Dipping below the horizon, the sun’s last rays sliced the ocean into pieces, as though each beam were its own laser. She gazed upon the waves in the distance, imagining the reef teaming with hungry predators looking for a meal.
Temporarily distracted by the melody of crashing waves and sifting sand, the young widow approached the water’s edge with caution. How long had it been since she was last here? How long since she’d last felt the chilling Atlantic on her toes?
Everything transformed at this hour; day into night, tranquility into chaos, beauty into despair and security into danger. Her flight was set to leave in the morning, the last of her things packed for the big move. It was agonizing to stay here, confined within the city they’d built their home. A home that was a prison without him.
This place used to be her security; a place of true serenity among a city consumed by chaos. That was before the accident, before life as she knew it crumbled before her very eyes.
It was a picture perfect scene from any old film. Blue skies, not a cloud in the sky. Among a dozen others, the young newlyweds took to the water following crazed hours at the office. This place wasn’t quite home, but the ocean view was helpful with the transition.
But someone had decided to start happy hour early across town. One simple mistake.
The collision only lasted a second, but that’s all it took. After a beautiful afternoon together, one life was cut short and the other hung in the balance.
Tears fell as the memory of waking up in the hospital evaded her mind. The images of people filing in, offering condolences and hugs. She didn’t remember who’d told her of her husband’s fate, only that she’d been paralyzed with shock. She didn’t want to know the fate of the drunk, though they told her anyway. He was just fine.
What once was a beacon of peace transformed into something ugly. Something poisoned by the aftermath of that perfect afternoon. But she was choosing to no longer be crippled by this city and its beachfront. Everything was packed, everything was ready.
All she needed to do was let go.
And let go she did.
© by Amber L Hoppa, November 2015