Beachcombing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Rediscovering yourself at the end of the relationship

Submitted: November 24, 2015

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Submitted: November 24, 2015

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He was a seashell, new and pristine, only having just washed up from the depths of the ocean. Confidence carried his head in a manner similar to how a new shell sits upright, poking through the sand and surf. His smile carried in it a brooding mystery, much as the textures of a shell carry the untold story of its origin.

She was anything that she wanted to be. It seemed as though she carried with her the entire force of the ocean. She was so powerful she picked up his heart and carried it away in a riptide strong enough to close the beach down. Yet, at the same time, she held that illustrious radiance only found on a western facing beach in the closing minutes of the day when the sun dances with the sand and winks at the waves. It was this glow that got him.

He was in love. He didn't really know how it happened. He couldn't really tell you the moment it happened. But it had. He wanted to give everything he had to her. He was infatuated with her. She engulfed him. The waves seemed to hammer the shell in a brilliant display of nature, crushing up the once pristine object until it crumbled and became mixed in with sandy shoreline. And he loved it. He loved being one with her: it fueled him to know her thoughts and musings, fears and fantasies. Over time, his fractured shell bits became deeper entangled with her sand. Take a big handful of sand on a beach day in July and you could no longer tell where he stopped and she started. That was the moment he found love.

But in another moment, it was over. Just as an afternoon's high tide turns low and creeps back into the ocean, their love crept away from them. They got up and walked off in their own directions, leaving each other like wet sand left to dry in the moonlight. He gave himself wholly to being part of them; now it was back to being he. Except it doesn't work like that. Once a shell erodes into the beach, it never can become a shell again. It succumbs to the power of the ocean, allowing the water's force to ceaselessly break it down until it is nothing but one with the sand. He was left to try and sift out his shell bits from her sand, knowing the impossibility of his task. For he was no longer a he; he was part of them. They were one and the same. Sand mixed with sand. While it seems easy enough to revert back to being he, those who have tried to reclaim their own shells on the lonely stretches of beach found beyond the tourists, in the shadows of the lighthouses, know that you can never separate your sand from her sand.

However, just as a bottle of sand on the mantle taken as a childhood souvenir can never approach the majesty of the beach, it wouldn't matter even if he could. His sand just isn't the same without hers.


~JJS


© Copyright 2018 JJS. All rights reserved.

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