They stretched out, stomachs full of warm coffee.
And this, she realized, this was how it would happen. How he would finally drop anchor, cutting those telephone wire lines that connected him to Hannah. Because of this, he would call her tonight and tell her, voice breaking, that he would not be coming back to New York.
She expected this knowledge to come to her with a jolt of vicious joy, but it didn’t. She felt only relief, relief that it would all be over and that he could join himself together again. His continents would drift back together, glaciers cracking, tectonic plates rumbling in reverse, molten lava bubbling back into the earth. This was a prehistoric morning, as he rolled onto one shoulder, sand sugaring half his face. This was Pangea.
“It’s the bluest thing I’ve ever seen.” She said, nodding to the sky.
He smiled, but didn’t reach for her.
A gull squawked nearby. They listened to it and to the thunder of the Pacific and the starting-up morning sounds of the pier.
She noticed a wild-looking man, shirt off, panting as he jogged down the shore.
“Crazy man dead ahead.”
He only smiled again.
The relief began to ebb as he rolled back onto his back. She felt the rush of time come sweeping up through history, yanking landmasses apart at their seams.
He sat up and it was going.
He grabbed his phone, checked the time, said, “We need to move your car.”
And it was gone.
They stood, brushing sand off their bodies, and turned their backs on the Pacific. Their shadows stretched behind them.
And by the time he finally reached for her, she took his hand in full awareness that there was no Pangea. Not for her anyway. His hand, clasping hers tightly to help her over the dunes, was no more than an apology.