On a warm day in summertime a woman, a young woman not yet out of her twenties, walks along a deserted beach. A breeze from offshore tousles her hair. The woman does not mind. When you are strolling on the sand and warm breath tosses your hair, you embrace the feeling. Such a sensation is abandon. There is nothing to fear from it and everything to love.
In this moment the woman, in her new turquoise and lemon swimsuit, worn for the first time, lifts her arms up to the breeze to feel its soft fingers brush the fine hairs. Each gentle gust excites the hairs and sends a barely-felt shiver through her body.
She is alone. Sand, not yet heated above warm by the morning sun, rises and falls as she passes, pressed down by her feet and sent in tiny fans behind her. Grains cling to her skin and ride along with the her to join others further along the stretch of beach.
In the distance, far away, near the end of the sweep of sand, someone walks.
Unhurried, the person strolls along. There is a long flow of hair trailing behind the person in the rising and falling breeze. Light coloured, perhaps blonde, perhaps not. It is clearly a woman though her features are indistinct. She is strangely obscured as if she is blurred. An effect of the morning haze off the surf the woman thinks.
Three hundred metres, a little less maybe, they are moving closer to each other.
As the distance closes the woman sees that the other woman is no clearer. Her features remain enigmatic, seeming to shift with the wind that is rising now, in small increments, but rising.
Two hundred metres. Near enough to discern colours.
The other woman is wearing a swimsuit, a sort of green, no, blue, no, something in between. Speckles of colour, bright, a yellow of some kind, sprinkled among drifts of blue-green. Her face is no clearer. No features stand out but it is a calm face.
The woman’s hips have a very feminine roll as she walks. Every movement is so smooth as if she is flowing through the air, not just walking. She shimmers as she draws nearer.
One hundred metres. Near enough now to see all of her and yet her face shimmers and shifts as does her whole form. There is something about her the woman feels by instinct to be familiar. She knows her.
Fifty metres, twenty, five.
The woman stops. The other keeps moving, flowing ahead, unhurried but never hesitating.
Then the other is near enough to share breath.
And in a moment, in less time than it takes to draw half a breath, the woman in the turquoise and lemon swimsuit moves through her, into her. Light flows into her, and warmth.
She is filled with all the beauty and wonder of the universe. She sees the sea more clearly than she ever has. Blues, greens, glinting peaks of light and the shadows behind the breaking waves. The sand beneath her feet feels gritty and warm and so completely there. Her skin stretches over her muscles and bones as if each pore is sending a message to take in every last molecule of air. The wind blowing her hair makes her shiver down to her bones as it thrills every nerve in her head. Standing on a deserted beach, far from the rest of the world and all the other people in it, the woman feels new, reborn. All things are possible as they never seemed before. She feels the lushness of every breath that enters her body.
All thoughts of life before this moment fade. That she came here, to this place, today, to walk one last time into the surf, to disappear forever from this world and all of the pain it has held for her, it is gone.
She can begin again, has begun again, and the tears that travel down her cheeks and drop onto the sand, are no longer tears of pain. Now they are tears of the greatest joy.
Everything is new before her and anything is possible.
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This little story was going to be something so different but as I typed it flowed out like it wanted to be this way. It goes this way sometimes. It’s the first really complete story to appear here. I hope you enjoyed it. Oh, and it is as typed, right from my hands, no editing, so if there are holes or flaws, well, that’s first drafts for you. xx Elise.
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Thank you, Eastop for permission to use the beach image. It is exactly what I saw in my mind as I was writing the story, except from the other direction. ^_^