Yvonne sat on the beach, her piece of beach as she liked to think of it, and stared out to sea. She particularly liked this spot where the pebbles had been piled up by the tide, leaving the sand exposed just below it. It meant a lot to her too.
She was sitting there on the ridge, her hands in her pockets and her toes dug into the sand. Her sandals were just beside her where she had set them down when she had arrived. She had no intention of going into the water this time of the evening, but taking her shoes off for a while felt liberating enough.
This beach was just on the edge of town, the nude beach during the day, but at this time she had the place to herself. The beach at sunset was her safe place, a special place. No doubt a few hardy souls would be along later for a bit of midnight skinny dipping.
As always Yvonne’s mind wandered and it wasn’t long before her salty tears were slipping down her cheeks to add to the ocean in their own little way. With the tears came the guilt. Yvonne hated feeling so lost and pathetic.
“Oh mum,” she whispered and closed her eyes to try and kerb the emotional assault that hit her like a tsunami.
After a little while Yvonne felt a presence next to her. She could tell that whoever it was meant no malice and stayed sitting with her eyes closed. She had no idea how she knew these things but she was rarely wrong.
‘You’ll be okay, little one.‘ Yvonne wasn’t sure if she’d heard the voice in her head or if the words had been spoken aloud. She was just about to open her eyes when she felt a comforting arm slip round her and a finger gently touched her lips. ‘No need to say anything,’ the voice said and Yvonne knew the voice, and knew it was beside her and not in her head. She kept her lips and eyes closed, waiting.
‘Your tears are valid, little one. Never be ashamed to allow yourself to grieve, for what we had is forever gone. And know that the pain you feel is real, and I’m sorry, my darling, it won’t diminish with time, but you will learn to handle it and function more and more like normal. People will stop noticing, and that too will hurt, but it is the way things are. We cannot change the order of things, no matter how much we would like. When your father transitioned I was where you are now, and understand you fully. You were too young at the time, but with my recent passing I could do nothing to protect you from this.’
“But…” Yvonne starting, only to feel the finger alight gently on her lips again signalling the need for her silence.
‘There are no buts, my child, we are all born and will all die. I know you already understand this, and I know you well enough to know what you are thinking about doing. I cannot, nor will not, stop you if that is your desire, but perhaps it is not the time yet.’
Yvonne sat quietly remembering the pills in her bedside table, but said nothing. It seemed she didn’t need to.
‘I will not always be around, but conjure me in your dreams when you can and remember what we had. You were, are and always will be loved.’
The presence was gone as silently as it had arrived. Yvonne suddenly felt alone again, bereft again, and her tears fell anew, but this time she allowed herself to feel, held the guilt at bay. She opened her eyes and gently wiped away the tears with the back of her hand as she watched the sun slowly slip towards the horizon, and then it was suddenly gone, leaving a horizon of warm colours for Yvonne to savour before she slipped into her sandals, stood up and turned towards home.
“Sunset was always our special time, Mum, love you always,” she whispered as she walked up the beach.