Claire had whispered an apology in my ear. For that instant it had been just us two, the smell of her rose petal perfume engulfing me once more in her lies. Her hands had pulled me in when my heart just simply wanted to leave. The world to us was silent and I could only hear her drunken whispers of love icing my neck. 

When my arms found their strength again I knew that it was too late; the damage was done. 

There are times when I lie in bed, long into the night, thinking about the what if's that I have met, have pushed my way through, and the ones yet to come. I would listen to Aqua's silent snores and I would pet his soft head, seeking reassurance. Ever since Avery and I became close I found myself wondering more and more, what if?

As Claire moved back in a way that only I could recognize as hurt, I wasn't surprised by her calm voice. She always knew how to hide her emotions well from the world, but never from me. 

"I'll call you," she said, though her eyes screamed something else to me. "Tonight." 

I felt the sudden pull of confusion as she started walking away, but paused so that she could say something to Avery, who was now so far from me. She commented on her bracelet. The look on Avery's face emphasized exactly the opposite of what I had thought such a compliment would achieve from girls. I watched Avery closely without her knowing, and she softly tugged on the bracelet. I feared that the thin gold would break into a million pieces and be lost forever in the sand.

I turned back to Claire and she was all ready far from me, leaving the emptiness that often followed her departure. I heard Avery shift behind me and I turned quietly. She was now facing the water and I tried to get my head together. How would I do this? How could I deal with this? If I lied she would probably see through it, but if I told the truth she wouldn't understand. 

I walked closer to her and stopped when her back was nearly touching my chest. She was shorter than me; the right height and all I wanted to do was hug her and tell her how I felt, but first we needed to get over this. 

So I lied.

The End

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