you were and let him go.” she continued.
What a jerk! That was a ‘better you than me’ kind of smile. I turned around and began to run back to the beach. I need to flag down security.
I ran about three steps in the other direction and the woman blurred into vision as if she’d been running at the speed of light or something and came to a halt. I of course, couldn’t stop in time and ran straight into her. She dipped me as if we’d been dancing and stared so deeply into my eyes I couldn’t see anything but black at the center of her iris’.
I felt frozen in place, and like I was being carried somewhere. I heard the traffic on the street through the birds singing and decided we were still among the trees. I feel frozen, numb, and blind. If I hadn’t known I’d be dead by the end of the day anyway… I’d be terrified.
I heard her sigh as she set me down with my head tilted up like she was about to perform CPR, and then the fresh sting of a sharp object slicing into my bicep. My blood seeped out in gushing pulses with my heart beat as she raised my arm and put something just at my elbow, like she was collecting my blood.
I heard a loud sip and a moan of delight, like when I eat fries. Is she drinking my blood? So, vampires are real. I wonder why she didn’t bite me like in the movies. I really wish I wasn’t frozen, I have a million questions right now.