Sea Glass

October 4, 2011
By , Cortland, NY
We’re sitting on the cold shore combing the sand around us looking for sea glass. It’s windy, and the cool mist coming off the waves feels cold and sticky. We’re bundled up in all our layers, and he gently touches my face and kisses my lips. His gray and gold eyes stare deep into mine, and I feel him looking straight into my heart.
The brilliant rays of purple, gold and a deep pink and orange start to fade as the sun finishes setting. We stand up, wipe the sand off our pants and start walking to the parking lot of the beach. I take a deep breath and smell the salt and seaweed crawling in with the tide.
On our walk home, he holds my hand, and not much is said. I feel the tears start to slowly flow down my cheeks, I don’t want to leave. I think that we both feel that if either of us talks one or both of us will burst into tears. We walk slowly to save the moments, to savor the time we have together, knowing that soon those moments will just be memories. The trees seem to make a tunnel, surrounding and isolating us in our own little world.
When we get back to my beach house, we take the sea glass that we found this evening and put it in my jar. I’ve been collecting sea glass ever since the first summer we came to the Cape, and this summer we made it our personal mission to find as much sea glass as we could. “It’s almost halfway filled,” he remarks, as I look at the tiny pieces filling the jar. There must have been at least a hundred pieces in there, all of them different colors. I suppose that if I had counted them, there would have been just as many as the days we have spent together, and the nights we have talked on the phone. Finally I knew it was time for him to go. We looked up at each other, trapped into each other’s eyes. Then when he hugged me I felt the tears start again, I never wanted to let go. He kissed my forehead softly, with a final goodbye, and left as quickly as it seemed our relationship had begun. I put the last piece of sea glass into the jar and sunk down to the floor, weeping and crying uncontrollably. I decided that was the last time I would ever touch a piece of sea glass.
I look up again at the jar once I am done crying and make a realization. Each piece of glass is a different color. I decide that they represent the ordinary days filled with insight and love. They are the most frequent ones, the everyday ones. I notice that I put in a green one today. It is a day like today that we shared together that the green ones represent. The green ones frosted with white specks represent the days in which one of us was upset and confided in the other. Although there are only a few, there are some and they’re big. I think those are the ones that helped the relationship grow the most. The white pieces are the biggest and the shiniest. They reflect the time one of us accomplished something or was really happy about something. Like the time when my parents decided to stay on Cape for another month, or the time he won the sailing competition, and yet there are so many that I can’t remember which each one represents. There are so few dark-brown ones. Those have the sharpest edges and cut your fingertips whenever you touch them. They cause tears and hurt. They’re the ex-girlfriends, the not-too-long-ago crushes, the jealousy, the fights, and the knowing that I would soon be leaving. They are the painful parts of our relationship that would never go away, but luckily they have become smoother overtime.
There is only one brilliant bluish-purple piece of glass. It is very small, and I know exactly what it represents. It is the first time he said those three words that before that night were just tossed around and used carelessly by other guys I had been with. It represents the time when he looked deep into my eyes, brushed back my hair and told me that he loved me.
All of the pieces of sea glass are strong. No matter how hard you try (and people have tried), they won’t break. They may get smoother, maybe a little stronger, but so do all memories. They are strong and will always be there and will never be lost.
Then there’s a big rock, a big pink rock in the shape of a heart, down at the bottom. Its shape represents exactly what it is. It’s our hearts, with all the sea glass and memories and good or bad times piled on top. Our small, pink hearts, learning about each other and ourselves, piling little green days on top of big white ones, avoiding the sharp brown ones and trying to find another blue one. It’s our hearts, the ones that have grown to love each other. The ones that have spent four whole summers piling memories on top, good and bad, to make two different, wonderful people. The glass jar will never break. The jar is our bodies that protect our hearts and memories. Like the sea glass, it is strong and even if one goes away, it will be there with all the memories left behind.

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