It should have been romantic, this sunset beach stroll. His back was to her as he stood, ankle-deep in the surf. Beyond him the pelicans flew low over the water as the sun set. But he collected shells along the beach like they were nuggets of gold. She had watched him study the circles of leftover life all day, the top of his head getting sunburned at noon.
She wore a wide-brimmed hat, even now, even as the sun slipped beyond the horizon. The hat was as practical now as the diaphragm she had tucked away in her suitcase, still untouched and sterile. She turned and walked back up the beach toward the hotel, she feet silent on the sand. She didn't look at him.