Listen to the Sea by Roger Woodcock

They had come to celebrate; a weekend by the sea, a few hours to soak up the news they had waited so long for.

She sits alone now, watching the tide rolling in, long, lazy waves flopping onto the deserted beach. In the hissing foam she thinks she sees Jerry again, his excited voice bouncing around like an endless loop inside her head.

They had tried to save him, mouth to mouth there on the wet, clinging sand. The young paramedic had risen from the inert body, his voice soft against her skin. `It's bad news I`m afraid.` But she knew he had gone. She`d watched as they loaded him into the waiting ambulance, water dripping from his lifeless frame. They had asked her if she wanted to follow them to the hospital. She had nodded, mute, shocked beyond imagining at her inconsolable loss.

`We have done it at last!` he had cried, gently kissing her salty lips before plunging into the crashing waves. She`d watched as he struck out, his body rising and falling in the swell. She remembered his grin, the cheery wave as he turned on his back, his arms pulling him lazily through the churning water. But then, suddenly, he was gone, no more than a tiny pin prick on the vast expanse of ocean.

She gathers up her things and puts them in her rucksack. She will not come again, listen to the sea, let her mind be battered by what might have been. She will stop at the cemetery, put some flowers on his grave, swear at the brooding sky. Then she will go home, wait patiently at the school gates, pick up the child he will never see, wipe the tears from eyes that can never forget.

Selected - Weekly Write - Week 10

Published in Issue #27

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