Alone Again - Answer to Annart's Challenge
Life can be hard. No rocks or mountainsides can compete with the hardness of life.
Take Jim for example. He's your average man in every way. He's a high school graduate with two years of college. Not an overly tall man standing at five foot eleven inches. He has a ruddy complexion with hair we used to call mud gutter blonde, or as others may call it, dirty blonde. He has no distinguishing features. An average nose, blue eyes that don't pierce you when you look into them. Just your average man.
Yet Jim's life has been all but average. He was born to military parents. They were both American citizens serving in Japan after WWII. They were stationed there under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan. Living in a foreign country is always difficult but for a little American boy post-war Japan was beyond difficult and offered many day-to-day challenges. So much of the country had been gutted by war. Food was scarce for the Japanese people, communicable disease was everywhere, and the black market flourished. He made friends but not easily, after all he was an American in post war Japan. Language was a barrier and he of course he looked different than the other children. His childhood play, like those of his schoolmates consisted of games about famine and prostitution, a 'trade' that arose from starvation. This was the country of his youth.
He returned to America with his parents when he was just ten years old and began school in what was now, to him, a foreign country. Here again he was a stranger. His Japanese was better than his English and children often made fun of him. He didn't understand the taunting and hurtful things they tossed at him. There was no honor here among these children. He went on to attend high school and finally began to fit in in the country of his origin. He made a few friends in passing but no lifelong relationships.
When he started college he met Akiko. Her face was long and oval shaped with beautiful wide set brown eyes. Her straight black hair was so shiny and silky. She was a tiny little thing with a beautiful melodious voice. It was love at first sight though the courtship lasted for two years. Two years time to revel in each other's likenesses and differences. they shared so much about their childhoods in Japan. Not surprisingly they were married. It was a beautiful, warm, spring day in a small farm filled with apple blossoms. The beautiful scent of the apple blossoms complimented the beauty of their love. What could be more appropriate.
After three years of marriage, Akiko became pregnant. They were ecstatic and talked about names for the baby, what color they would paint the baby's room and what furniture they would buy. They joked about who would change the diapers and get up for three o'clock feedings. Jim would lie next to Akiko placing his hand on her belly and talk to the baby. It was hard to tell who was more happy about this pregnancy. Life was good, Jim was not alone!
As it came time for the delivery, complications arose. The doctors did all that they could but neither Akiko nor the baby survived. Jim was inconsolable, he felt as if someone had drilled a hole in his chest and tore his heart out. It was hard to breath or care. His life had ended. He couldn't fathom going on without Akiko, that voice with the built in smile. Those brown eyes twinkling with love and mischief, how could he go on without her? What of that baby he never got to meet? He was heartsick but worst of all, he was alone without Akiko. Akiko was his other half. She brought the joy and sense to his existence.
A deep melancholy settled into his being. Nothing made sense. Why would a sun rise without Akiko? Why would he live without her? Where could he go in this empty life? They had both loved the ocean finding peace in its beauty, so it was to the ocean he turned.
A beautiful sunset shining on the ocean reminded him of the times he and Akiko had sat holding hands in front of the same scene. The water shimmering like so many jewels as the sun cast it's fading glow. He walked into the water to feel the sting of the waves as they met the drier sand. The water rolled over his feet making him part of this beautiful scene and casting his shadow on the water behind him.
Here he experienced peace. An inner peace he could find nowhere else. He came day after day to witness the sunset. After several weeks he realized this was the only place he could find Akiko. One evening when the sun seemed more beautiful than ever he walked farther into the water. The lapping of the waves woke his senses as he walked farther and farther letting the peace of the ocean engulf him.
Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved
Read more responses to Ann's (Annart) challenge and you will be amazed at the variety. There is much to read but so well worth it: