Beyond the Beach

June 7, 2008
By Jennifer Kuo, Richmond, CA

The sand swallowed up my feet as I stepped onto the cooling grains. Refreshing wind whipped past my face, cold against my skin.
I had no idea how I ended up here. Was it the sound of the seagulls cawing overhead? Or was it the salty smell of the ocean, the roar of the incoming tide?
My hands trembled. They were stained with dried red.
What had happened? I could hardly recall the past hour, let alone what had transpired earlier today. I felt empty.
Above, the seagulls wheeled around, diving every now and then to catch a leaping fish in their yellow beaks.
This beach had been his favorite place…I think. Maybe that was the reason why I came here.
Yes, that made sense.
But what was his name? Charles…no, Jacob certainly rang a bell.
The incoming tide came and receded, leaving behind a heart-shaped stone. I bent down to pick it up, but the item immediately crumbled as soon as I touched it.
Memories immediately flooded my mind. As I observed the scenery, the ocean and the tiny monuments, I realized the truth.
This had been our special place. His name was not Jacob, but Jason. He had…
He had planned to propose to me on this beach. The place where we had first met. Only, I had had no idea about his plans back then. Last year. I had foolishly told him that I had an important meeting at my work. I had told him that he would have to postpone the date.
It was my fault. I was guilty for that accident. His accident. A police officer had been the one to hand me that diamond ring.
My hands still trembled. In a shaky voice, I whispered, “Jason, if you can hear me, I will marry you.”
The sun was disappeared past the descending mountain range in the distance.
A reassuring hand touched my face.
“You’re late.”
He only smiled and extended a hand towards me.
"Welcome home."
I took it, and together we raced into the crashing waves.
A bright portal swallowed our bodies.
Not too far from the beach, a crooked tree was attracting the attention of innocent passersby.

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