Ocean (Short Story)

Her car seemed to drive itself as she looked out to the horizon and feeling like she was somewhere close to nowhere.  Alicia remembered moments from her childhood when her mother told her that what she sees and feels can not be bothered with and should be stuffed way deep down inside.  Not that her mother was an authority because she spent her life trying to convince herself that everything was according to God’s plan.  What plan that is, who really knows?  Her mother could not explain it and only told her to have faith and get on her knees and pray.  But, Alicia grew tired of listening to the empty silence in her head.  As the drive wore on her mind still wandered critiquing all the days events and wondering if all simple choices lead up to the same end.  She turned the radio off and rolled down the windows.  The smell of the ocean air filtered in and brought her mind back to reality and away from the monotonous sound of the tires on the road.

She slowed when everything began to look familiar around her.  It was as if time had stood still for a century and the rocky cliffs and the beach slowly sank into a fantasy that she would never touch.  She turned the car into a parking lot with a huge brown sign saying “Overlook.”

She parked the car and locked the doors behind her as she soaked in the sounds of the ocean and felt the sharp rocks pushing through her flimsy flip flops.  For the moment she felt lost creating a memory and hoped not to wake up for reality can always wait.  She looked around and saw him in the distance.  He had his back turned away from her as he stared out into the water.  He looked lost in thought and made no movement as the tide came in closer to him he never looked up.  Even when she sat along the beach beside him he never looked up he couldn’t conceive what her presence meant.

In the past she would sit content imagining all the different scenarios of what would happen next.  Her fantasy would occupy her time as she watched the clouds pass along the ocean waves.  She tried to not ask too many questions and just live in the moment.  But, today was different.  Something inside her had changed and she could not just let it be.  Almost like the need to peel off the scab of a festering wound.  She wanted to pull it off and let the raw pain comfort her for awhile.  The thoughts that kept circling in her mind reminding her that she was just a touch out of reality.

After awhile she became restless as she became impatient for him to notice her.  She got up and walked up behind him and wrapped her arms tight around his waist.  “Hey” came from her lips as she brushed them against his shoulder.  The smell of his skin brought back the memory of when they first met and she lingered as if to consume all its essence.  He took her hands and pushed them away.  In an irritated voice he grunted “get off me.”

She stood back for a moment trying to cover up her hurt.  Her head dropped and she put her hands into her pockets.  Looking down because she was afraid to look up into his eyes.  He only muttered, “You need to go, now!” She could feel his eyes piercing through her.  It seemed to hold her as she tried to look away.

Most times she wasn’t surprised by the pain he inflicted upon her.  But today was different and she collapsed onto her knees letting the waves splash against her thighs.  Looking up at the sky her mind carried her home.  Visions of people and places she’s never been.  Faces of those that haunt her.  They laugh because they know that she will break someday.

Her dreams can’t save her nor the pictures she creates.  A world she can’t touch but sitting in a world she hates.   It holds her within it’s grip slowly drowning her soul in a false world of fragmented dreams.  Nothing can save her because it’s only in her head.

The night fades into the light and there is no distinction.  Eternity becomes short and her laughter is only heard through tears.  Nothing to rescue because nothing is left.  He will be gone in the morning with no trace left.  She will remain alone in a myriad of her thoughts and dreams.

Irritated that she is still there he gruffly says “‘Get up! It’s time to go!” No emotion in his voice or on his face.  He was done and she pinched her arm hoping to find that she had fallen asleep.  But, wide awake and following his command she gathered herself up and dusted off the sand.  Her hair in tangles she pulls it back.   She climbs up the rocks to see him in the distance.  He still sits alone and deep in thought.

She knew he let her go a long time ago.  She envied that he never lost anything he was still the whole person he started out to be.  Inside her she had changed.  A feeling to let go and knowing it will never return.  Sadness filled her heart as she threw away the best part of herself and buried it deeply in the sand.

No regret or tears walking away without a last glance.  She held onto a stray piece of hope that  he would follow her.  He let her go and never looked back.  There was no big dramatic exit or last words to say.

Only the sound of laughter in her head; voices of the past reaffirming the fact that aloneness is her fate. She knew what she was leaving behind was reality, her fantasy was her own choice.  Alone in her dreams is where she would stay.  Her bliss was found and her loneliness would never fade.  Love was not something to receive but an ideal to attain in her heart and head.

She turned around one last time and noticed he was gone.  The only thing that remained was a simple cross on the sand.  The tears could not be held back as she finished reliving the last memory she had of him.   She remembered the day when his body was lowered into the ground.   This was the moment that her fantasy took over her mind because she refused to believe his spirit was bound by the coffin and thrown into heaven.

For rest he would not find nor peace in his grave.  Nothing was left of him but the memory in her head.   One day she will come and let the ocean swallow her up where she will gradually fade away with him into the abyss.

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