Once This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Once I cried for beauty, once I cried for pain, and once I cried because I felt nothing at all."

I held his hand as we strolled along the beach. The sun was warm upon my face. The waves danced about my ankles as if playing a catch-me-if-you-can game. The sky was blue with an occasional puff of cotton breezing by in search of a less jovial scene on which to cast a shadow. The sand caked between our toes, clung to our feet, and procured a free ride where we traveled. Our footsteps embedded in the moist softness a path for all who followed. A seagull swooped down, touched my soul, and glided upward blending into the blue of sky and ocean. I listened intently to the sound of the waves rushing to the shore then speeding back to rejoin the depths, repeating the rhythm without pause, never exhausting from its compulsive behavior.

We watched the sunset. The orange sphere dropped slowly into the water and slept for the night. The sky danced with color as the moon made its appearance. Its glow bounced off the water and frolicked among the waves. The night was wrapped in mystical beauty. I turned to him and realized that he shared my joy. Tears as salty as the ocean mist trickled down my cheeks. Compelled by the beauty ... I cried.

I stayed up the entire night, so I could say good-bye. The sun rose brightly from the depths of the ocean, glowed briefly, and disappeared behind a thick barrier of clouds. The air was damp with ocean mist. The sand was wet and dark and did not glisten. The waves were fierce as they forcefully beat upon the still sleeping shore. They came without mercy pounding as if in anger. The seagulls soared low in the gray dismal sky and fought among themselves for crumbs of yesterday's litter.

We walked hand in hand toward the cold, angry ocean. The waves maliciously attempted to grab us and wound us with the coldness of the day. The roar was deafening as the massive body of water surged toward us then rushed back in spite. We stepped over the corpses of various sea life that lay upon the beach, having been caught in the mystical glow of the moon last night, now lying lifeless on the shore. The water came, carried them out, then threw them back again. So many foolish hearts succumbed to the enticement of the moon. I turned to him, I knew he felt the pain too. He wrapped his arms around me. He said, "This is not good-bye, we will see each other again." He walked away. Devastated by the pain ... I cried.

The summer ended. My heart was ladened with dreams of days in the sun, moonlit walks on the beach, and us. Returning to the humdrum of everyday life made the memories of the beach even more intense. The sun continued to rise on my days, but I did not feel its warmth. I saw no beauty in the world, only emptiness. This void was all encompassing. I could not eat, I felt no need. I could not sleep, my nights were spent in replay of ocean swims, midnight walks, intimate talks. Every song we had shared repeated itself over and over in my mind. Your voice, your memory, your absence was all I knew. Numbed by your memory ... I cried.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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