15 movies, 5 tubs of ice cream, 2 blankets, 1 couch, 2 pizzas, 3 bags of Swedish Fish, 4 days.
Day to night, sunrise to sunset, Chase and I spent every minute wallowing. Although it was far from productive, it was really the best cure of sadness. Sometimes, you just need to take a break from your life.
When we weren't watching movies, we were bonding with Uncle John. We played cards, talked about interesting topics, and looked through old photo albums. Once John started treatment, we wouldn't be able to do these things with him anymore.
The days passed, and I knew it was time to reconnect with the outside world. However, I didn't want to push or force Chase to do anything he wasn't ready for. The emotional healing process was a delicate path, full of prepared baby steps.
"Hey, I was thinking, maybe we could get some fresh air today and take a walk on the beach...the sun's setting and it's really pretty..." I trailed off. "You up for it?"
"I don't know, Ace," Chase said, weakly. His usual bright eyes were now pale and lifeless.
"Come on, just a little stroll won't hurt, right?" I smiled hopefully, my eyes beaming up at him.
"Okay," he muttered, giving into my angelic and promising expression. We got up and changed out of our pajamas. I slipped on some jeans, cuffed them mid calf, and threw on a sweatshirt, making sure to be careful of my stitches. Chase was wearing a similar outfit, in cargo shorts and an American Apparel hoodie.
Leaving the house for the first time in days was refreshing. Vegetating is good, but all in moderation. At some point, you have to get up and try to continue on with life, or else you'll be stuck in that phase forever.
The beach was nearly empty, only a handful of people were still lingering around. Chase and I held hands as we strolled down the beach, collecting smooth shells. At this moment, the beach was absolutely perfect. The remainder of the sun gave off the last bit of warmth, before the nasty winds kicked in. The waves were forceful, as their sounds gently echoed in my ears. Above the water line, the sky was painted beautiful oranges and pinks. This sight almost made me sad, in the way that it was too beautiful - it didn't fit in with the rest of the cruel and ugly world. I wondered if Chase felt the same way.
We strolled past the First Aid and Lifeguard Shack, and my injured arm itched with the painful memory. Chase said he wanted to stop by and check in with everyone, so we changed the direction of our walk and dropped by.
Most of the lifeguards were still there, even though it was way past their working hours. All of the guys, including Tyler, greeted Chase and asked what was going on with him lately. However, I noticed Chase had this way of avoiding what was really happening, because he'd reply with "everything's fine, just needed a break" or "just some family stuff, it'll work out."
He said his goodbyes, and we continued down with our walk. Until Tyler ran over and interrupted it . . .
"Bro," he said, once he caught up to us. "What's really going on with you?"
I looked up at Chase, whose face twisted in agony. "Nothing, it's not a big deal."
"Look, you don't miss numerous days of work for nothing."
"Tyler, I don't want to talk about it, okay?" I could tell that Chase was getting rather annoyed.
"Okay, cool. Don't tell your best friend!" Tyler growled. "Does she know?"
"Hey, don't drag me into this," I snapped.
"Tyler, back off okay?" Chase said, taking a step in front of me.