There was no way to conceal myself as I slipped past the floor to ceiling windows that made up the entirety of the rear of the house facing the ocean. As I reached the stairs at the end of the deck I silently prayed I was out of sight before he got the front door open. When I stepped into the sand I surrendered to the urge to run.
I sprinted along the dunes to the access point where a wooden bridge connected the beach with a concrete walkway. Heedless of drawing attention to myself I moved as quickly as I dared up several steps and across the narrow expanse. I had become clumsy, often tripping or falling on uneven surfaces. I had thought it was an inner ear infection causing my imbalance but now I wasn’t so sure.
Taking another set of stairs to the street above the pedestrian path I was starting to feel out of breath. Obviously my days spent laying on the beach had taken its toll.
Once on the sidewalk I paused to look back at the house, wanting to make sure he wasn’t pursuing me. As I stood with my arms resting on the railing, I was engulfed with regret. On the surface, everything had been so perfect. I know now I was living in a fantasy, but why couldn’t reality ever live up to those expectations? Was I always going to have to settle for less?
Bitterly I pushed myself back from the fence, jogging away to increase the distance even though I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going. I needed time to figure out what I was going to do and I felt exposed on the sidewalk. Passing a small cafe I decided to duck in and sit for a few minutes so I could think.
I ordered a large coffee from the counter then found a table as far away from the front as possible. I debated whether it would be better to face the door so I could see if he came in, or choose the seat that would hide my face from people passing by, eventually opting to have my back to the wall instead of the entrance.
Resting the backpack on my lap I dug through it, looking for the journal. I wanted to read what was in it. I needed to understand what had happened, and maybe if I could discern his perspective I would know how to handle this. Looking back I know I was still holding out hope, believing that there might be something in the journal that would prove I was overreacting. Things couldn’t be as bad as they seemed.
Unable to find the small leather book, I placed the food on the table, then pulled out the laptop. Beginning to worry I pushed the clothes around, until I was forced to accept that the journal wasn’t there. What could I have done with it? I closed my eyes trying to remember exactly what happened when I left the room with it. Realizing I must have left it on the bed after I got on the floor to retrieve the backpack, I groaned audibly causing several other patrons to glance my way.
I opened my eyes just as he passed by the cafe window, my freedom suddenly as evanescent as morning mist…
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Evanescent and is part of something longer I am working on.
This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after Will I Be Able to Escape This Time?.