“I’m here,” Nina whispered to the gentle sea breeze, hoping it would carry her words to the places she couldn’t herself go.

Leaving a small trail along the seafoam studded shore, her bare steps sunk into the wet sand, reflecting her heavy heart.
Fading memories, burnt at the edges, flickered in her head like a broken movie reel, and she shut her eyes.

A dark grey wave came rolling and crashed onto the beach, the saline spray of seawater mingling with the tears streaking down her face.


Grief, as seen in novels and movies, gives a mere glimpse of what it was like to have a part of oneself ripped out and left to ache.
It is like watching a stormy night on a cold sea from a faraway serene island. But to be the one rocked by merciless waves when on a sinking ship facing the thunderstorm hits different.

They say that time would heal, that the gaping hollow of bereavement would seal itself up, and life would continue to go on its own path.
But that’s only sounds fitting on a eulogy from a heart-breaking tale on paper or screen.

The truth is that pain would never simply subside or go away.
One just had to learn to live with it.


Taking in a ragged breath, Nina braced herself to do what she came there for.

A dilapidated tower rose amidst jagged rocks that lined the shore, lonely and brooding in the misty landscape. It was the perfect place.
Brushing aside pieces of driftwood lining the base of the tower, she dropped down next to a hole shaped like a small window and pulled out a glass casket from her backpack.

It had a leather notebook inside, a poem journal with worn edges, the pages inside thick and crinkly from excessive flipping.
Running her fingers over the dark ink, she trailed the blotchy spots of dried tears.

It was a memory album of every moment they had spent together. The moments Nina so desperately wanted to cling onto because they were the only to be had in this lifetime.

It’s strange how much a single person can affect one, not in their presence but their absence.

Glimpsing at the book inside for one last time, she placed the lid on top and slid the casket inside the hole, covering the opening with driftwood to hide it from plain sight.

In the loving memory of a dear friend, Xenia Lenin.


Note: The setting is a figment of the writer’s fantasy. The beach and the tower are within her.


Runaway-ay with me
Lost souls in revelry
Running wild and running free
Two kids, you and me.


– Thinking back to that Saturday you made me listen to your favourite song





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