She had never been lonelier, never more blue. When you are the surviving girlfriend and a teenager you are no one. His family didn't really know her. She imagined they were suspicious of her for slipping into his silence with him (both his parents were hearing and had swum with him in this dark pool long before she joined him). Sometimes she thought of really joining him, getting up from the bleached log and all its familar warts and eyes, walking the five feet along the gravelly sand and wading into the water until she sank like a stone, until she too could hear nothing but the roar of the sea within.

Like the girl on the Pacific shore tries to decipher the voice of her mother in the roar.

Already she was deaf to so much. In the cafeteria in the days after she would see the eyes upon her, see the lips move, the tears and the laughter, the fright and disdain. Yet she heard nothing. It was the same when she sat at the boatlaunch, watching empty voices shout and hearing nothing. It was as if she were underwater (she was not unaware of these ironies, or their commonplace, she was a bright girl, his family liked her, her own family worried about her). She was a minor character.

Sometimes she imagined she had a friend, another girl, who understood. They stood near the dark lip of water, their shoulders barely touching, their eyes like searchlights, listening within.