I looked at my iPhone. The screen lit up, portraying the time. 12:00.
Taking a deep breath, I prepared myself for anything and everything. There were so many unanswered questions that I was probably about to figure out from Adam. I didn’t know if I was ready to handle it all in one night. I hadn't had much peace for the past year, and that was what I needed more than anything. But I wouldn't have it until I found out the truth, and everything in between.
Since I was staying in my grandparents' house for the summer rather than the beach house, I had to walk a decent amount to meet up with Adam. By the time I reached our meeting spot, my legs felt numb. I took a seat on a bench on the beach, waiting alone for Adam. If this was last summer, I would never have agreed to come out in the middle of the night to meet a strange boy on the beach on my own. But this was a new summer, and apparently I wasn’t the same girl I used to be.
A cold breeze struck my spine, and I shivered in the darkness. Tugging at the sleeves of my sweatshirt, I crossed my legs and scanned the boardwalk behind me. A few people passed by - some loud with excitement and some quietly enjoying their midnight walk. But no Adam.
Sighing, I unlocked my phone and checked my text messages. I had so many that I had ignored earlier and thought that maybe I should answer some of them.
Rebecca: Hey, April. Just checking up on you. I’m here if you need anything.
Kim: Hi, girl. Hope everything is going well! XOXO
Jake: April, how are you?
Lindsay: Enjoy your time in Maine, April! You deserve it.
Sympathy. Every last message dripped sympathy. I couldn’t handle it anymore…I just wished that everyone would leave me alone.
I ignored the messages once again. Although I appreciated the thoughtuflness, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. No one could change the fact that Jewel was gone, so why bother?
“Well look who it is…”
My eyes shot up from my phone and met Adam’s gaze. He was standing directly in front of me, looking down at me from above. I stood up, feeling threatened by his height. I was still shorter than him while standing.
“Yeah. It’s me,” I said. “Start talking.” I pinned his eyes with my own, demanding explanations. It was about a year since the occurrence, and I was tired of sitting back in confusion. No more Miss Nice Girl.
Adam raised one dark eyebrow at me as if to say, “You don’t faze me.” This angered me even further.
Pulling my knotty hair into a messy bun, I looked toward the ocean for strength - to Jewel for strength. It was weird to remember that she was here with me in the very same spot one year ago, staring out into the ocean by my side. Now she was somewhere out in the ocean, no longer breathing; and I was on shore, all alone.
“She’s out there.”
I whipped my head back to look to Adam. “What did you say?”
"She’s out there,” he echoed. “Jewel.”
I swallowed a lump in my throat. I knew she was out there, but hearing it made it seem so much realer. It hurt to know that she was actually gone, and it was still tough to accept it after all these years.
My gaze fell upon the soft sand beneath my flip-flops - the same sand that Jewel and I danced upon just a year ago. The wind blew that chilling breeze, and I crossed my arms over my chest for warmth. It was a bitter night, and I just wanted to be in my grandparents’ warm guest bed. But I was on a mission.
Clearing my throat, I put a halt to my pity party. I was through with feeling bad for myself. I was starting to annoy even myself with all of the depression I felt.“Anyway…”
Adam’s deep green eyes found my own golden eyes. A serious expression flashed over his face. “Yes?”
I couldn’t stare back; his gaze was too piercing. Throwing my hands up in disgust, I rolled my eyes and turned away from Adam, settling down on the bench once again. It was irritating to deal with Adam and his careless attitude. We were polar opposites, and it wasn't helping the situation at hand. Deep breaths, April…I told myself as I collected my head in my hands.
“What?” Adam asked me as if nothing was wrong. He lingered at the same spot on the sand, staring at me.