She pushed herself until there was nothing left, nothing but her and the waves and the beach.
And her tears.
Hundreds of tears.
Tears that didn't stop no matter how much she rubbed at her eyes except now it was a mix of tears and the spray of salt water, salt she could taste when she licked her lips.
That's what it felt like kissing Johnny for the first time, the mix of salt and sand because it had been here, right on this beach.
And that was never going to happen again.
Olive wiped her cheeks, wiped away the salt and the tears and kept running because that's all she had left, was her running.
Even if she wouldn't be running in college, wouldn't be running in the state championships. So she ran here, on the beach, with the taste of Johnny on her lips and the burn in her stomach.
She touched her stomach with one hand, soft and tender, while the other kept pumping, kept pushing. It wasn't a bad kind of burning. Olive had been worried at first, but the doctor told her she'd be fine, just make sure her heart-rate stayed down and she didn't push herself too hard.
Olive had thought that'd be easy. She'd been wrong.
She grew up pushing herself, because that's how she survived, that's how she got the scholarship, how she convinced her mother that she deserved to be special, to be loved.
Now the baby wouldn't let her push herself. Now her mother didn't see her as something special anymore.
Olive dodged around the giant lumps of wood, twisted tree trunks bigger than Johnny's Mustang as she made her way back to the stairs. She'd stay out here running all day if she could because for this hour and this hour alone, her head cleared and she could see again, hear again.