What the Stranger Gave

February 18, 2009
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It was Noadia’s tradition to go to the beach at least once a week to taste the faint vanilla scent of the waves in her two ears and think about her week. Sometimes, she sat in the sand, digging for sand crabs and listening to them crawl on her arms and tickle her between her pinkies. On other days, she lay down at the edge of the grey-blue water with her dark red notebook and wrote on and on, sometimes for four or five hours, as she looked up at the colorful clouds and felt them float by.

On a dark, misty afternoon, a stranger approached her on the shore with some bread crusts and purple grapes. He stared at her. From then on, the stranger came to her each time she was by the water, somehow knowing exactly when she would be there. She always arrived minutes before him and listened for the sound of his approaching eyes. She never asked him why he was late.

When they sat together, they shared few words, but there was a pure taste of understanding between them as they sat side by side sharing crumbs and sweet fruit. The time came for the stranger to leave. And as he smiled goodbye, Noadia did not take her eyes off of him until he was yards away and his figure was no longer clear in the distance. Then she glanced up and stared at the sky, her hazel green eyes tasting the wind blowing towards her left cheek.

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