Another gray day. The sky darkened with low-hanging clouds, but no rain, no lightning to break the monotony of the gray. There was a heaviness in the air that settled into Tammy's bones. She sat in the big armchair, Springer squawking from the T.V., a wine glass in one hand and a near-empty bottle in the other.
She'd lost count of how many days she'd sat like this. Her cat, Mixen, jumped up into her lap and rubbed his head against Tammy's arm. She must've remembered to feed the cat; otherwise he'd be whining and spitting at her. Well, at least that was one thing she could do right. Tammy pushed the mewling ball of fur onto the floor.
I should do something, she thought. Something. Grab a bite to eat. Take a shower. Maybe a little yoga. She could use a few endorphins. She peered into the smoky bottle, watched the red liquid swirl around and up the sides. Maybe there were a few more endorphins in there. She replenished her glass. At least she was using a glass. That was the difference between being drunk and being a drunk.
She threw her head back and chugged the remaining wine. Then she put down the glass and the bottle and stood up. She stepped over the piles of dirty dishes and clothes that littered the floor. She grabbed her purse and set of keys and went outside, not bothering to lock the door behind her.
She knew she shouldn't be driving, so she took the side streets and drove at a crawl. Kids would be at school. Safe. Safe from her. The rest? Well, more people died from car accidents than anything else. They knew they were taking their chances when they ventured out that day.
She arrived at her destination without incident and parked a little too far away from the curb. She slipped off her sandals, leaving them on the floor of the car. She popped the trunk. She dropped her keys in her purse, then threw it into the trunk before bringing the lid down with a snap.
The wind whipped at her hair, raising goosebumps on her arms, and she tasted salt when she licked her suddenly dry lips. The sand felt soft and tickled her bare feet. She walked toward the angry, pounding waves, the roar in her ears growing.
She walked into the water and felt the icy waves lap around her ankles, splashing up against her calves, making her jeans cling heavily to her legs. She braced herself and pushed out further, turned her back against the breakers so they sprayed her back and drenched her hair.
When she was waist deep, she dove under a huge, threatening wave, and felt the undulations as the water frothed above her. It was a soft, rocking motion, and maybe it was just then, at that very moment, that she truly decided to go through with it. She wanted to be rocked in the ocean.
She began swimming away from the shore with strong strokes. She was a good swimmer. She'd be able to get pretty far. But she wasn't a great swimmer. She counted on that.
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