Beneath the Ventura Pier

Beneath the Ventura Pier

A Story by AnonymousBeauty

A girl experiences her first heartbreak


We sat under the pier like we always did.  I shivered as the ocean breeze whispered against my skin and tousled my hair.  Usually it was so warm - comforting.  Not today.  Today, the cold seeped through my skin and into my bones, making my fingers and toes feel numb.  I started to regret ignoring my mother’s suggestion to bring a jacket.  But then, I’d never needed one before.  Why would tonight have been any different?

 I wished he would say something; even to just tell me everything was fine.  But that would be a lie.

This was our last summer together.

            A year ago I never would have been allowed to be here with him.  A year ago, Mom would have insisted on a curfew of no later than 7 pm and I’d have suffered Dad’s third degree about my plans for the evening before I could sneak off to our spot, beneath the Ventura Pier.   But I was old enough now; I’d proven I was ‘responsible’.  Plus I could drive, I had my license.  I was seventeen.  My parents trusted me.  Everything was different.

            But a year ago I wouldn’t have had to say goodbye.

            “So…” I ventured, biting my lip in an effort to speak my mind casually, “You’re moving to Wisconsin?”  He’d probably told me a thousand times before.  I still didn’t believe him.  I didn’t want to.

            It was as if he were already a thousand miles away. He kept staring at the white crested waves crashing against the shore, his mind drifting off to a place I couldn’t reach.  So I watched the sun set.  The pinks and oranges of the sky merged into blotchy streaks across the horizon.  I didn’t have to squint to watch anymore.  The sun was just a small arch now, sinking further and further beneath the watery surface.  I waited for him to answer.

            “Yeah, college...,” he finally sighed. 

            “But, what about �"“

            “My dad really wants me to go to Marquette,” he started, his words tumbling out as if he couldn’t say them fast enough.  “They’re offering me a full ride and I’ve got family in Milwaukee, so I wouldn’t have to pay for room and board. Dad even promised to buy me a car if I went.  I’d be set.”

            “Brandon, I know, but won’t you miss �"“

            “It’s a good school, Anne,” he took my hands in his and squeezed them gently, “I know it doesn’t sound like it right now, but it is,” and then more quietly, “I just can’t pass this up.”

            “Even for me…?”  

            “We’ll still see each other, babe,” Brandon said, not meeting my eyes. “I’ll probably fly down here for the holidays and we can try long distance.  It’ll be ok.”  Everything he was saying sounded comforting, but I wasn’t so sure I believed him anymore. Words like probably and try were all I heard.

I couldn’t look at him.  I refused to, even when he turned my face toward his.  I just stared at a couple walking behind us.  That might have been us a year ago.  We always used to walk on the beach, holding hands and just talking �" talking about us, our future together.  A year ago, Brandon was saying he would never leave me. He made promises that every good boyfriend made, promises he had meant at the time.  We were so in love…  But now those promises were shifting like sand through my fingers. He was going halfway across the states and it seemed like he wanted me to say it was ok, that he could go.  But it wasn’t Ok.  Nothing was.  And it never would be again.

“Anne, come on.  Say something.”  He was begging me.  But there was something else in his tone, something I couldn’t quite place. I finally looked at him, searching.

His eyes reflected so many emotions back at me.  Anger, love, and anxiety…sadness - they crashed against me like a tidal wave, rolling over my consciousness again and again, showing me things I had never been open to before.  Brandon still loved me, I could see that, but he didn’t want what we had anymore.  He didn’t need me like he used to.  It was so clear now.

I stood up, feeling empty and alone.  It was like I had nothing left in me.  I was just hollow, like a discarded crab shell in the sandy tide.  Brandon got up too, looking awkward and confused.  I could tell he didn’t know whether to console me or keep his distance.  I took a step towards him and then a step back, unsure myself of what to do.  But in my heart I knew.   

Standing on my tiptoes I kissed him, tasting the salty sweetness of his lips once more.  I would miss the way they melded perfectly against mine. Before he could kiss me back, I pulled away.  “Goodbye,” I whispered.  I walked away then, never once looking back. 



© 2012 AnonymousBeauty

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Being a father, and doing civilian military contract work, I had to move my family from Norfolk, VA/Virginia Beach to NJ. My 17 year old son had a girlfriend that he cared for very deeply. Your story made me see things through HIS eyes the day he had to say "GOODBYE". This saddened me to my core...nice work!

Posted 8 Years Ago

I have been in this situation! You totally nailed it.

My one criticism- the part in the beginning about the jacket is a bit irrelevant.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on May 31, 2012
Last Updated on May 31, 2012
Tags: pier, beach, waves, sad, kiss, crab, shell, sand, sunset, colors, breakup, heartbreak, escape, college, parents, girl, boy, love, walking, water, sea, sun



Pittsburgh, PA