Some days the white powder and the liquor were all he had. Max sat in his bedroom with the polaroid photo of Lilly in his hands, the one he took of her with her arms stretched out under the baby-blue sky, grinning. She was grinning. It’s the last image he had of her before the accident at the lake.It’s the picture that represented those fragile moments, the one where she’s full of life, but Lilly's not full of life anymore. Is she? There was a part of him that died too when she slipped beneath the murky water.
The memory of the rope swing burned in his mind. Since Lilly had a great enthusiasm for life, she took chances. God, how she loved to take chances. The damn beer in her belly had weakened her judgement so she let go. She jumped.
He waited and waited and waited. He waited-waited for her to emerge from the water. At first, he thought she was playing with his head, pulling a trick. Oh, how he wished it was a devilish trick. Heart pounding, he was mumbling now, “Rise-Rise-Rise.”
But she didn’t. The lake remained still. On that 4th day of July, when the nation celebrated freedom, the river took them. It took both of them.
And that was the day he surrendered. He surrendered to the booze and the pills. He surrendered to all the junk.
And Max lingered there.