"I don't know. It was all dark - the sky and the water, but I could see her dress. It was red. Bright, bright red. Except...wasn't it white?"
The door opens – just a sliver, just a crack – and a man oozes into the room. He's wearing a fitting black suit with a tight blue tie. There is a hint of anger in the wrinkles around his eyes, but that displeasure fits him. He sits across from me in a chair that seems more comfortable than my own. I ask if we may switch – he doesn't reply, I say hello, he doesn't respond. Yes, this displeasure fits him. Fits him very fittingly.
He asks about Sara – what is she like?
Oh, Sara. She's lovely, you know, my best friend.
'Really,' he says. Says, because it's not a question, and yes, really, we're the best of friends. He wants to know more. Her favorite color, favorite book – what words would I use to describe her?
Stupendous, effervescent, captivating, wonderful. Always wonderful. I take extra cared with my Sara words. I looked foe them carefully, selected only the best. Only the best for my Sara.
'Your Sara?' the man wonders. Wonders, because he doesn't know, doesn't understand. Not yet. I try to explain, but he says that it's okay. I go to tell him that it's more than okay, that it's great, amazing, remarkable, nearly as wonderful as Sara, but he says that it's alright. The party is what he wants to know about.
Sarah seemed different that night, seemed…more.
More everything, even the bad stuff. She was just more. It was scary, but pretty too, kinda like the ocean. We went once, when we were little, and we couldn't swim. It was sooo cold. Sarah was wearing her brand new yellow bathing suit. There were little orange flowers all over it and there was this ugly, floppy white hat jammed on her head. She was so upset. She got this look on her face, it was all pinched and mean. She kept pinching me when she wasn't hugging the ball…
'…Did Sara seem like she felt that way the night of the party?'
Hmm…Yeah, only a little, though, and just at the beginning. After a while, she got more. She said she felt purple, but then she turned white. That's when the waves started.
Yeah, I said Sara's like the ocean sometimes, she has waves, up and down, up and down. It was so rough that night.
'I see and you're…what?'
'If Sara's the ocean, what are you? A lighthouse? Land? A ship.'
Yeah, yeah, I'm a boat, but just a little one. Little yellow boat bobbing in the sea. Little yellow boat saving lives.
'A life raft?' he leans forward.
Exactly. I'm Sara's life raft.
'Really.' Another not-question.
Mhm. Sara's life raft.
Except…I lost her.
Yeah. We were at the top of a wave, just kept getting higher, higher, higher, higher higher, higher…
And she fell out.
'What happened to Sara after she fell?'
I…I don't know. It was all dark – the sky and the water -, but I could see her dress. It was red. Bright, bright red. Except…wasn't it white? I don't – I don't really know.
'So you're saying that she fell out? She didn't jump?'
Jump. Why would Sara jump? We were so high – the waves were so high and we were at the top. So high, so high.
Does he? I don't.
'I understand. I think we're done here.'
Okay. He stands up, goes to the door –
'Oh, I almost forgot, Sarah. She's dead.'
I'm confused. Sara? Who's Sara?
'Your best friend.'
Oh, no. My best friend is Amelia Hart. She's lovely, you know.
'Really.' He leaves. I'm alone in the room, mind rolling and turning over thoughts of Amelia in her bright red dress. Bright, bright red. Except...wasn't it white?