Prose Header

Gazing at the Edge of the Ocean

by Ivan Latinkic

“Am I looking at the ocean, or is it looking at me?”

It is getting late, windy, and cold at the beach. Everyone has left, except for a man who has been sitting there for hours, completely hypnotized by the beauty surrounding him. As he breathes in the moist, salty air, he looks at the shimmering haze in the distance. His gaze drawn to the endless horizon, he continues to look far, far away. Then, out of the vast infinity, a silhouette of a familiar woman slowly forms in front of his eyes.

“Can this be? Can this really be? Mom? I thought you were gone, forever...”

His mom smiles and waves her hand. Suddenly, another silhouette of a much younger woman shows up. And then, just as they came, they vanish like a fleeting, hazy dream

* * *

Robert is holding his airplane ticket from San Francisco to Tokyo, eagerly anticipating his flight. It has been a week since he spent that day on the beach. The plane finally boards, and he slowly walks inside.

* * *

He is almost there. The warm rain is pouring down and soaking his clothes, yet he does not even notice. He boards the train from Tokyo to the coastal city of Choshi, knowing that, in less than four hours, he will be in the place that had such an otherworldly pull on him.

* * *

As the train slows down, Robert quickly stands up, anxious to jump off as soon as possible. He frantically runs towards the empty beach. Then, he finally catches his breath, sits down on the sand, and looks at the vast ocean ahead of him. He is on the other side of the Universe now, staring back at where he came from.

For a moment, everything disappears... And then he suddenly hears something from behind him. He turns around and finally sees her, walking towards him. His eyes start to well up...

* * *

It is a rainy night in San Francisco. Robert and Akiko are standing by their apartment window, listening to the sounds of raindrops and traffic. He opens the window and feels the rush of fresh air on his face. He looks at his wife and feels such immense connection, as if he were looking straight into the center of the Universe and then back at himself.

* * *

Meanwhile, several miles away, the beach is quiet, and the waves have subsided a bit. The fog has descended over the water, covering the city with thick blanket. Out of the fog, a familiar silhouette of a woman appears. It is Mary, Robert’s late mom. She smiles, and then disappears again into vast, endless ocean.

Copyright © 2008 by Ivan Latinkic

Open Challenge 317...

Home Page