Midnight Mondays

I come alive in the middle of the night. The waves are crashing a few feet away and my forehead is buried in the sand.
“Kris,” I murmur, “Kristen wake up.” She stirs, her body shifting. We’re huddled together against the cold, a towel beneath us and two blankets on top. An empty bottle of Pinot Noir is stuck in the sand beside our heads. My phone is wedged between my ribs and the towel; I nudge it out and the screen comes to life, showing me a map of the constellations I had been studying before I fell asleep. Betelgeuse and Gemini stare at me from the lit-up screen.
“It’s past midnight,” I say, “I fell asleep.”
“Me too,” she says, and rolls over, pulling the blanket away from my right knee. “We’d better get going.”
There’s no one on the beach now, no one in sight. We slowly roll to our knees and then our feet, folding the blankets as we shiver, trudging through the sand in our boots. We reach the bike path and I look back at the ocean, the waves crashing and pulling back just like before, just like we had never left. The stars beam down at us, an ocean of twinkling light. We never found Scorpio or Libra but we’d searched, tilting our phones this way and that, falling asleep somewhere between Sirius and Ursa Major. Next time, I say to them as we climb into our car, the closing of the doors shutting us off from the crash of the waves, the glow of the moon. Until next time.

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