Stories

Maroon(ed)

“Maroon is strange word,” Jeffrey thought as he looked at his leg. The blood had slowed, but he still lost enough of it to worry about passing out.

“Maroon is a strange word,” Jeffrey said out loud. Nobody responded. Hal was over by the tree nearest the water, so maybe he couldn’t hear. Elise was nowhere to be found. Typical Elise. She probably ran off with Lonnie to give him a piece of her mind, and then a piece of ass. Ashley laid closest to Jeffrey, but her eyes were closed, her lips parted.

In fact, her lips made Jeffrey’s mind think of the word maroon. The dark color adorned her lips, which he had tasted only hours before, when things were still fine. They didn’t taste maroon then. They had tasted like grapefruit.

Jeffrey looked down at his pants, once khaki, now crimson. It made him sad to think that nobody asked if he was okay. The pain wasn’t as bad as when they first landed, but would it have hurt them to at least inquire? “I guess everyone is dealing with the news in their own way,” he thought.

Still, Jeffrey thought that Hal could have been more concerned instead of huddling against the tree. Sure, his daughter was by Jeffrey’s side, but Jeffrey couldn’t expect her to take care of him. She was asleep.

The moon crept up in the sky. “When did the moon appear?” Jeffrey thought. “And When did it get dark?” It was only a sliver, so Jeffrey couldn’t see much beyond his immediate vicinity. He was sure Hal had gone off to find where his wife had gone. Caprice was a little bit loopy, though Jeffrey would never admit that to his fiancee. Ashley loved her mom more than anything. She aspired to be her mom.

Elise and Lonnie still hadn’t returned. They were probably still wrapped in each other’s arms. Jeffrey would never call his sister a bad name (wasn’t slut-shaming looked down on now?), but she had always wanted to “bang on the beach.” Her words, not his.

Jeffrey thought about the birds flying in the sky. The vermillion sun brightened their white feathers, giving a contrast to the fiery sands surrounding Jeffrey. The pain in his hips was gone now. In fact, all the pain in his lower body had vanquished. He felt everything up top, though. If only he could sleep, sleep like Ashley slept. Her cherry lips (or was it grapefruit, he couldn’t remember) parted reminded him of the first time they met.

Hal was back at his tree. Apparently Caprice had decided not to join him. Nobody joined Jeffrey. Were they all still mad at him? Didn’t they know it was an accident? If only Ashley would wake up, she would tell them it was an accident, that it wasn’t entirely his fault.

The moon grinned down on Jeffrey. He thought it reminded him of a cat, but he couldn’t remember why.

The leaves nearby rustled, and Jeffrey heard a “shhhhh” echo off the water. It seemed Elise and Lonnie were done with their frolicking for the day. Jeffrey couldn’t imagine why Elise wanted to hookup with Ashley’s brother. Wasn’t that weird?

Ashley’s cheeks flushed pink. She must have been dreaming about their first time together. It was a doozy. Hal, of course, still sulked over by his tree. Jeffrey tried to shout out to him, but then he thought better of it. No use pissing off your soon to be father-in-law, especially when he was already upset.

Jeffrey’s heart ached. His stomach stopped hurting, though. So did his arms. Now he could lay peacefully and stare at the scarlet sky.

Elise wasn’t talking to Jeffrey anymore, either. He knew she would forgive him. She was like that. Wasn’t that why she was scolding Lonnie? It didn’t keep her from letting him into her pants, though.

As the sun set (or maybe it was rising), Jeffrey couldn’t help but feel sorry for Caprice. She was the one who always had his back. Maybe that was why she wasn’t with Hal. She always defended Jeffrey to her husband, and now Caprice was off alone and Hal sat sullenly by his tree.

There was no moon. The sun shone bright, but the edges of Jeffrey’s vision went to nightfall. “That’s peculiar,” Jeffrey thought.

Jeffrey’s heart still hurt, but the pain was a dull throb now. Ashley would wake up soon. Elise would walk out from behind the trees with Lonnie. Caprice would come put her hand on her husband’s shoulder. They would all make sure Jeffrey was okay. He had laid down for so long he would need time to shake out the pins and needles.

Night and day blurred together for Jeffrey. The sun was fading. Soon the moon would take over. “That would make for a beautiful wedding,” Jeffrey thought.

Jeffrey was sure Hal would forgive him for the accident. That was why they were here. That was why Hal made this awful trip, wasn’t it? Jeffrey knew Hal would forgive him. He’d always wanted grandchildren.

The sun burned brightly in the center of Jeffrey’s vision. As the blackness encircled it, closing in, Jeffrey thought of the color of the sun. It wasn’t yellow. It wasn’t orange. It was more saturated than those. “Maroon is a strange word,” Jeffrey thought, and he closed his eyes.

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