The continuously morphing molten crystalline surface of the turquoise sea surged subtly ever closer to the shore line. Reaching its climatic point, a hill of aquatic motion; the wave broke under its majestic awe striking height, subliming into a salty avalanche cascading down towards its origin.
Lonely is so cold it’s not cool anymore. Although the sun’s glare and warming grasp was raining down upon me, only the sharp dagger like chill ebbed and flowed like a fusion core deep within my soul. Deep wounds may heal but they may never fade, and while I sat there analysing the past year of mushroom clouds and hurricanes, I concluded that now the fallout and dust had settled, only that scar and its related memories served as a reminder of my plight.
The breeze rustled along my face, carrying the momentum of the frothing tide beyond the gradient where land met ocean. Simultaneously the salty air infiltrated and refreshed my nose; Mother Nature’s high, intoxicating my mind with relief and liberty. The fresh rush of the washing waves wondered its way into my ears. The castle in my mind opened its gates, allowing the outside salvation to clear the stress and over analysed conclusions grounded deep within it. However its emotional fortitude remained strong regardless of its previous sieges. It stood intact, battle torn but still formidable.
Fingertips and palms rested at my sides submerged slightly within the seemingly infinite granules of sand; not even all the twinkles of hope in the night sky could come close to the amount minuscule glassy specks I was holding. But upon raising them, they too drifted effortlessly out of my grip. Against my will.
A salvo of waves engaged the platoon of surfers daring enough to rival the ocean warrior’s unavoidable superiority. Some dived under. Some jumped over. Most got wiped out. No one got through. The sea had a mission: hydrate the warming grains of castle building material and unwanted sandwich filling, then retreat back to rearm.
I had my mission too. However it was far from that simple. It was an operation of front line assault, heavy ordinance, resilience and endurance, deep into uncharted territory. A one man army on an unknown battlefield, against all odds with no limitations. Except law and recently accelerated morality. It had become more than just an adventure but the scariest part was the sudden realisation that everything was different, yet it only seemed like yesterday that everything was normal. But what is normal now? Does the phrase even have any definitive relevance to my life?
“Baby what’s up?” She asked. She knew something. She wanted to know it all. I contemplated momentarily. I sat up.
“Look, there’s something I need to tell you...” She sat up too.
“What? Tell me, what’s the matter?” She looked worried. I sat her there in front of me and broke the news as smoothly and painlessly as I could, to the girl that I so deeply loved and would die for.
“My dad has had three promotional offers from one of his bosses. The third was the best choice for him. But...” I just could not say it. She looked confused, worried but not yet heartbroken.
“But... it’s in Sydney. If he takes it... I’ll be moving...” I stopped talking and I looked at her. She didn’t say anything. She just sat there crying, endlessly for a time that I wish neither of us will ever have to endure again.
“I’m sorry babes, I love you, I really do, we’ll work something out I promise.” I reassured her honestly from the depths of my loving heart but we both knew the truth to the matter. I hugged her and my eyes flooded, releasing the breaking heart as an escaping liquid I’ll never be able to collect back. She held me, she comforted me this time. This was the start...
... and I suppose the end has gradually faded in and slowly drifted out. I came out of the reminiscent blur and understood my young naivety, thinking that I was so much older and mature now. Relatively I was, but realistically it had only been a year and I still struggled to retain the melted broken heart from swelling in the corner of my eyes. She and I only lasted another month after that but it was a painful five before I finally moved.
Five what though? Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years? I couldn’t tell you to be fair; it just seemed like an unquantifiable distance in the past. People started walking off the beach, almost in a hurry. I ask the same question to myself continuously though; was it all worth it? A voice came over the speakers, it sounded urgent but I wasn’t sitting here to listen to anyone else. She loved me, I know we were young, but she really did.
On the apparent border between the two shades of blue the horizon swelled up and lifted. I loved everyone and leaving them was more than just pain. People ran frantically past me as the horizon became a clear wave hurtling inwards. It was as if I left something behind when I moved. The giant ocean soldier towered higher, exponentially growing as it hit shallow waters. But the empty space was not to be left barren; it had to be filled. Surfers were swallowed and even the sun retreated behind the clouds. I didn’t come this far just to give up on life, all the agony had to be worth something.
I glared at the liquid wall, not in awe but in amusement as it drew closer. Scarred or not, I had a mission to do; not for myself but for everyone around me and everyone who was not around me anymore. Any closer and it would be too late. I will find another; I will fill that space again. It started to curve at the pinnacle of its being. I used to be criticised, undermined but when she prized me just as I was, she finally confirmed my existence.
And it broke. Like a pyroclastic flow hurtling down the igneous rocky surface of a volcano, the wave fell. Blue morphing to white. Liquid to froth. Gravity accelerating its power. It crashed into the sea, its spawning pool where every living soul once formed all those millions of years ago. Dying in a rush of pain and a spray of defeat the remaining tide washed in.
I knew I was relevant on this over warming, war torn rock. Miraculously and daringly the broken wave’s remnants gradually crept in and just covered my feet before it dwindled back to where it came. I giggled as it tickled my soles, in the same way that the past year tickled my soul. The sun inched out of its cover, the people returned to their bathing spots in amazement and the surfers popped up retaining their lost breath and boards.
I just smiled. Not because of the overseeing warmth, the sparkling Pacific or the almost unclothed women. No: I smiled because I could. Because I knew that no matter what was thrown at me, I can still smile. No matter how many broken hearts, I can smile. Even when all that you’ve ever known, seen or felt for vanishes for the last time, you can still smile. I know I exist now thanks to her. And if I truly exist then I will make relevance to this pointless journey. I will smile here.
I will love again.
And for that reason entirely.
This is now home...