He said he would be right back.
We had just pulled into Hermosa Beach. We parked Betty on 1st street, and I trotted down to the sand. The breeze was so beautiful, I couldn’t possibly appreciate anything more at that moment. James followed me, barefoot, his pants rolled up and white shirt blowing in the wind.
When I reached the water, I sat down, and let the waves break on me. I let me dress get soaked, and finally, laid back on the sand and stretched out, stretching each limb as far as it would go. I enjoyed the warm burn in the stretch, and the cool water on my skin, and the sea breeze on my face. I giggled and sighed and sighed some more, and sighed again until my sigh became a long, drawn out yawn.
The sun was starting to go down over the ocean, and I looked up to see James leaning over me.
His face was expressionless and tired.
“I’ll be right back,” he said. “I gotta see if I can find some cheap sandals or something.
I nodded. I didn’t care. I was so happy to be out of the car and in some small way, a bit relieved to be back on the West Coast. Back where the sun DID set over the ocean and not over the land.
And the sun did set.
And the stars came out. All three of them.
And Los Angeles loomed in the pollution, and the lights, and the light pollution, and the heavy pollution hanging over the lights.
And he never came back.
And then he and Betty were gone.
And I am alone.