The sea slapped the shore like an abusive lover. The pieces left behind, tiny granules of sand, sifted away like fearful mice, retreating into the embrace of that which shattered them. Never to be seen again. Never to be thought of or missed or praised. Their existence was cut short, but nobody protested it. Not the abusive ocean tide or the abused sand. Life went on. Life was cruel.
Corey watched the madness of the water at a safe distance from the shore. She knew the ocean was freezing cold this time of year, and many times, especially on this end of Harborite, a rare jellyfish would hijack the ocean waves and appear on land long enough to sting the first human or animal it touched.
She laughed away the thought as the ocean breeze lifted the hem of her purple dress enough to freeze her bare legs underneath. The odds of seeing a jellyfish were slim to none. Along this entire coastline, she couldn’t possibly be aligned with the exact moment a jellyfish was supposing to ride the wave to the shore. It was impossible. Well, improbable.
Either way, she wanted to be safe.
Then again, what was the point?
She peered up and down the coast. Not another living soul in sight.Isolation filled the shoreline. Isolation and misery. The air was cold, tacking her bare arms with goose bumps. The ocean water was colder – this she was certain of.
And yet – it was beautiful.
Madness resided underneath the water. Her imagination tried to concoct what strange creatures existed within the depths, haunting her mind with their multitude of tentacles, razor-sharp teeth, and dozens of eyes. She played with the idea of humans living down there. Mermaids. Mermans. Another world. Another reality, perhaps?
Perhaps, the ocean deep was like a children’s book. When children ran away or were abandoned by those they loved, they always found strange and beautiful creatures to make them feel welcome in worlds away from worlds. Maybe the ocean depths were like a children’s book, filled with those who would help her move beyond her loss.
A freezing blast of wind alerted Corey to the presence of rebel tears upon her cheeks. They felt like shards of ice skating along her soft, pale skin.
Peace would not be found here.
She slid off her sandals and felt the chill of the sand against her bare feet. She inched closer to the shore. The waves roared in defiance of her motion. She knew it was a ruse. The ocean wanted her within it. It wanted everyone within it. All that resided here on the surface was pain and torment, and the ocean water, the dark depths beneath those wild waves, wanted to ease pain and torment.
Victor was dead. Corey had tried for months to come to peace with it. But his absence left a hole that could not be filled by anything in this particular existence.
She closed her eyes and started toward the ocean waves. The first moment the water touched her feet, she nearly screamed at the chill. But she soon acclimated to the temperature of the water. It was to be her new home, so she would adapt to it instead of asking it to adapt to her.
Corey felt the water rise above her knees. The hem of her dress was swallowed by the monstrous ocean. She felt the cold water seep into her underwear and move up across her belly. Would she gain weight in the underwater utopia? The water swirled around her breasts and then traveled up her neck like the hand of an assailant, choking the life out of her.
It’s okay, she told herself. Let it choke the life out of you. Let it replace your life with another.
Her whole body and head submerged, she opened her eyes and saw only darkness. She felt the waves take her out into the middle of the sea, twirling and whirling her body in a violent ballet. She suddenly felt the terror associated with being so far from land. But it was also freeing. This was her new home.
She closed her eyes as the ocean took her down. Down to those who could love her. Down to those who would understand what loss was.