Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use)
Alice went to the beach with one intention.
Not to return.
She walked to the beach, wiping tears away as she approached the dunes, and stood for a moment as the breeze lifted her hair from her face.
The ocean rolled in, wave after wave, never ending, and she tightened her resolve with a deep sigh.
She knelt and untied her trainers, kicking them off and leaving them behind as she stepped, barefoot, across the soft, hot sand.
Her toes wriggled and sand trickled through them, raising a momentary smile, but her legs, now heavy though single-minded, still propelled her towards the shore. The sand kicked up behind her and drifted across the dune, and her feet stepped across the tide line, across the mounds of wet seaweed, and the sand firmed beneath her toes.
She stopped and closed her eyes, allowing the gentle gusts of wind to caress her face, one last pleasantry…and she tried to calm her hammering heart. She braced and breathed in salty ocean air, tasting the salt tracing her lips. She listened to her brain, to her grief, to her despair and stepped forward.
She opened her eyes as a young girl raced past.
The girl ran into the water, leaping over waves and giggling, she hitched up her shorts, already darkened by splashing water, and stopped. Alice watched as the girl in the orange shirt threw out her arms in abandon and turned her face towards the glorious evening sun, enjoying the simple delight of waves at her feet, wind on her arms and the warmth of the sun on her face.
Alice sank to the wet sand, tears rolling down her cheeks, and a newfound innocence engulfed her, and her hand gently trailed across her newly rounded stomach.
Day Eight: August - Sea