By the Ocean


Along the beach, after you’d passed the second time, I stood with my friends and watched the black specks in the sand get taken out into the ocean. I looked from the cliffs and wondered if I’d see you again. I let the water that didn’t feel cold or warm anymore take me to my knees and bring my face to the dim blue and I wondered why I’d seen you there. I hadn’t seen you at all before. And then all I saw was you and the ocean became yours and the beaches and the sky and the sounds and the breeze it was yours and mine and for a moment I felt our story continue.

And then the moment drew out to the sea.

But my knees anchored my body to the sand and I didn’t go out with the blacks specks. And I was happy to have known you and happy to have been given a chance to be with you. And I let it be pulled from my body and lose itself deep in the Pacific.

I got home and my sister was there and my friends were there and we were leaving the next morning early to go north and I was telling her about how i’d seen you and I had opened a drink, the first of many that night that would come to affect everything I’d say later, when she saw it come up on my phone. She told me, “Jack, Liana wrote you a poem”. And it was only the first few lines on display. I glanced, and then jumped up and started shouting and running to my friends and telling them this shit always happens when I drink. So after enough time I sat down and asked Anna to read it while I distracted myself with Quinn and Kavin and Noah and I kept glancing over and she was reading and reading and her head was tilting and she finally looked up and said “You’re gonna like this”. “Is it gonna hurt at all? I don’t want that now”. “No, not at all, it’s perfect”. So I looked and she was right. It was perfect. So I stole the words and put them in a doc so I could look all I want and sent it to a far-off best friend (maybe an hour or two later) and she said this:


She even writes better than you… damn

Seriously Jack, how do you feel?

Drunk obviously, but like, idk! You had no idea up until now she had these immense feelings towards you after everything and even before the end, if you were unsure of her emotions, its all out there now

You really mean a lot to her Jack, what does she mean to you?

Keep it in the back of your head. She took more than just a moment to be vulnerable with you.”

And I saved the text and stumbled around the room and found my way to a quiet corner to write you something, anything because I wanted, I dreamed, of seeing you that night and holding you again and feeling loved and safe. And the drunken blur caught me up and my friends brought me somewhere away and I wrote something small to you and I don’t know what the hell it was.


I want to be friends with you, Liana. I forgive you. More than that, I understand you. It hurt me back then, but not in a way that cut into me. It hurt because I felt weak. I felt powerless to stop this girl I cared for so much from being taken from me in a night. I felt pathetic. So when I say I forgive hear instead that it doesn’t matter. You matter. You’re so much to me. You amaze me.

I’m Naive, so Naive, when it comes to the things I love. And with you, if it came to be that I’d go through it all again, I’d be Naive still the day after. I will see in you good always. I will adore who you are always. You’ve drawn gentle across my heart a poem I couldn’t see for months that demands nothing and offers so much. And I imagine it could end again, and I’d be pathetic again. But maybe not. Maybe it could go on. I’m scared, and I’m driven, and I know what I want.

Thank you for your letter. It’s the most beautiful thing anyone has ever given me. You said you wanted the ocean to wash you to me. Here I am Liana. Where to now?

– Jack

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