By RAVINA PATEL
She put her elbows on the handrails and crossed her wrists, letting her fingers dangle over the edge so she could feel the mist of the waves. She was standing on a bridge above the ocean that connected the beach and pier to the little community of homes where she lived. She watched the ocean, the waves sparkling in the sunlight, daring her to come closer.
It was one of those wonderfully perfect summer days, for the sun was hot but not hot enough to cause a sweat. Similarly, the ocean’s waves were high but not high enough to cause her to get lost at sea. She inhaled the salty air and sighed. Today should have been perfect, but it was not, because he was not here.
He was her neighbor and her best friend. She did not quite know how to describe him. Their friendship was too special to label. Before he had left, they would walk to the beach together every day. Then one day, she walked to his home and was greeted by an empty house and a for-sale sign. No goodbye, no phone calls afterward to explain. He was just gone, snatched from her life.
Now she walked to the beach once a week because it was where she was most comfortable thinking of him. She could still feel his presence in the wind, his laughter in the waves, and his feet next to hers. It was nice to walk to the beach and pretend as if he were still here. Just to be reminded of him was enough.
Suddenly, she saw a figure. She was so absorbed in her thoughts that she had failed to notice the person standing right next to her. Even when she realized someone was there, she did not acknowledge him until she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned towards the person and gasped in disbelief.