It was mid-July and an unbearably humid evening. The Gulf of Mexico too warm for a refreshing swim. The waves barely touched the talcum powder beach as dusk arrived and low tide began to set. We sat beside each other silently staring into the dark black horizon. Every few minutes we would point at shooting stars and blinking red beacons.
The silence broken by the loud snap of two cans of beer opening.
“Baby, I’m so glad we were able to make it to the beach tonight,” Chrissy said smiling.
“Yeah, me too. It’s relaxing and this beer tastes great,” I said with a hint of sarcasm.
“Well, don’t be negative baby. The beer is not that bad and it’s cold.”
“Yeah. I guess you’re right. It’s going down like water,” I replied with a smile.
“Try and take it easy tonight and please don’t get drunk again,” Chrissy pleaded.
“Stop Chrissy! Just stop! Don’t tell me what to do!”
I became more and more irritated as I finished my sixth beer within an hour. I was getting drunk and nothing was going to stop me. I reached deep into my cargo shorts and pulled out a flask filled with whiskey. The drinking was the only way I could cope with my depression, which had become deep in the last few days.
“Ahh. That hit the spot! I needed some of the strong stuff,” I said as I drank half the flask in one gulp.
“Why did you do that baby? You have to take it easy John. I’m worried about you.”
“I’m fine and I can do what I want. Stop telling me what to do! Stop!” I demanded.
“Your words are starting to slur John. You know I care about you. I miss our old times when we were happy together and you didn’t drink as much. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“If something happens to me then don’t worry. I really don’t care. I am over all of this. All this life. All this crap. I don’t fucking care anymore! Fuck it all!”
“Don’t say that baby. Let me give you a hug John.” Chrissy said as she moved closer.
“I don’t want your hug. You have cheated and lied to me too many times. I am done!” I yelled as I drank my ninth beer.
“I’ve made mistakes but I didn’t mean to hurt you. You have done worse to me,” Chrissy said in retaliation.
“What do you mean I have done worse? Nothing can compare to you cheating on me” I said as I grabbed the flask and another beer.
“John! You are an asshole and a drunk. How do you not remember what you did to me? You ruined my life.”
“I did nothing to you Chrissy.”
“I can’t deal with you anymore John. I can’t deal with all the pain anymore.”
“You have no pain Chrissy. I do,” I said as swigged from flask.
“You are drunk and as always you never remember anything.”
“Fuck you Chrissy!”
“No fuck you John. You raped me and I cannot deal with you or this life any longer.”
“What? I did not rape you.”
“Yes you did. It’s time for me to leave John. I need peace. I need to be alone. I needed to be loved. Goodbye.”
Chrissy got up from her seated position and began to slowly walk towards the Gulf. She passed the first sandbar and then continued past the second.
I repeatedly call to her, “Come back Chrissy! Where are you going? Come back. Don’t do this Chrissy.”
She continued to walk. Each step she took submerged another portion of her body. Her calves, then her thighs, then her chest, and then nothing.
“Chrissy! Chrissy! I love you Chrissy!” I continued to call out as I sprinted into the water.
I reached the location where I saw her last but could not find her. I called out her name relentlessly and received no response. I looked up and all I could see was darkness for miles. There was no horizon, the water infinite, and no Chrissy. I turned and walked back to the beach, sat in the sand, and continued to stare at the abyss until sunrise. I hoped she would come up from the water when the sunlight shined but she did not. This would be our last conversation and her final day became my first day of sobriety.