Abel Campbell was my romanticized nightmare. Even as the last beats of my human heart stilled, my thoughts were consumed with him. Except this version was one I barely recognized, other than those eyes. Those moss green orbs penetrated all doubt, enrapturing my heart with their soulful depths. A wry grin spread across his prepubescent face as he playfully shoved a taller blonde boy off the side of the dock.
“Sink or swim, Beast,” Abel called out, slinging an arm around the shoulder of a young brunette girl as they peered down at the water.
Her heartwarming smile and ice-blue eyes were distinctive, and I had no doubt of her identity. It was the same girl whose house I had moved into. The same girl that had spent the last three months haunting my ass. Genesis.
Sharing a laugh, she and Abel watched Sebastian ascend to the water’s surface before pulling his wiry body up onto the wooden platform. He smiled good-naturedly, but his eyes hardened with possessiveness as he eased himself between them, gripping her hand in his.
“It’s going to take more than 8 feet of water to keep me down. How ’bout you, baby bro? You ever going to learn how to backflip off this dock?” he asked with a snicker.
Abel’s eyes narrowed at his brother’s taunting. “Working on it.”
Sebastian rolled his eyes. “Yeah, well, while you’re doing that, Gen and I are going to head back to the house. Mom said she could stay for dinner.”
“She always stays for dinner,” Abel said dryly.
Sebastian cocked his head to the side, studying his younger brother. “You got something to say about that? Mom and Dad don’t seem to care, so I’m not sure why you would.”
Abel hesitated, his eyes meeting Genesis’ questioning stare. Then his shoulders relaxed, and he gave her a reassuring grin. “Nah. Just can’t understand why she wants to hang around you so much.”
“Whatever, man,” Sebastian grumbled as he and Genesis started up the hill for their bikes.
“Bye, Abel,” Genesis called back over her shoulder.
Abel watched them ride away, shielding his eyes from the afternoon sun’s blistering rays. With a sigh, he turned back to the pond. His chin tipped up in defiance and he puffed his chest out, squaring his shoulders as he strode to the end of the dock. He lined the balls of his feet up to the very edge, took a deep breath, then swung his arms for momentum.
Launching himself into the air, Abel tucked his body into a concise circle before panic seemingly took over and he abandoned his form. He flailed wildly, quickly losing the battle with gravity. As he plummeted towards the water, that bitter, metallic flare of uneasiness settled into the pit of my stomach and I grimaced as the definitive whack of skull meeting wood violated my eardrums.
Blood permeated the murky pond water, gushing from Abel’s deep head wound. His groggy eyes cast skyward before rolling back in his head and I watched helplessly as his body surrendered to unconsciousness, slipping into oblivion below the water’s surface.
And I knew that was it. That was how my boyfriend had died.