Saturday, May 21, 2011

Abandon


The sight of the vast ocean never failed to lift her spirits.

Trudging through the sand as the sound of the crashing waves and the crescendo-like roar of the unceasing wind washed over her, it felt as if the sea sparked life into every fibre of her being.

She came to the shore where the colossal waves dwindled to flowing water that gently lapped against her feet.

As always, she was torn between dashing into the water and playing it safe, for she didn’t know how to swim.

But as she waded further into the waters, it was as if the sea were continually calling out to her…

…To do what? She wondered, but there was no answer.

Except, perhaps, an overwhelming feeling to simply submerge in the lulling comfort of the ocean.

At the sudden realisation, she smiled. With joyous abandon, she strode ahead as the waves threatened to immerse her. They would take her away, away from this troublesome land.

But then again, she couldn’t have asked for more. She laughed and cried; sometimes running across the wet strip that separated the waters and the sand, sometimes dodging and riding the breakers. Her dress clung to her, dripping wet and her hair resembled a tangled mess of seaweeds. But she was happy, carelessly ecstatic as she blithely plunged further into the current.

Until, a hand pulled her roughly onto the shore.

Breathless, she found herself looking not at the endless ultramarine that had filled her vision moments before, but into dark eyes that stared at her, doubting her sanity. She shook her head, struggling against the firm grip.

He placed his hands on her shoulders to steady her. “Do you realise what you’re doing?”

She looked up defiantly. “I’m not going to drown!”

“The sea is not going to ask you before it pulls you under. Come on, let’s go!”

She shook her head again, refusing to budge. Her shoulder-length hair stuck to her slender neck and as she met his gaze, her eyes shone. Her countenance presented a contrasting picture of vulnerability and strength. In her steely gaze, he found himself discerning a worrisome feeling of recklessness, as if she was finally going to do what she wanted.

And her wish was known to him very well.

He sighed. “You can’t possibly be thinking…”

She looked askance. “I don’t see any other way. But the sea’s so inviting!” she piped up.

He pointed to the horizon accusingly. “It is not a cure.”

“To the dull ache in your heart, it definitely is,” she retorted.

Surprised, he glanced at the petite, frail frame before him. How had she known that? How had she realized the melancholy he would unwittingly subject himself to, over her present condition?

“You should worry about yourself first, my dear,” he soothed, taking her into an embrace.

He didn’t know if he was doing it to comfort himself more than her.

Breaking away, he grasped her hand, ready to lead her back to the shore. Reluctantly she followed, glancing now and then at the glittering, fluid landscape that she was leaving behind.

She had every intention of returning to it.

Emerging out of the constraining palm trees, she stepped onto the shore as the wind whistled away, overpowering all her senses till she could only feel the slight tugging of air against her fluttering robes, swayed by the hypnotic rhythm of the gale.

The boundless sea remained where it was. Nothing ever changed.

Had it been not so dark, one would have easily seen the young girl tentatively treading towards the waters, prettily dressed in a billowing pale dress that fell beneath her knees, with shoes to match. A hat and the picture would be worth a postcard. But it was night time, and no one was around to ponder upon the young lady’s peculiar visit to the sea-shore.

She brushed back her hair as she squinted, trying to see the waves that ran up to the sand with their white claws, ready to devour anything that came their way. In her mind’s eye, she could picture them vividly, as they rushed up to where she stood and dragged her into the waters, to be lost forever…

She snapped open her eyes. The very image shook her to the bones.

Kicking off her shoes, she walked further, feeling oddly reassured by the howling wind. She ambled towards the wooden pier, its outline clearly visible against the dark backdrop of the sea.

She could feel the firmness of the wood underneath her bare feet as she glanced at the mysterious void beyond her, calling her to take the plunge.

A shout rose above the deafening rumble of the ocean. “Stop right there!”

She turned, straining to see against the light of the lantern. He ran across the sand and hastily climbed up the pier. Setting the lantern aside, he took her by her arms, trembling as she herself shivered.

“You can’t do this. For my sake, don’t!”

Wistfully, she reached out to caress his face as her vision grew misty. “I can’t live like this any longer, neither can you. Let me go.”

He looked away, unable to vanquish the torrent of emotions that tore through him. “I couldn’t save you.”

“You didn’t have to. I brought this upon myself.”

Gazing into her eyes, he managed to utter. “Allow me a chance...to redeem myself.”

She remained steadfast. “No. I want to set you free.”

“Not this way! Not by losing you!” he thundered.

There was no response and as he looked into her eyes, he saw the same careless abandon that ruled her whole life. She gave in to her miseries, she surrendered to people who simply abased her and she no longer wished to relinquish any control over her life that was never hers to begin with.

With a moan, he let her free from his grip and sank to his knees.

She remained where she was, unwilling to move.

Through sheer resolve, he willed himself to stir. He stood unsteadily, staggering across the same sands through which he had run so resolutely before, not sparing a glance even once to what had once been the reason of his living.

As the flickering light vanished among the rustling leaves, she turned towards the sea. Stepping on the edge of pier, her arms spread wide, she broke into laughter that was, ironically so, full of life and joy.

With a smile, she sank into the calming embrace of the ocean, its arms enclosing her into eternity.

Yes, I'm very erratic. Sometimes I might go for days without posting and suddenly I appear out of nowhere. But that is how creativity works.

I should take care the next time I visit a cliff. You don't know when that thought of jumping down overpowers you.

Doesn't mean that I'm suicidal, thank you very much. But yes, the mere thought of how it would feel to do something like prompted this lengthy drabble. And yes, I didn't click the picture. :)


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