I SHAKE THE SALT onto my fries with a wince. The picture on the salt is a wave. Waves are at the beach. The beach reminds me of Bruce, which reminds me of the accident... I fight back tears and try to continue with the reason I'm here.
"Hailey, sweet, you should stop crying about this," my mother puts her arm around my trembling body as the tears fight a war to get out, but I win.
"I'm fine, mom, really." I wipe the one refugee off my cheek and eat a fry. "Just a bit...miserable and devastated."
I can't get the memories to stay away, but they creep up to my head and the whole thing spins around my brain. We were at the beach at an early hour. We were laying down, staring at the clouds, until we dozed off together. I woke up hours later, still at the beach, the darkness creeping about. I wasn't where I was before, but with my legs half submerged into the cold water, without Bruce's chest as a pillow, I was lost and alone because Bruce was nowhere in sight. I had bruises and scratches up my legs and arms. I screamed out Bruce's name over and over, but I didn't get a reply. I sat and cried. A person came by and asked if I was okay. I didn't know how to answer that. So I said no and explained to her what had happened. I was scared and lost and longing for Bruce's warm hug, or at least a sign he is somewhere near, somewhere at all. The lady called the police and reported a missing teen and my injuries. Turns out my arm was broken. Nobody knew who or what did it. Nobody had seen Bruce anywhere. At all. My heart hurt more than my arm. It still does. It's been weeks. Weeks.
Mom checks a text message. Her eyes light up. "Good Lord! Oh, my! They've found him! He's in the hospital, Hailey, Bruce is st the hospital!"