Anna: Conch ShellMature

I ended the call to Cara and closed the laptop down. I didn’t know what to do for the best anymore, and my brain ached just trying to think about it. Instead I curled up in a ball on my bed, closed my eyes and tried to empty my head of thoughts. Megan had gone to work and wouldn’t be back for hours meaning that I had time to gather my thoughts into a logical and comprehendible order before telling Megan.

I decided the best way to clear my head was to go to the beach and just sit and watch the world pass me by, so I grabbed my phone, keys and coat and headed out of the door, my feet walking almost automatically towards the beach. Ever since I was a child and my parents said we were going to the seaside a wave of excitement always flooded through me, I have always found the beach is such a carefree and peaceful place to go. Crashing against the shore, small waves wash the remnants of the previous night away, whether that be a sandcastle build to perfection by a young child or the footprints of someone walking along the seafront. Everything on the beach gets washed away. Untouched golden sand covers the shore, way out into the distance, scattered with different types of seashells that either become a new home to a small creature or are collected by young children.

My mum once told me that if I were to hold a large spiral conch shell to my ear that I would be able to hear to sea no matter how far away I was from the sea and ever since, whenever I have felt upset, I have gone to the beach, found a conch shell and placed it to my ear and have instantly felt calmer.

I walked up a small hill and was greeted by the image of the beach with the soft sand glistening as it joyfully reflected the sun's ray. The sea sparkled as it casually strolled up against the shore, leaving the rocks and sea-shells glinting. Crystal-clear water stretched far into the horizon getting darker and deeper, however maintaining serenity effortlessly. As I breathed in fresh air, the smell of salty sea tingled my nose. The cold and refreshing breeze gently eased up against my skin and glided through my hair. The birds twittered as they soared high above and the delicate splashes of the sea were amazingly soothing. The sound of waves were singing me a dulcet lullaby as I made my way onto the beach and I could feel a weight being lifted from my shoulders just by being here.

I sat down on the warm beach and slipped off my shoes and socks before allowing my bare feet to sink gently into the warm grains of sand, gently massaging away all my troubles instantaneously. Looking around I spotted a small conch shell glinting in the sunlight, half buried in the sand. I reached across and pulled it out of the sand and slowly placed it towards my ear. The sound of the sea could be heard as clear as day from the shell and as my eyes began to fill out with tears I could hear what my mum told me on that day.

She had placed a conch shell similar to this in my hand, closed my fingers around it and in almost a whisper had said, “Whenever you feel sad, just hold this shell up to your ear and you will hear the sea and I promise that everything will be okay!”

A tear splashed onto my face and a second and a third, remembering those words was heart-breaking because I knew that everything was not going to be okay. I was going to lose my mum and there was nothing I could do to fix it. How could she promise that everything would be okay? How could she make a promise if she knew she wouldn’t be able to keep it? I buried my head in my hands and sobbed. I was holding the conch shell close to my chest as though it was my prized possession.

I don’t know how long I sat sobbing on the beach but the sun was beginning to sink and the sky was stained a deep purple colour. Several passers-by stopped to ask me if I was okay and I gave them a weak smile and sent them on their way. I felt broken inside.

Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder and sensed someone crouching down beside me,

“Anna?” A gentle voice said, wrapping an arm around me, I didn’t look up to see who it was but instead allowed myself to break down completely in their arms.

“Anna, what’s happened? Come on let’s get you inside and calm you down, it can’t be that bad”

I felt an arm pull me to my feet and when I looked up I saw Dani looking back at me with a concerned look on her beautiful face. She was wearing some jogging bottoms and a crop top which made me think that she had been out for a jog.

I allowed myself to be pulled into the nearest café by Dani who sat me down in a seat in the corner and headed to the counter to order two cups of tea. She returned momentarily carrying a tray with a teapot on it, two mugs and two ginormous double chocolate muffins.

“Calm yourself down. Have a sip of tea and eat some muffin and then you can tell me what has happened!

I looked at Dani though my tear filled eyes, give her a small smile and began to eat the muffin in front of me.

As I ate I could feel Dani staring at me as if trying to read my mind, trying to understand how I was feeling without words. It was nice to know that she cared about me!

The End

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