… she walked along the shore, sea mist in her face, the rhythmic sound of the surf soothed and comforted her.
“When?” she asked …and sea birds cried, unseen.
She bent and scooped sand into her hand. Sand like sugar. Drifting through her fingers on an errant breeze going nowhere.
She climbed onto the pier and removed her shoes. The boards, gray and weathered, were silken and oddly warm. She bent and ran her fingers lightly across the old, worn wood. So real.
Thoughts like wisps of smoke wove through her mind. Am I as real as the old wood? Am I substance? Am I thought?
Sometimes she felt as though the world spun crazily out of control and left her at the gate. A spinning, garish carousel…she didn’t want to ride it anyway.
Questions asked. Time and again. “When?” And still the sea birds cried, unseen.
He stepped onto the pier. Soundless in the enveloping mist; hopeful.
Is she here? Has she waited for me?
The sound of wave upon shore soothed him. The unseen sea birds cried.
He removed his shoes and felt the old wood and soft sand beneath his feet...oddly warm. He pushed his hands deep into his coat pockets and began to walk out towards the end of the pier. As he approached the end he saw her… standing still, her hands deep within the pockets of her long, gray coat. Her feet were bare.
He approached her and for several heartbeats he stood in silence. Then he whispered her name.
He reached out his hands and caressed her shoulders. His fingers applying gentle pressure.
She let her head slowly tip backwards, and he stepped closer so that she could feel him and know that he was truly there. Her eyes were closed.
She could hear him breathing.
He leaned closer and pressed his face into her hair. A familiar smell. His stomach muscles tightened and he wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly.