Alexandra undid her hair and let it fall long down all around her shoulders. She hadn't done so any time recently and so she hadn't known it had grown so, and it was curlier than she remembered. When she had been a kid, she thought, she had hated the curliness. She had just hated it. Big thick curly hair. How had it grown so long? When?
She must not have noticed, somehow. It wasn't always that she would stand in front of the mirror looking at herself. Most days she was rushing to work. She had on jeans but no top, just her bra. Was Kyle going to take her out to dinner? Because if so, she would need something nicer than a t-shirt. She might bring a nice sweater that she could put on later, if needed. She looked at her neck. It had always been particularly attractive, the way the muscles strained under the skin. It made her think of one night, with Kyle, somewhere traveling. She didn't have a tan anymore.
Her fiance, Kyle, came out of the bathroom without a shirt on. He walked around her to reach his dresser and pulled out a t-shirt, and he looked at her. She put on the t-shirt that she had pulled out of the drawer several minutes earlier, when she had not known whether to wear it or a nicer blouse. "Do you want to bring a sweater?" She asked. "You could bring that green one."
She noticed as she said it that he had a pull-over hoodie laid out on the bed, and she thought, no fancy dinner. He got out the nice green sweater and looked at it as if he were unsure of wearing it, but he took it along with him regardless and they went out to her car and drove away.
She opened the window and let the wind blow her hair around. In passing, desire touched her gently in the stomach: Kyle making love to her in the sand on the beach. It was distant and unreal, and she knew she wouldn't like it if it were to really happen. They still were intimate, it wasn't as if the weren't. It was only that she was having trouble with it. It didn't matter, really. She wanted him to feel good, that made everything worth it. Whatever was bothering her, it would pass.
Kyle had picked out the beach because it was supposed to be remote. But when they arrived, the parking lot was full and people were everywhere. "Wow. There's a lot of people here," she said. "What the fuck," he said at the same time. "What's going on?"
He parked and they walked down the little trail. Almost immediately they could see what had drawn all of the people. What looked at first like giant black fish covered the beach. "Whales," Alexandra thought, and her eyesight blurred. The people were bringing buckets over to the whales and pouring water on them. Several of the whales had blankets covering them. "They're trying to save them. Pouring water on them," Kyle said. He went down to the beach, feeling sick and light.
The rescuers had given him a bucket and asked him to help. He was carrying his first load water from the ocean when he realized that Alexandra wasn't anywhere around. Not seeing her anywhere on the beach, he looked up. There she was, up on the cliff, just a shadowy silhouette looking down. Her arms were folded across her chest, tight like it was to protect herself. The wind blew her hair around like invisible hands were pulling the strands out and up into the sky. He couldn't see her face, but he knew she was crying and he wondered, troubled, if she would be happy someday soon.