Just The Heat
Everything in the jungle is wet, everything sticks to his skin. Even the god damn pillow feels like a sack of wheat that got dropped in the river, and Riley ends up throwing it on the floor every night. Turns on his side, considers the vacant spot beside him that was once filled with blonde hair, lithe limbs, sweet girl-sweat.
Watches the swarm of gnats pass in and out of the thick honey light that seeps into the flaps of his tent, cushions his head on his arm, tries not to remember the way the landing strip looked before he told the pilot to go.
Movement from the corner of his eye that he resolutely ignored. Her voice shrieking over the roar of the blades as the chopper rose, and it had been so easy to pretend he never saw her come. Never heard her shout.
Sometimes he even convinces himself that she never really came after him at all, and that's a lie he can live with. Easier to handle than the realization that he just didn't want to go back. Still doesn't. Would rather die here in the jungle, drown in the relentless waters.
Wipes the moisture from his face with the back of his arm, tells himself it's just the heat.
Riley. Vacant. Pillow.