A Lover's Picnic.

A lover revisits the scene that holds all of his treasured memories.

This is my entry for the Picture Prompt Competition, feedback is greatly appreciated. :)

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1. A Lover's Picnic.

Despite my knowledge that she would not just materialise in front of me, I scanned the vast distance in search of her. The sea slammed against the rocks violently, rocking the almost empty harbour. Seagulls squawked above me, circling my rucksack like vultures around a fresh carcass. I wrung my hands together nervously, imagining her exquisite beauty before me. Streaked with thin, fluffy clouds, the grey sky blended into the dull water perfectly. A tall, blinking lighthouse stuck out of the sharp, jagged rocks, warning the non-existent boats of the deadly rocks that surrounded the small island.

Laying the tartan picnic blanket down, I sat upon it, my eyes never leaving the thrashing ocean. Food lines the rucksack that is hastily slung over a rock, but I make no move to rescue it from the growing waves. My eyes are focused on the horizon and I am remembering her. That face, those eyes, that bubbly personality that always made everything better; I miss all of that. Licking my chapped lips, I taste the strong salty flavour that is sprayed up at me from the choppy waves. I sit back and enjoy the fresh, sea air. If only she was here to enjoy it all with me. Back before the accident, we would both come here every Sunday; sailing old Tessie to the golden shore. Tessie was like a member of the family to us, a rich old girl of about twenty years. She was a fibreglass, hand painted by both of us. In fact, we shared our first kiss in that boat, I proposed in that boat and we gladly taught our children to sail in that boat. But now, like her, that boat is gone, stripped of life by the cruel waves.

I remember that night so clearly. We had taken our traditional Sunday picnic onto our beloved island, but nothing had gone according to plan. The sea had seemed rough, and it was dark, however we had packed our bags and set off for our journey home. Before, the waves and the rocks had never seemed to bother us, but that night they were bigger and stronger.

There is normally a bright light coming from the Lighthouse, but that night, it was nowhere to be seen. At first we didn’t properly realise that there was no light, just assuming we had missed it or it was blocked by the rocks; but by the time we had realised the danger we were in, it was too late. Those few seconds went by so fast. If I had known that it was the last time I would see her, I would have taken time to remember: her face, her smile, her laugh, the way she gazed at me with those sky blue eyes, would all be engraved into my mind.

The waves had leapt up into our boat, sending us crashing into the rocks. We struggled to stay on board, but deep down, we knew: The Sea always has won- and it always will. Our bodies were thrown into the furious waves, like unwanted toys; we were chucked around, our breath stolen by the thrashing waves. I was lucky. I escaped with just a few scratches, but she was much, much worse. So worse, that nobody could save her; and later on that night, she gave up, slowly passing away in my arms.

I sit for a while, eventually deciding to unpack my picnic. Spreading it out before me, I pick up two slices of bread and shove a thin layer of ham in between. I lift the sandwich up to my mouth and chew on it slowly, my appetite slowly decreasing. I can imagine Tessie, ripping through the waves, and I can imagine us, sharing a kiss and watching our two children playing in the sun. Forcing another bite, I stare at the seagulls. They are watching me with those pinpoint eyes, wishing for a bite to be thrown their way. I give in and chuck the rest of my half-eaten sandwich out to sea, a small smile creeping onto my face as I watch the seagulls race after it. Before the accident, we would watch them together, allowing them to come right up to us and eat our food right out of our hands. All we would do is laugh and sing as they soared through the sky. But, now, it is different. Without her, the world is grey, she was the colour in my life.

The wind plays with the little hair I have left, dancing around the grey strands and whipping my wrinkled face softly. Chuckling, I take out a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc- our favourite wine, flown straight from New Zealand- and pour out two glasses of wine.

“Cheers.” I say, tapping them together before downing one. The other glass sits in her spot, and for a moment, it is just like the old times, as though she is just hiding behind those rocks, waiting to jump out on me. Sighing, I start to chuck more of the picnic at the ‘gulls, knowing that my stomach will just throw back up any food that I chug down. The seagulls squawk happily and I close my eyes, listening intently to the sound of the waves and the whistling of the wind.

I miss her so much. Every year, I come back here, just to remember our times together. I am as desperate to remember as I am to forget. Nobody could ever replace her. She was my angel, my life, my ray of sunshine, and now she is gone. Life is a constant struggle, her death anchors me. I am a lost soul, my mind only capable of mourning. Her heart lies at sea, as does mine. We may be separated, but our hearts are still one, bound together by the curse of love.

I swirl my finger round in the sand, producing two words in the golden grains. I look down at them as the sun sets in the sky, slowly sliding down to reveal darkness.

Together forever.

And together forever we are; lost in a past world of love.

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