The night is cold, as usual. My blue windbreaker is sorely insignificant compared to the chill; the sea spray keeping me soaked through with a consistent mist only worsens it all the more. I shiver and hug myself tighter, shifting from foot to foot on the dock.
"When will the sun rise?" I whine to myself, despite knowing the implied sentiment is false. If the sun never rose again, I would die free from daylight. "I could die happy," I mutter, a bit louder this time. I was completely alone of course; nobody could hear me for miles on this unoccupied stretch of beach. A particularly strong gust whips my loose hair over my face, for a moment streaking the starry sky with washed-out blond in a manner reminiscent of the blinds I keep over my window, in the cabin behind me well above the high-tide line. At least the salty smell it brought with it is pleasant. Frustrated, I bunch the fabric of my hood in my fists and pull it over my head, cutting off the whistle of the wind. The stars really were bright tonight, though. Yanking my pull strings taught around my face, I gaze up into the dome that blankets my sandy bay.
"They look like fireflies," I whisper softly. "Fireflies crawling over the sand. The damp kind, dark and streaked with the silt of a retreating wave." The swells sighing under my feet seem to be applauding, the stars twinkling as if they approved of my description. In spite of myself, I blush. "Who knew I could be such a poet," I mumble, kicking the old and salt-stained board of the dock with my bare toe. Absently I walk slowly to the side and lean my weight into the railing, wincing as the plank moans in protest. Out in front of me, I can just barely see the horizon if I squint. The ocean is darker, the stars it reflects blurry and indistinct. Jaded attempts at reflecting the fireflies' luminescence. Even to me, that thought seems quite silly. After all, I'm not used to thoughts like it... like what I used to have.
Knowing I have little time to ponder the frivolous, I let my mind delve ever deeper, while the cover of darkness allows me to be who I please.
"The sun'll be up soon," I decide. "Until then, ocean, I have more to say to you." WsshHUH! The waves roll and sigh in response. "Don't be like that," I whisper. "You're my only friend, you know. I have another deep thought for you to consider: how do you keep living when you're made of tears? Because people are wrong. Rain can't be God's tears; rain washes away the bad and gives life to all earth's inhabitants. But you wear away at the earth, all its rivers and stresses flow out in the form of you." I can't really see, but I can feel the skin on my knuckles go white with strain.
"How can you keep surging forward when everything you touch breaks away? I don't understand...! Tell me," I gasp out the last syllable. With my free hand, I extend my reach to the horizon, lining my fingers up with the tendrils of premature sunlight beginning to lighten the sky.
"I'm all alone," I start again, rushing now. "Everyone is gone. It's just me. I, I don't think I can--"
The sun finally breaks free of the bonds of night. A single drop of salty water rolls off my chin to join soundlessly with the retreating tide. Expressionless, I gaze at the waxing red disk for a moment before turning my back on it. My faint shadow traces a path back to the little cabin, waiting for me; dark, always dark.
Today my shoulders stoop ever so slightly; but my life will go on while the sun still rises.