photograph by MorganLeFaye
Last Thursday, I published “The Journey Begins: Part One.” We left off where the woman was surrounded by fog that had always seemed to scare her. Here’s the rest of the story…
Ben loved foggy days and would have laughed at her fear. On those days they’d shared, he’d run ahead until she couldn’t see him and then jump out and scare her. When she complained, he stopped her words with a kiss.
She stood quietly for a second, letting the fog swirl around her. It amazed her that just thinking about Ben’s kisses still made her lips tingle.
God, she missed him so much. “How will I ever recover from this?” she asked herself.
Maybe this was how those you loved and lost haunted you; not by being misty ghosts, but by being memories that squeezed the life out of your heart and soul.
She looked towards the ocean and the rushing waves, focusing on the white foam. The tide was coming in, but the boats wouldn’t be out today. A storm was near; she could feel and smell it. She hadn’t always known these things about the ocean. Ben had taught her.
He’d always teased her about being the “city girl”. When they walked the beach together, he made a point of finding something new to share with her. With Ben, the beach became a beautiful, mysterious place full of new adventures waiting to be discovered.
Looking at the beach today, all she saw were broken shells at her feet. She was surrounded by fog and felt the chill of the incoming storm. It saddened her to think that by losing Ben, she might also lose her ability to see the beach’s beauty and mystery.
Stopping for a minute to dig her toes in the sand, out of the corner of her eye she saw something move. She turned to see what it was and the fog lifted for just a second to show her a single baby turtle slowly making its way to the water.
She looked around quickly, but could see no others. Either this was the first to escape its egg, or the last. Whichever, it was struggling desperately to reach its destination.
She knew not to disturb it and knelt down to watch it’s progress. This was the baby turtle’s journey and it had to do it alone. It seemed ages before its tiny flippers kissed the water. Then just as it moved forward, a wave insolently tossed it back onto the beach as if to say, “How dare you tiny creature attempt to enter my waters!”
The tiny turtle righted itself and began its journey all over again. Several tosses later, it finally slipped silently into the water and disappeared.
When it was gone, she fell back on the beach laughing with joy at the turtle’s success while thinking, “God has kissed me on the cheek.” That had been one of Ben’s favorite sayings. It meant that you had witnessed something wondrous and special – a gift from God.
At that moment, she wished more than anything that Ben could be there with her to share this. He would have loved watching the baby turtle. She wrapped her arms around herself and that sweater, breathing in Ben’s scent once again.
A thought occurred to her suddenly. Seeing the turtle was no accident. She knew in her heart that Ben had shown her this turtle. Just as he always had done when they walked the beach, he’d found something special to share with her.
The journey of this tiny turtle was his way of telling her that she too would make it through this difficult time. Like the turtle, she would keep righting herself and moving forward, even when waves tossed her back. And like the turtle, this was a journey she now had to make alone.
Somehow this awareness made her feel lighter and stronger. She continued to sit for awhile on the beach watching the water. Eventually she stood up, dusted the sand from her shorts and turned to walk back.
It was time to go home. She had a lot of packing to do. Her new journey was just beginning.
* * * * * *
How did you feel about the ending of this story?
Have you ever experienced something that seemed magical, like Ben showing her the turtle?
Part of this story actually happened to me, can you guess which part?
P.S. Publishing this story was a leap of faith for me and I thank all of you who read it and left comments of support and encouragement :~)
Recently, I discovered another fiction writer/blogger; Melissa of Black, White & Lace. I encourage you to read her stories. If you have some favorite fiction writers, let us know in the comment box:~)