"Ocean"

A 2016 Flash Fiction Contest Winner: Cowley Student

You stand and call to the ocean. Only persistent waves reply, lapping at your toes that are sinking into the sand. There is no voice. No voice that you swore you fell in love with, no body that you touched with your own two hands. There is no one. You call again. It is late and the sky is dark, so you are alone, save for the occasional small creatures that will scuttle past you. You should not be here.

You should be home, watching television or working; but you are not. You stare farther into the horizon, a shade of black overlapping an even darker black. Perhaps if you stare hard and long enough, you will see who you are calling to. Perhaps they will even see you. Even that would be enough. Where is the person that made you fall in love harder than the crashing waves on a stormy day?

The answer is simple; they are not here.

The city behind you glows a tempting gold. How easy it would be to turn around and go home. Yet again, how easy it would be to take a few more steps and be embraced by the ocean. Maybe then the two of you would join again. The rusty pearl ring sits heavy on your finger, and you twist it nervously. It’s time to go home. You will come back tomorrow, you promise yourself, then turn and tell that to the water.

“I’ll be back tomorrow,” you say, loud enough to ensure it hears you.

You turn away and walk up the beach. Your footprints remain, even when the water washes over them. Something or someone wants to keep them like a picture in a picture frame.

You’re gone, and the ocean calls for you.