the last time

It is the first of many lasts.

We walk along the beach at 8:55 p.m. The sun is setting over the clear blue Californian water. I strip down into just my little pink swimsuit. I toss my clothes at my boyfriend and prance into the water.

I am up to my shins and the waves are hitting my knees. The water is cold, but refreshing on this hot August evening.

“C’mon in. It isn’t even that cold,” he says with a giant smile.

“Gimme a sec. I’m comin’,” I reply with an eye roll.

Austin slips off his shoes and takes off his white lifeguard tank top. He drops all of our belongings onto our towel and runs to me in the water. He starts splashing me and acting like a child.

“Austin stop! I don’t wanna get my hair wet!” I yelp in my high-pitched voice.

“Don’t be lame. Have a little fun,” Austin responds with a smirk.

He sprints towards me, picking me up and lifting me over his shoulder. He is carrying me around and swinging me in circles.

I am struggling to breathe because I am laughing so hard. He then throws me in the ocean and I am completely underwater.
I rise coughing up salt water and I feel like I’m dying.

“Not funny. Not funny at all.”

He laughs while swimming farther and farther off the coast. He is up to his waist in the water when standing. It’s too deep for me. I’m just sitting on the shoreline keeping my feet in the water.

“How far you think I can swim out here?”

“Please don’t! Just come in.”

I start to worry. It’s not like anything bad is going to happen, but I have a strange feeling in my gut.

He keeps laughing and swimming out into the ocean and then it happens.

I see Austin go under and not come up.