Samuel opened his eyes. The ceiling fan whirring loudly above the bed did little to cut the heat and humidity. After three months...two incredibly short months and one agonizingly long one...he still could not get used to the oppressive and relentless Thai weather.
He looked over at his wife, Khun Noy. Only, she announced last night she would no longer be his wife. She could not get used to the American lifestyle; he, despite what he considered his valiant efforts, get could not get used to the Thai culture. Two months of doing the tourist-y things had been fun, but once he really had to live there...well, he was not capable of doing it. He also could no longer stand the weather. Holy crap, the persistent endless hot and humid weather. And no matter how much he admitted defeat and begged the weather to let up a bit...well, it didn't.
Samuel stood up. He walked to the bathroom, grabbed a towel and wiped the sheen of sweat off of his body. He put on a t-shirt. The sun streamed through the window and he heard the Thai national anthem broadcasting on a radio. This is how he knew it was seven a.m. Samuel walked out the front door and closed it behind him. He went for a little walk down to the beach, and once he got to the beach, he walked along the beach.
When the sun truly came up and the heat rose rapidly, Samuel walked into the water. He had forgotten how good it felt to be in the sea water. He decided he would take a little swim. As he swam, he remembered how he met Khun Noy at a business conference in Bangkok and how he was instantly captivated by her mysterious smile and luminous beauty. She evidently soon had similar feelings for him. They were married after only four months.
Then came the disastrous time in America. He should have known that a city girl from a foreign...very foreign...country could not adjust to life in a rural Texas town. Even most American city girls have difficulty doing that.
Once they had enough money saved up, they moved to Thailand, and the problems she had in America, he had in Thailand. Not exactly the same problems, of course, but close enough.
Then Samuel thought back to his college days, and to Marina, the girl he could have, and realized now, should have, married, but he thought he was too young to get married and 'tied down'. What an idiot I was, he thought. I lost the girl I truly loved, who should have been the one and only love of my life, because of my own stupidity.
He kept thinking about the past as he swam. He swam through his high school days when he was the best basketball player on his team. A team that lost twice as many games as it won, but still. He swam through his middle school days, remembering his first girlfriend and how some people called him brace-face due to the fact he was the first in his class to get braces. He swam through his elementary school days, remembering his first, and really only ever, best friend, who got killed in Afghanistan protecting America and Americans from...the Taliban? Terrorism in general? He remembered how, on the first day of kindergarten, he shouted to his dad, "I want to stay with my mommy!" right before his dad pulled him off her leg.
He swam through so many memories, such as the first time he got drunk and the first time he got high and his first date and the teachers he absolutely hated and the very few he truly liked. He remembered going to the University of Florida and all the good and bad times there. The memories flooded over him.
Samuel turned around and looked towards the beach, which he could no longer see. He took some preliminary strokes back towards the beach. Then he turned back around and continued swimming out into the sea. Goodbye, cruel world, he thought, and laughed to himself. Not too long after this, he swam into a bloom of jellyfish.
They never found his body.
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 16, 2021:
Such a sad story for him to just give up his own life.
Especially after the struggles he made to have a better life.
There will always be people who cannot handle things, but she ultimately didn't love him...it wasn't the struggle.
Kurt Frazier Sr from Mobile, Al on April 16, 2021:
That was a sad story that unfortunately is often lived by too many people. It brought back memories of the past for me.