Him.

Nights in White Satin- The Moody Blues (covered by Matt Cardle)

 

Gazing at people, some hand in hand. Just what I’m going through, they can’t understand .Although Matt Cardle’s passionate yet exuberant tone would typically resonate to even the deepest crevasses of my consciousness, today, not even his captivating crescendo of ‘I Love Yous’ registered.

And yet, there was never a moment in my short existence, however fleeting, where the words of another seamlessly summarised my life. With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, the streets are filled with couples,some hand in hand. Smiling. Touching. Kissing. The shrill buzzing of their inane chatter causing my ears to burn and my head to ache.

I could feel my right thumb slide over the smooth, alabaster skin of its four neighbouring digits, forming a white knuckled fist. I could feel my slightly square jaw clenching, my molars meeting so severely, it seemed that no gap ever existed. I needed release. Release from this sickening symphony of schoolgirl giggling, coupled with the undercurrent of lips touching lips. More importantly, however, I needed release from him.

Before I could resist, my feet took my body hostage, leading me to the only place where I have ever felt free; the beach. Locating an empty wooden bench amid the unkempt marram grass; I sat down, allowing my mind to once again take the helm. It was not my camel-coloured coat that shielded me from the elements that icy February morning, nor the jade-coloured scarf which accompanied it. What kept me warm was recognising the inextricable link that my life had with this beach, like the threads of the scarf wound tightly around my neck.

As the brightly coloured trawlers disbanded from the harbour each weekend in search of prawns, like soldiers marching into battle, I learned to swim in the shallow waters they left behind. On sticky summer evenings, I practised my cartwheels in the loose silky sand, while my Yorkshire terrier, Toby darted in and out of the ever advancing tide. I even had my first kiss on this beach.

Yet, as my eyes scanned the horizon for a burst of colour among the ash grey waves, or my ears listened intently for the screeching yelps of an overexcited terrier, neither of my starved senses were rewarded. Disheartened, I made my way towards the sand. Strolling through the soapy surf, I allowed the crooning of the Moody Blues to seize me once more. Just what you want to be, you will be in the end.

“God, I hope you’re right.” I could feel my lips whisper.

I felt as though I should be an ever twisting kaleidoscope of emotion; a mixture of anger, fear, sorrow and anxiety. However, all I felt was love. This love had diffused through my mind like a dawn fog, invading my every thought and clouding my ability to reason or strategize logically. I couldn’t sleep because of it, I incessantly dreamt about it and it was my only reason for wakening.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a razor shell perched precariously on a tuft of damp sand. Immediately, I thought of him. Plucking it from the ground, I allowed my fingers to explore. The short shallow ridges that spoiled the surface of the shell felt like the scars that marred his torso. Like the ridges, each scar had a story a reason for being there; a tangible reminder of mistakes he made.

“Would he be able to leave this life?” I thought to myself ,“could he learn to adjust?”

However, my nostrils interrupted my contemplation. Although the scent of the sea was quite powerful today, they identified an all too familiar blend of cigarette smoke teemed with the slight aroma of sweat; his smell. Swivelling slowly, I was elated and anxious to find him behind me, both in equal measure.

“How did you know where to find me?” I enquired.

“Simone, you’re an open book,” was his response.

Before my brain could form a witty retort, I heard him utter those four words which drained my face of all colour, leaving it resembling the colour of the ever advancing tide.

“We need to talk.”

The End

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