Secret Raging Storms

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
As several families are on vacation at the beach, they wear a mask on the outside to hide the pain on the inside.

Submitted: January 27, 2012

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Submitted: January 27, 2012



It was a bright morning in early April. The beach was crowded with tourist. A young girl in her late teens walked through the sand, absentmindedly watching some children build a sandcastle. A sudden overwhelming melancholy feeling washed over her like a crashing wave. She paused to watch the children play. She couldn't stop herself from wondering how old the children were. One girl in particular looked about three years old. Her pigtails blew wildly in the wind as she filled a bucket with sand. Her eyes left the little girl and she continued to walk along the beach. She let her mind drift back to another time and place. She herself had once been a mother to be. She remembered the fear and the pain. She was young and didn't think she could handle raising a child. She did what she thought was the only option. She turned and looked over her shoulders once again at the little girl. The girl looked up and flashed a big grin. Then she went back to her play with joyous laughter. Turning quickly away, the teenage girl continued her walk and didn't look back again. She forced a smile to fight back the tears.

At the time, aborting the baby had seemed like the right thing to do. Now it was a regret she couldn't stop thinking about. She wondered what her child would have looked like and what its personality would have been. She pictured her little toddler splashing in the waves. She blinked and there was nothing there but sea foam. She walked past another family. A mother sat on a towel and watched her two children, a son and a daughter, as they played in the water. The girl patted the water with her little chubby fingers and squealed with delight as each wave splashed up against her. The boy seemed lost in his own imaginary world as he talked to himself, oblivious to the world around him.

She looked at the mother who seemed completely content just to watch her children play. A wave of jealousy came over the teenage girl as she watched the mother. She wanted what the mother had: children and having the opportunity to watch them play at the beach. As she passed the family, she looked again at the ocean and the crashing waves her child would never get to play in. Once she was well passed the family, she whispered, "I want what you have".

. . .

The mother whom the teenage girl just passed sat on the beach watching her children. It brought tears to her eyes to see her children so innocent and unaware of the situation they were in. Since her husband had left her, the single mother had been unable to find a job. Putting food on the table was a daily struggle. She hadn't told her children that their father wasn't coming back. She hoped by taking the to the beach, they would have a great day and the news might be a little more bearable. She fidgeted with the edge of her towel as she tried to decide in her mind how she would tell them. She never thought she would have to do this. She felt as if her whole world was crashing down around her. She wished she could make things go back to the way they were.

She remembered the love she had once shared with her husband. She fought back tears as she watched a couple holding hands as they walked by her. Only a few years ago that had been her and him until finances got to be a problem. It took everything she had to feed her family. She tried not to think that they might lose their house. But with her husband gone, she didn't have any way to pay the bills.

She stood up and told her children it was time to have some lunch. They both protested but the mother took them by their hands and led them away from the water. She promised them they could come back again after lunch. The boy accepted this and began showing his mother the seashells he had collected. The girl was still unwilling to leave and began to cry. As they were walking, a family caught the mother's eyes. There was a mother, and a father, and a daughter. The parents were laughing together and having a good time as the daughter came running to ask them to play with her. The three of them ran into the crashing waves as the daughter jumped and laughed with joy. The single mother looked at her two children, both so young and unaware of their father's absence. She looked over her shoulder at the family and thought to herself I want what you have.

. . .

The mother and her two children left the beach. Meanwhile, the family they had passed continued to play in the water. The little girl laughed and smiled as she jumped over each wave. Her mother smiled back at her. Her father ran his fingers through the girl's short hair. He remembered when the girl had beautiful blond long hair. She had taken pride in its long length. The medicine made her hair short but it didn't take the twinkle out of her eye. She's so full of joy thought the mother even when she is sick. It had been a long year since the girl's diagnosis with cancer. It hurt the girl's mother to watch her daughter go through something like this. She knew what the doctor had said. This might be the family's last vacation together. The girl had battled cancer for two years and the doctor gave her three months. The mother's lip started trembling as she thought about losing the girl. Her husband put his arm around her and with their daughter's joyous laughter in the background, he whispered, "We're going to be okay." She smiled bravely for him and tried not to show her fear in front of the girl. Her fear was unbearable but she whispered a prayer of thanks for the six years she had spent with the little girl.

The family left the beach and went to a souvineer shop. The girl danced around the shop, still lost in the experience of seeing the ocean for the first time. She talked on and on about watching dolphins jump from the water. Finding what they needed, they went to the checkout. The cashier was on the phone telling someone about her daughter's graduation. She was still on the phone as she checked out the family's items, talking in full detail about everything from the decorations to the ceremony. The little girl's mother held it in and forced a smile. She looked at her little girl, so young and sweet, who would never graduate. She'll never have a graduation ceremony thought the mother. She'll never even have a seventh birthday party. All she wanted to do was see her daughter graduate. As they left the shop, she said in a whispered voice that only she could hear, "I want what you have."

. . .

After the family left, the cashier pulled out a photograph of a young girl wearing a cap and gown. She smiled as she thought about what a wonderful young lady her daughter had become. She felt a tear roll down her cheek as she thought about her son. Her son and her daughter had been twins. She closed her eyes and remembered the day of the car accident and the sleepless nights that followed. She remembered the funeral and how her life was forever changed. It had been a beautiful ceremony and she was happy for her daughter but the whole experience had bitter-sweet. He should have been there, she thought to herself.

Just then, a teenage girl walked in. It was the same girl who earlier that morning had been walking on the beach regreting her baby's abortion. The girl walked around a little and picked out a few items. She took them to the checkout. "How are you doing today?" asked the cashier.

"Good. How are you?"

"Good. I'm just fine."

And so the two of them went on their seperate ways. They smiled but it was only a mask to hide the storm they battled every day.

© Copyright 2019 Rose Moxley. All rights reserved.

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