Author's note: Hiya! Well thanks for looking this up. This is a one-shot I created just now. I hope you like it and I hope it makes sense. Thank you.
Etched in the Sand
"My friends and I went to the beach that day. The sun sparkled on both the sand and the sea, my friends all refreshed and ready to dive into the waters, and the breeze was just amazing. It was one of those very rare things that we wouldn't normally do or-as it seemed-will be doing again for quite some time. That beach trip was two months in the making and it was finally there. No one could outmatch each other's excitment-we were all looking forward to the trip very much. So, it was just me, my friends, the sand, the palm trees, and the sea. It was all the perfect setting for the end of the vacation.
"For practically the entire day, we swam, built sandcastles that kept toppling down, playing games, waded in the shoreline, lay on the sand and visited the small tidepools filled with marine life. It was pretty much what anyone did at the beach-what made it special was the people I came with. By the time sunset came, we all sat on different spots on the beach. It was sort of our own time to contemplate on the sunset because it was undoubtedly probably the only one we will all ever share in a long while. I, like the others, sat on a spot of my own. I gazed into the horizon. The sun was already halfway gone and its entracing orange glow was disappearing into red. I gazed out at it and smiled. It seemed to match the different colors that the sky was complementing it with-a rainbow-colored sky. I loved it and looked over at my other friends who were also staring at the sight. They, too, seemed to have a satisfied and happy look on their faces. I turned, then, to a friend that stayed a bit further to my right. And I tell you, it was unlike the other faces that I saw that time.
"She stood, unlike the rest of us in a manner that I just could not explain-a mixture of confrontation and surrender towards the sun. Even her face had that same expression-except for the added mixture of sadness. The way she looked over at the sun, I wasn't sure whether she was happy or sad upon seeing it. She was breathing very heavily-sometimes calmly. But it was her eyes that came as the most puzzling to me. She, genuinely looked confused. Every now and then a flash of a different emotion would fill her eyes-happiness, sadness, distress, anger and hope. But all of those emotions left as quickly as they appeared. Her eyes couldn't tell me what was a matter-and eyes usually gave the feeling of the person quite easily. So, she was confused-she definitely was. I glanced over at the sun: the tip was almost gone, and it was now red. The rainbow -colored sky began to disappear as well leaving only a mixed shade of blue and purple. I looked over at my friend again and for the slightest moment, I thought I saw tears welling up in her eyes, but she blinked and in an instant, they were gone. If they were tears, she never shed them.
"Then, she crouched down at the sand and etched something with her forefinger. I tried to squint to see what she wrote, but couldn't see it at all. Finishing, she only looked at what she had written for a second before standing and, taking one last glance at the already finished sunset, walked back to the cabana we were staying in. I took a few seconds before standing and going over to see what she had etched in the sand, but it had already been washed away by the waves, not leaving the slightest trace of it.
"Ever since, I've always wondered just what that was that I witnessed on that beach. I always knew that that friend of mine was emotional and sentimental but that was probably the first time I saw her in utter confusion-it wasn't through a letter, or a phone conversation or even a chat session. It was the first time I saw an actual inner battle on the face of anyone else other than me. Since then, I've also been wondering what it was that she wrote on the beach-and everytime I'm on a vacation at the beach, I always find myself drifting back to those thoughts that are already so many years old.
"That trip to the beach took place almost two decades ago and those friends of mine that were there, well, I think its pretty safe to say that we ended up just like most high school friends do: apart. That was probably the last time we were all together...the very last time. I haven't seen most of them in years-including that friend of mine that I still think about every time I'm on a beach somewhere.
"Until today...I am actually going to visit her and finally going to ask about that moment all those years ago. No, that wasn't the reason I was going to visit her. We had talked recently and decided to get together for old time's sake, but I will ask her about it.
"I pulled over at the coffeeshop we had agreed to meet up in and walked inside. There were a few people there and I was afraid of not recognizing her after all these years, but there she was, sitting there as if only a few years had not gone by and not as many as there really was. We hugged and sat down and got to do a lot of catching up. Someone would think that a pair like us who have not talked about anything in ages would find it hard to still meet in similar points. But one would be wrong. She was still pretty much the same person I knew back then-only older, wiser it seemed and something else. She was different in a way-but something that just made her both glow and dim at the same time. Could it be partially because of that day at the beach. It was bothering me now so before I forgot about it, I asked her.
"'Beach trip?' she asked me, not quite remembering right away. I pulled out a photograph and showed it to her. It was taken on the day of our trip-taken when we were all able to build a decent sandcastle that toppled down not long after the photo was taken. 'Ah,' she said, finally, 'I remember that trip, yes. It was the last time we were all together'. I then asked her about that moment she had and what she had written on the sand. The look on her face after I had mentioned it. At first, she was confused, not quite remembering that memory, but after recalling what I had saw, she sighed and finally remembered. 'I didn't know you saw me then,' she admitted, 'and that was a very long time ago, I can't believe you're still wondering about it all this time'. I told her that it was something that deeply puzzled me that I would finally like to put to rest as a memory.
"'That day,' she began, 'well, it was exciting-we all knew that. I just had fun until we watched that sunset'. 'But it was beautiful,' I said, 'I don't think I've ever seen anything like that ever since'. 'Oh,' she said, 'I wasn't sad about the sunset, the sunset was amazing-we all knew that. But it was it reminded me that made me feel so sad. That sunset...reminded me of all the things I have and didn't have. I remember...' She paused here and looked out the cafe window, apparently reliving the memory. ' I remember standing there alone. I glanced at all of you and at my family that was there and I was grateful to be sharing that moment with all of you. I was grateful that I had so many cherished blessings in my life and that, at least once, I could share one beautiful memory of my life with all of you-no matter where we ended up after that. But then...but then I thought about how I wasn't trully happy-that part of what I shared with my friends and family was just a facade. I knew that I wasn't happy-and I knew way too well that the one thing that I thought could make my happiness was unreachable for me then. For a moment, I saw myself on that beach, watching that beautiful sunset all alone, with no one to share it with-no one that would embrace me and smile and tell me how important I and that moment meant to them. I knew that it was childish to have wanted "love" then-it was probably the hormones talking. But I still didnt like the thought of me being lonely. But back then, I knew that having someone special would make me the happiest I could be then at that stage in my life. The thing was, that stage of my life was coming to an end. In only a few years, I would cease to be a teenager and become an adult-a person that had more important things to do than run around chasing love and kisses. So, even if I knew I wanted it so bad, I looked at that sunset, as if it were God-Himself and surrendered. I surrendered to the thought of ever finding someone that will love me as much as I loved them. I surrendered and committed myself to finding the second best thing that will make me happy. That day... yes... I remember it. I wrote in the sand just when the sun set finally-sort of as a final stand on the matter. I was on the verge of crying-I didn't want to do it but I knew I had to in order to move on. I wrote on the sand, as if I were writing with my own blood...the words I never wanted to say in my entire life...the words that, ironically, would set me free from disappointment...the words that would separate me from the one thing I really wanted in my life then...'. She paused and didn't say anything except stared out the window. I leaned towards her and asked, 'So, what did you write?'.
"She tore her gazing eyes from the window and slowly turned her head to face me. With a sad look on her face, she said: 'I give up'.
"Since talking with her that day, I've thought a lot about Life, its irony and the sacrifices we all have to make to make ends meet in our lives and get the most out of it. It's an age-old cliche to encourage someone not to give up. But, according to the story my friend told me, giving up actually helped her move on. Love then was something that she trully wanted and would give anything to have-but when she gave her all and still did not receive it, it only ended up hurting her even more. She decided to give Love up and move on to something else that would make her almost just as happy. She wouldn't wait around or kill herself trying anymore-she made a different move-a move to leave it behind. She didn't give it up-she sacrificed it. In the end, she decided that her happiness was more important than Love she was after. There were other ways to be happy and Love wasn't the only path towards it.
"She told me, that if she hadn't given up when she did, she might not be as satisfied with her life as she was now. She would probably still be chasing after it and have never grown up. Well, she is still single now even after all these years, but she isn't caring about it anymore like she used to. Since moving on, she's done more things that have brought her closer to being completely happy than she ever would have been if she had just sat waiting for Love to hit her in the face. She said that she still isn't as happy as she would definitely be given Love, but at least now she was content. Now, she was more satisfied of her choices in life and have accomplished a lot more things than she probably would have if she hadn't writen those words on the sand. She told me that someday she still hopes to find the Love she once searched for as a young girl. But she wouldn't be the one running after it this time. Next time, she said, she would be the one it chases after. This time, she came out on top, and not Love.
"Who knew that what I witnessed on the beach that day would be the day my friend's life changed forever…"