I dig my toes beneath the sand, feeling the soft grains fall over the top of my feet. My eyes close behind my sunglasses as I turn my face up towards the sun. Its warmth covers me like a blanket, making me want to fall asleep. One wave after another crashes down. In this moment, nothing else exists but right here, right now. The sand, the sun, and the sound of the waves splashing against the beach hold me in their grip. Peace washes over me and for a minute, I’m able to forget. I wonder if this is what eternity is like.
The sound of gulls calling in the distance brings me back to reality. I feel the letter still crumpled in my grip; I haven’t let go. It took so much for me to write it, I can’t let it fly away. Tears slip from my eyes, wetting my eyelashes before falling down my cheeks to mix with my hair and sand.
With effort, I hold my letter up to read the first line, one last time.
“It was Michelle. Please, don’t let her get away with this.”
My arm drops back down with relief. It’s legible.
I stare into the sky, remembering our last words to each other.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked her. “I don’t understand.”
She laughed. “You don’t understand? You stole my husband you fucking bitch!”
“Michelle, it’s not like that. Please don’t do this,” I said, hating myself for pleading.
“You did this. Not me.” She shoved the gun barrel harder into my back. Then she pulled the trigger.
I move my free hand to cover the hole in my abdomen that’s still leaking blood. When my best friend shot me in the back, it punched a hole clear through my torso, partially paralyzing me in the process. Bits of my flesh are all around me. From the corner of my eye I can see them mixed with blood splatter, no matter how hard I try ignoring the sight.
I’m not sure if she thought I would die quickly or if she knew I would lie here like this and bleed out. She probably wanted me to suffer as much as possible.
Congratulations, Michelle. You get your wish. But I’m not going down without one last fight. The police will find the letter in my death grip, explaining everything. Even with my blood smeared all over it, they’ll be able to make out the words. They’ll know it was her. I smile, picturing the look on Michelle’s face when they come for her.
With each roll of the tide, I’m getting weaker. I keep choking on my blood. It’s getting harder to inhale. I wonder how long it will be until someone finds my body. It’s too bad that it’s all a misunderstanding. What will Michelle think when she finds out how wrong she’s been?