Sunset (February 2019, Round 3, Day 4)

The sun hung low in the sky, just kissing the horizon line. It was alone ad undisturbed by clouds, birds, or aircraft. Neani sat, equally undisturbed, at the edge of the water line waiting for the sun to finish its dive. The only other person on the beach was Terry, and he was laying on his back at a safer distance from the water, staring up into the blank sky.

“I’m glad you’re here.” Neani spoke the words towards the water though they were meant for Terry. When he didn’t respond, she continued. “I think it will help.”

Terry shifted onto his side so he could see Neani. She was beautiful, silloetted as she was. Clearing his throat and keeping his voice light, he answered, “I’m glad I’m here, too.”

Neani wanted to go to him, to have him wrap her up in his arms, to have his presence change the course of events. She didn’t move from her spot. “I think I’m scared, Terry. I’m not supposed to be scared.”

As if he’d been waiting for this invitation, Terry sprang up and joined Neani, stopping just behind her. He gave the water a wary look, put his hand on Neani’s shoulder, and said, “You can be scared. There’s no way that’s not allowed.”

Neani put her hand on Terry’s and kept her eyes on the sun. “I won’t see it again.” 

Her words were so soft Kerry had to take a moment parsing out what she’d said. “You don’t know that, Neani.”

“Don’t I? How many people do you know who’ve seen it after?” She felt him tense behind her. “I know the answer – no need to say the words.”

“Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”

Neani pushed his hand off of her shoulder. “You choose to regurgitate a message right now? A bullshit message that was written to placate? I thought you were smarter than that.”

“I know what the message was meant to do, Neani, and I AM smart enough to see past it. That statement, taken by itself without all the baggage, is true. Everything had to have been done a first time in order to get done at all.”

Neani slowly turned her head away from the sun and let her eyes rest on Terry. “And you think I’m the one to do this first?”

Terry held his ground under Neani’s intense stare. “I think you CAN be the one to do this first. And I don’t think I’m the only one to have thought that.”

Neani squinted at him for a moment before returning her gaze to the sun. In the time they’d been talking it had dipped down into the water. “I don’t think anyone but you has given me much thought, Terry.”

Terry took a deep breath and moved to stand in front of Neani, his feet dangerously close to the water. “You know that’s not true.”

Neani grabbed Terry by the shoulders and pulled him away from the water.

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