It beats down on the salt and pepper sand and scatters across the deep blue, the last of the sun. I catch her then, riding the crest of a wave, crying out — calling me, arms in the air, throwing herself forwards. I leave behind my Coca-Cola and pack of Lambert & Butler on the towel and run after her, before it’s too late.
She falls with the waves before I can reach her, and I have to dive into the sea as it carries her under.
“Let’s go to Langland; I want to stroll on the sand, sing in the sea, let the sky fall on me!”
I follow her; to the ends of the land, any land. Summer finally here, she lets it carry her away; I can’t even see her now as she races ahead, soon one with the sea.
I reach the coastline, listen to the swash and backwash of the waves along the shore. She’s nowhere to be seen.
Langland bay blushes before us, sun alive and waves whistling. Even the dunes welcome spring with raring rabbits and lush green grass. We climb the slopes, race down their backs and roll in the sand that tickles our skin. Living, like we were before.
Maybe, just maybe, everything will be alright.
She’s waking up, now that she’s returned to her beach, her Langland.
“It’s still cold,” I say.
“It’s fresh,” she says, and her smile warms us both.
She takes a step into the sea, the waves licking her feet, and I have to push forwards to reach her. But she stands there, not a word, the waves speaking for her; the clap of each crash, the rush towards her —
I pull her back; take her hand, her arm, and pull her back from the depths now coming for her.
The anniversary air is heavy with fog, with small, sharp bursts of light. Sun, no sun.
I see her now, on the edge of the sea, the waves thrashing in torment. Like the earth is contracting. The sea will take her, I worry, swallow her whole if she lets it — one last step. I try to follow, but these winds hold me back. Despite her frame, she resists it all. I remember her then, one year ago, riding those waves and shouting.
One year ago, we had it all. One year on, I know she’s still waiting, know she’s still watching the waves — waiting, for her little one who couldn’t be here. On her beach, her Langland.
One step forward, the waves rush over her; one step back, the waves fall short of her.
I run. Her cries drown out, the sea bleeds blue, and the wind breaks against my back while the waves charge forwards as I run. I reach out for her hand; reach into the deep blue womb before it’s too late...
A contraction. A cry. Like someone being born.