In the shallows, the water laps gently against my waist. The cool dampness of the pre-dawn ocean, it’s a sensation that grounds me in the moment. For the first time in two weeks I’m finally in the present. I can actually feel the soft wind against my cheeks, the caressing touch of wet sand shifting and sliding between my toes. 

The ocean is courteous this morning. There are no waves, no clouds. Yet the idyllic scene is disturbed by an inconsistent drip-dripping. Tears roll down my exposed face, the breeze marking their trail with an icy wetness. 

This place is so beautiful – it’s like it’s mocking me. Nature, reminding me that, while you’re gone, it remains, as gorgeous as ever. Nature knows that I’ve been drowning these past two weeks, each wave dumping me beneath the surface, the saltwater filling my lungs and scarring my throat on the way down; and just as I think I can finally float above water, the monster drags me under again. 

Now, the ocean is still. 

I know that it’s going to take me time. Some days I’ll feel peace and believe that everything will be okay; other days I’ll be thrown overboard once again to battle and fight against the crushing tide. 

And one of those days I might give up.

But I’ve survived the two worst weeks of my life, I’ll try to live just one more day. 

For you.

That’s what you would want. 

I let the small wooden box rest on the waves. It floats. 

I don’t think I can bring myself to let it go – it’s the only piece of you I have left. 

The box belongs with me.

Tears fall thick and fast and I think that if I don’t move soon I’ll raise the water level just enough to drown myself. 

Memories of surfboards, coral reefs, beach towels, snorkels, flippers, and you – smiling in all of them – flood my mind. 

Maybe you belonged in my arms.

But I have to say goodbye. 

Now the ocean is where you belong.

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Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
7 months ago

This is a powerful story, Alex. I could feel the pain of the protagonist. The description of the water and the tears was beautifully done. Great work!

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Hi Alex and welcome to Voice.club. This story is beautifully and sensitively written, but so heartbreaking too. Another one in this competition that has made me feel quite emotional. Well done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

Hello, Alex. Welcome to voice club. It’s touching. My tears flowed down as I read this, especially your second to the last paragraph, “But I have to say goodbye”. I can feel the sadness and grief of your protagonist. Well done.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
7 months ago

Alex, this is such a sensitive, heartfelt story. At first I was wondering why your protagonist felt the way he/she did, but you brought it all together nicely in the end with the memories flooding back and not wanting to let go of the wooden box. You explained the feeling of such great loss so well in your story.

Daniel Onchoka
Daniel Onchoka(@daniel-onchoka)
7 months ago

This is a very beautiful story. In both its telling and the theme it explores.

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