The sand is cold under my toes but I’m determined to see this thing through. To walk along the Pacific, listening to the waves, watching the surfers fight their delicate battles. Alone doesn’t feel so alone when you’re looking at the ocean. The seagulls soar and the sandpipers scurry away.
It’s a singular dance, surfer and board. They make it look easy. Even when the waves beat them, they still look cool. You can’t feel their panic standing on the shore. Unless you’ve been there yourself. Unless you know how it feels for the shifting current to crush your hope.
I grip the phone, wondering what I will say. How do you start something new when the road is long, and you’ve traveled so far, and why are there no instructions? No guidelines for how this should go.
The tide is high and there are piles of rocks to get past. But when you stand on top of the mound and the fading sunlight hits them just right, it’s the most beautiful shot of the day. Sunsets and surfers have nothing on the natural disorder of rocks upon rocks in the waning moments of day, reflecting every color and hue.
The phone never rings. I slip my flip flops back on and head for the car. Her voice will find me, soon enough. By then, maybe I’ll know what the hell to say.
Mary Lynn Reed’s fiction has appeared in Mississippi Review, Colorado Review, The MacGuffin, and many other places. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She lives in upstate New York with her wife, and together they co-edit the online literary journal MoonPark Review.