The blonde stood at the end of the pier, looking out into the ocean, admiring the calm waves and enjoying the sound they made as they gently lapped at the sand. The tide was in, but she knew it would be turning in a minute.
She waited patiently, thinking about her plan. She knew it was kind of stupid and reckless but hell what did she care? She had gone away and done all the things she said she would, but she only did them because someone had driven her to do them. Not once in the two years she had been gone had her ex-lover left her mind...
She silently counted the seconds in her head...
"Tide just turned," she muttered under her breath.
And with that the blonde drew in a deep breath, gathering her courage within herself as she turned around to walk back to her waiting jeep to set her plan in motion.
To be honest, she didn't really have a plan. Well she did but it only extended as far as actually getting back to Newport and now that she was here she had no clue what to do or where to go.
She had thought to swing by Seth's house, but found it half destroyed and abandoned.
Not knowing what to do now, she drove around aimlessly. So much had changed over the past two years, she barely recognised the place.
Then she passed somewhere familiar; the Bait Shop. She was tempted to go in, but thought that it would bring back to many bad memories. So instead, being the bright spark that she is, she parked and got out, seeking comfort from the beach.
The wind had changed in the few pointless hours she had spent searching for her lost love. It had picked up and was now swirling and lashing the water, making the waves crash against the sand. She smiled when she thought about how the elements were matching her mood.
She sat there for what seemed to her only a minute, but when she stole a glance at her watch she found at least an hour to have passed. She sighed to herself, wandering what she should do next, if she should just give up or suck it up and persist at a task many would have given up on. She rose from the gritty sand beneath her and started to brush herself off when she heard a voice that made her freeze.
"Kaitlin!" she heard the unmistakable voice of Julie Cooper screech. "Hurry up! I have a facial at..."
The voice stopped and the blonde knew she had been spotted. She scrunched her face in an 'Oh crap' expression before finally straightening from her brushing position. She looked up at the red-headed woman that she didn't hate, just intensely disliked. After all people are not prone to liking people who are complete bitches.
Her eyes settled on Julie Cooper's swollen belly and couldn't help the smirk that spread across her face as her eyes travelled up to the pregnant woman's face.
"Oh my god..." she heard Julie breathe out as she made her way up the beach towards her.
Remembering the effect this woman used to have on the love of her life, she shot the woman one of her award winning smiles as she slowly treaded the sand, feeling it spread beneath her feet and worm its way up between her toes.
To her further amusement, Julie Cooper started to open and close her mouth as if attempting to say something yet not quite getting there. It gave her the look of a fish gasping for food or for air after it had been stupid enough to jump out of the tank.
"Hey Mrs Cooper," she smirked, feigning politeness.
She watched as Julie Cooper checked herself, standing visibly straighter and closing her mouth at last. She said no greeting, instead only managing a nod of acknowledgment.
As the girl sat to brush off her sandy feet so she could put her shoes on again, a younger teenager flanked by two dorky looking boys with stupid hair approached Julie Cooper. "Time to leave? Ah but I was just starting to have fun," the girl said, her voice dripping sarcasm. Then she caught the shocked deer-caught-in-the-headlights facial expression that her mother was failing to hide beneath a cracked mask of calmness. She turned to regard the cause of this expression.
"Who are you?" she asked rather curtly.
The woman raised her head from her feet which where now more than 50 sand-free and observed this teenager. For a minute, as the sun came out from behind a cloud, her brain was fooled by hope into thinking that her search was over, that she had finally found her.
And then the girl shifted out of the suns rays so the blonde got a proper look at the teen. She could not hide the disappointment on her face.
"Bad word," she mumbled. She had been trying to cut out the swearing for a while now.
"What did you say?" the girl asked, directly addressing the blonde woman hunched down beneath her. "Who the hell are you anyway?"
"Kaitlin," her mother gently warned, aware of the slight threatening tone in her daughter's voice.
The blonde's eyes moved to stare at Julie Cooper. That was when the realisation hit her, the realisation that this was not the same person she had once fought with over the love of a girl. She studied her face more closely for the first time, only now seeing the deep lines that seemed as trenches on her face. She knew those kind of lines, they could only be caused by two things; age (which she highly doubted) and intense sadness.
Her eyes flickered back to the young teen standing before her. She noted that both boys still stood there, one on either side yet both where behind the girl. She watched as the girl's mouth formed a little 'o' and her eyes went wide. She didn't know who this girl was but she was guessing that she knew who she was. She followed the girl's gaze to her bare upper arm, to her butterfly tattoo.
"Hey," she said to the teen. "My face is up here."
She looked the teen in the face and all she got back was a look of attitude.
She smirked to herself, recognising that look from the mirror, a look she had pulled way too much years ago.
"What are you smirking at?"
"Nothing," she muttered under her breath, her mind piecing everything together finally.
She stood and studied the girls face in a way not dissimilar to the way she had studied the mother's not a minute before. Again she saw the same lines there, the deep furrows of sadness etched into this young girls face. She felt a flash of sympathy for this girl who was obviously the sister. She was so young, yet she gave off such a sense of maturity which she tried to fake so as to fool people into thinking she was less than what she was.
Then everything clicked in her head. The sadness, the stuttering from Julie Cooper, the general awkwardness that hung in the air much like it did whenever she met the woman before, yet now it was so much different, more dark, more sinister in the way it lurked almost polluting the air around the women.
She looked from the sister to the mother, now seeing them through new eyes. She analysed them more, breaking down everything she could see of them; the way the mother shuffled her feet, the way the sisters eyes darted around, the way the dorks backed off, sensing the tension.
That was the moment when a little voice in the back of her head started to pipe up, talking the truth to her.
"She's gone," was all it said.
She shook her head, trying to rid the voice from her head. She then remembered where she was. She looked up at the two Cooper women before her, her face hard.
"I have to go," she growled, rising to her feet.
Her hands clutched at her shoes as she pushed past the two Cooper's, trying to escape the voice.
Suddenly everything melted away. Everybody disappeared, everything vanished from her sight. All she was aware of was her still shoeless feet repeatedly slapping the tarmac surrounding the beach. She remained aware of one thing though and one thing only; her jeep, her means of escape. She wished and hoped against all hope that that vehicle would be the thing she needed to escape the nightmarish voice that now haunted her and plagued her. every move she made, it was there to tell her what she did not want to believe.
She made it to the jeep and fumbled with her keys, finally managing to get it into the door, seemingly unlocking it. But when it came to the door opening, the door had other ideas.
Again and again she pulled at the handle, pulling until her actions got frantic. Her breathing soon paced to match her actions and blackness started to taint the edges of her vision. Her legs got sudden weak and she found them unable to support her any longer.
The last thing she saw before the blackness overtook her vision and after the ground had rushed up to meet her, was the face of her love, the one she had been searching for.
As Alex Kelly succumbed to unconsciousness, she let a smile spread her lips and a single name escape her lips; "Marissa."
What do you think?
And what should the pairing be? Alex and who?