I come out of a band concert, the entrance is a beach-cliff like thing, with a steep hill down going along the wall. It’s steeper than it was when I’d come in. There’re plastic square – handles on the wall, and for some reason, I hold on to the these as I go down the wall, turning over and launching from handle to handle. The scene is close, sensory – there are people in front and behind me, waiting, not having problems, but all I can see is the close-up confusion of the spinning handles.

There are waves at the bottom, and they splash me as I traverse the hill. I complain. Finally, I plop into the water, where I feel so free – I swim, tread water, splash and feel the warm water. Like the swimming pool, that one sibling-less morning.

JL’s there? EL’s there. We’re all waiting for our parents to pick us up, in the water. It’s dark. We’re in some sort of neighborhood, at the end of a cul-de-sac. It’s getting late. I forgot to call, but I do now. People are leaving, and home is far. EL leaves – I think about asking for a ride, but I don’t.

It’s just me. I’m alone. It’s dark, and the water is terrifying. I swim, looking for shelter.

I call EL. I can see her, in the car, in my mind’s eye. I ask, “How far are you from here?” She’s far. It’s only been 10 minutes or so, but her family has a Tesla, and it travels extremely fast. I don’t explain why I asked, I just nod and hang up.

I swim, and see MC and some kind of church boys youth group. With WB’s pastor, ID (AD’s bro), and that friend group. They’re on a retreat, of some sort. They take me in for the night.

That’s it, I think.


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