My heart pounds on my chest and I’m in a constant state of shock.
I’ve never been prouder of any child. I’ve never been this relieved to have a daughter.
This motherfucker is on drugs.
I knew that things would be this way after he’s killed this child. They always are.
I sit on the beach, alone, with a bottle of Corona and the sun is just rising. This is my favorite time of year.
I’m taking one last walk up by the high school.
One last walk to the water.
One last walk around to see if everybody’s still alive.
I’ve learned not to question everything now.
I walk up and the high school is quiet. People here are always quiet. We are surrounded by trees.
The trees and the ocean are on the opposite sides of the street. They make the street one solid mass.
I walk around the town looking for survivors. They’re nowhere to be seen.
The high school sits on a hill above the ocean. It’s tall and it looks like it’s on a long, long building.
The one big door is in the center of the school. It is open. The school looks like a ship with a long, flat hull.
I sit on the edge of the high school. It’s where everyone sits. It’s like sitting on a boat and looking down on the sea.
This child has been my life’s work. I’ve had her for two years. I’ve tried to forget but I don’t want to.
A woman walks up to me and asks, “Are you a fisherman?”
I nod and take a swig of my Corona. I turn around and she takes my bottle and hands it to me.
“I’m sorry,” she says. “They’re all dead.”
I sit there for a while, thinking about that. It’s probably the first time in my life that I’ve cried.
Everyone is dead. That is my only excuse. The truth is this is my baby girl’s fault.
I don’t like it. I don’t like the fact she’s a murderer.
After a short time I call 911 and tell them what happened and that I’m alone on the beach with a bottle of Corona.
I need to know where everybody is. I can’t go home; I have no place to go. I have nowhere to go.
I tell the operator that Evey is in the town.
I tell him I don’t know where she is.
She’s not with her mother.
I say, “I might be dead.”
I tell him where they are.
I tell him I don’t know what happened.
I tell him Evey is not with her mother.
I tell him she’s with an Indian guy in a white pickup truck. He has his head down and he’s not saying anything.
I tell him she’s in the truck. I need to know if you’re at the high school.
He says he can’t make that call. I ask him why.
The police are too busy to help. I just want them to let me know they’re okay.
On the other end of the line, a young officer says, “I’m at the high school.”
“You said they were dead,” I say.
He tells me Evey is not there. He says I should call back later. I say okay. I tell him to get somebody and tell them to help me.
I call back because I’m running out of time. I call back twice but he won’t answer.
It’s a little after midnight. I’m not sleepy. My daughter is not in a white pickup truck.
What we are looking for is the only thing that matters, the only thing we can rely on.
I go back to the beach to search for her. I run and run and run to the edge of the ocean and I look.
She is not there.
The police are coming to the beach. They say they can help me find her.
But I don’t want their help.
I just want to help her.
She is not on the beach.
I am on the beach looking the wrong direction. She is not there. The waves are rolling on the sand, the waves are rolling on the ocean.
I’m on the beach when they find her. They are both there. They are both alive.
They are both there.
The police come and they lay down a blanket for her. They lay down for themselves. They lay down for us.
The police tell me to drive them home.
It’s after 1:00 in the morning. I don’t want to go to the funeral.
I don’t want to go.
We all go to the cemetery.
The people I’ve known all my life are there.
I don’t care. I don’t know who my brother is.
I don’t care.
I don’t care who my brother is.
I don’t care.
Everyone is there. Everyone I would see every day is there.
Evey’s father is there. He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t have a thing to say.
Evey’s mother is there. She doesn’t know how to look at me.
Her face is wet.
She has never broken down like this before.