Day Nine: Blue
Sitting on the sandy beach, encircled by Seth's arms, I'd be content to stay here forever, watching the waves roll in and out. The tide is coming in and the crash of the surf is soothing.
"What are you thinking?" I ask him, for there's a tension that courses through his body.
He heaves a sigh. "It'll have been a year soon."
So that's it. I should have known. I've been thinking about it too, but all this time I've been so wrapped up in my own fears that I hardly noticed how Seth has worried too. He's always so calm, so steadfast, that even I overlook it sometimes. "I know."
"If I could have protected you better–"
"You saved my life, Seth."
"You shouldn't have had to see what you did."
I turn to face him. The sand beneath us is still warm, the waves still rolling in and out without pause. The sun is beginning to sink and, bathed in its light, Seth's skin takes on a burnished glow like a bronze statue. Yet as my fingers trace down his arm, he's only flesh and blood. "Seth, it's thanks to you that I'm alive. I know that. You were the one who stayed late that evening. I know dad had told you that you didn't need to stick around for the meeting. It was just Grado after all– old friends." A mirthless laugh. It's hard to believe still. Everything that's happened... it's like a nightmare, one that doesn't go away in the morning.
But here we are, after it all. Here we are together.
"I was there because you were," he says. "I should've–" I stop his lips with mine. It's enough to know that he loved me even then. It's enough to know that he would make things better if he could.
"I love you," I say very firmly then, looking him in the eyes.
He smiles, tangling his fingers in my hair. "I love you too." And then I lean back against him and watch the rolling surf as his arms squeeze me tightly.
The ocean is a vast, endless blue that goes on and on, as our lives go on– not without ripples. I've wondered how I'm to reconcile it, the ebb and flow of our daily lives and the stormy breakers that can leave us strewn on the shore. The only answer I've come to is that it's moments like these, quiet moments that I can treasure, that I can hold dear, these are what's important, these beautiful shards of life.
And so I stare out at the horizon as the sun sinks into the ocean, content to be in Seth's arms. He brushes a kiss over my neck and whispers my name, and for this moment, I have all I need in the world.
A/N: Well there it is! The last prompt. Good thing I didn't post these one at a time or I'd still be posting until next winter. Thank you to everyone who came along for the ride and to those who were kind enough to leave reviews. I hope this story put a smile on your face – as that was pretty much the point of the whole thing.