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The Turn of the Tide

It was my junior year of college, and her sophomore. I lived a very different college lifestyle: I never partied, drank, and rarely visited campus for reasons other than class. Elizabeth and I lived together happily, far off campus, but close to the shore. We spent every windy day surfing, which was one of our favorite childhood hobbies and every night watching the sunset across the shining sea, fingers intertwined. Life seemed absolutely perfect and our relationship made the ones in movies jealous. The days went by slower and slower, as each moment of every day was filled with the magic of love, and emotions that could not be described.

I graduated college the following year, getting my Engineering Degree, and Elizabeth graduated the year after that, with a writing degree. I worked for GM and a few years in, I became a manager, got a company car: Red Chevrolet Truck, and started living the good life. As for Elizabeth, it was a different story; she stayed at home on the beach and wrote day after day. She was a naturally gifted writer and her heart was set on the profession since she was a little girl. She wrote short stories and poems which were published more often than not, but recently she had been working on her third book from her “Politics Abroad” series. I provided for us, loving my job, and allowing my love to chase her dreams.

A few years later, we were ready. I took the day off work, went to the jewelry store, and bought the ring. I came home early to find her down by the beach. I went inside, put a suit on, concealed the ring in my pocket, and walked down to the beach where she sat.

“What are you doing home, and why do you look so fancy?” she asked in a curious but humble tone.

I got down on one knee, pulled the ring out.

“Elizabeth, will you marry me?” I asked, nervous out of my mind.

“Yes” she exclaimed after regaining her breath.

She took the ring. Then I got up, grabbed her in my arms, and kissed her.

Shortly after was the wedding. I called the local priest and asked if he could bind us through marriage at our house, which he politely agreed to. We held it on our beach and only invited close family. Her beautiful white dress and veil blew in the wind as she walked barefoot across the sand towards me. The priest began the ceremony, and I got lost in the moment.

“I do” she said.

“I do” I responded.

It was very classy and very romantic; something Elizabeth and I had always wanted. Two years later, after a trip to the doctors, we got some good news: Elizabeth was pregnant. We were going to be the parents of a little baby girl.

“Hey honey, wake up. It’s a beautiful day” I whispered as I pulled apart the curtains revealing the sun, as its golden rays glistened across the waves and into the room, illuminating Elizabeth’s face as she rolled out of bed.

“Good Morning” she replied with the simplest of smiles as we walked down the stairs to the kitchen for breakfast.

“How is your book coming along?” I asked as she poured me some coffee.

“Delightful, I just finished revising and I think it’s ready to be published soon,” she replied.

“Is this one better than your last?” I asked.

“This is the best book I’ve ever written” she replied.

I finished my coffee and left for work.

I got home from work early, and it was the perfect day to go surfing; the wind was strong and the waves were huge. I walked out to the back porch and saw Elizabeth down by the water writing among the beauty of the sea, as she did every day.

“Hey love, let’s take a break from work and go have some fun.” I giddily stated.

“What did you have in mind?” she replied.

“Let’s go surfing like the good old days!”

I reached my hand out to her, helped her up, and walked her back inside. We put our suits on, threw the boards in the back of the truck, and left for the beach.

We stopped on the shore, embracing the purity of the ocean water as it repeatedly brushed the golden grains of sand like a paintbrush looking for the right stroke.

“Don’t you think we are getting a little old for this?” she stated sarcastically.

“You’re never too old to have fun” I replied.

Hand in hand, we strolled down to the beach with our boards and paddled out to sea. As usual, I kissed her for good luck before the first wave, and off she went; paddling towards the coast. She got up her first try and began cruising along the water wall. She disappeared into the wave, living the moment most only see on TV; where you try to escape the tunnel of the wake. I lost her and began to worry as she was headed towards the Shallow, a dangerous part of the beach which was filled with rocks and known to take the lives of surfers. The wave subsided, and Elizabeth was gone.

Petrified, I began paddling over to the Shallow, heart pounding, mind racing, only hoping she was okay. Panic set in, and the tears began flowing with the current. I spotted her board and immediately swam to it. I went underwater and saw her unconscious; caught under a rock. I took a deep breath, swam down, tugged her free, and brought her up to the surface; laying her upon my board. The waves were too rough in the Shallow, so I swam my fastest to shore and dragged her up onto the beach. There was a gash in her head that was bleeding profusely. I checked her pulse: there was none. Breath, breath, compression, compression, compression… It must have been three minutes before her heart started beating again. She coughed, and some water pumped out of her mouth. I grabbed her in my arms.

“I should have never brought us here to surf” I mumbled full of regret.

“We were just having fun” she replied with a grimacing smile.

“I’m so sor…” she cut me off.

“Kiss me.”

We locked lips, and when I pulled away, her pulse was gone.
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