“Pebbles are probably the most perfect things I’ve ever seen—don’t you think, Sash?”
Sash’s head is almost three feet below sea level as she violently digs, consumed by absolute joy. Adam knows that she’s ignoring him, but continues talking.
“They’re like rocks that refused to become sand because they’re too beautiful. Have you ever seen anything so smooth in nature? So round? So delicate in your hands, but so unable to be crushed. I don’t know, Sash, there’s just something about pebbles for me.”
Sash barks and bounds around the perimeter of her creation.
Pebbles plop into the sea as Adam lets go of them, one after the other. He watches them disappear into the inky blue and wonders where they might end up. In his mind he follows them and they go on a journey through dimensions hidden in the ocean.
“They’re wormholes,” Adam whispers, and Sash nudges him to throw the ball.
Have you ever laid upon the end of a jetty at high tide while smoking a spliff? Well, Charlie has. In fact, Charlie does this pretty much every evening. The smoke dances in the air like something demented and twisted—you wouldn’t trust it if you didn’t know what it was—and the sea splashes delicately upon Charlie’s face while politely missing the spliff.
I wonder what would happen if the sea properly got me and put my spliff out.
Charlie never takes a lighter to the beach. The spliff is always lit at home before Charlie walks down the hill to the beach, along the jetty to their spot.
Sunsets leak into pastel pinks, purples, and oranges almost every evening at this time of year. Through the haze of the spliff the sky looks even more magnificent, like a candyfloss collage of colours. Charlie smiles. This is it.
Her feet pummel into the sand one after the other as she runs across the golden stretch, quicker than she has ever run before. Salty air brushes through her hair and across her freckled cheeks. It feels like forever; she is infinite.
But there is the edge, and at the edge there is nothing but the lapping of the waves at her toes, and the reminder that he is gone. Sophie’s eyes meet the horizon with a sparkling sense of contempt. Sunrays dance upon the rippling of the waves, just like the way he moved with her mother in the dining room after dinner on a Sunday. Blinking away tears, she screams into the ocean.
She knows he is no longer swimming beneath, but she hopes he heard her.
© 2020 Kirsty Louise Farley
Kirsty-Louise is a published author and poet with a BA hons in English Literature. Working as a Secondary English Teacher, dog walks on the coast, and reading books pass her time in Ramsgate & Margate.