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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1332283-A-set-of-footprints
Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #1332283
A story of a love and generosity in the midst of grief.
The water shimmered beneath the setting sun. Continuous waves crashed onto the shell-strewn beach. The single cry of a lone seagull could be heard above the din of the ocean.

All traces of the daily activities that had taken place were washed away with the tide. The sand was smooth save for a single set of footprints running parallel to the shore, just above the tide-line. In the distance, silhouetted against the sun, a lone figure could be made out.

The pain was too much to bear. Great waves of sadness washed over Jamie as she walked slowly along the coastline. She had, by now, stopped trying to prevent the memories from flooding her mind, but merely succumbed to them. She had surpassed even the stage when tears accompanied sadness. 

She wondered whether, two or three years down the line, she would remember her mother and the times they had spent together.  Of course she had known it was going to happen; from the very moment her mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Nothing, however, could have prepared her for the devastating blow delivered when her mother finally surrendered to the illness that had taken over her body.

Looking back, she couldn’t even remember how she managed to live through those next few weeks. She felt alienated, alone and numb to everything around her. The support from her family and friends did the opposite of what was intended. She preferred rather to be left alone than to be pitied. Slowly, however, the sadness evaporated and was replaced by a hollow, empty feeling.

Some weeks later, after most of the initial shock had worn off; she started getting her life back on track. She went back to school, but everyday was hard to get through as she caught looks of sympathy and shock flashed at her from every direction. She wouldn’t have been able to handle any of this if it hadn’t been for him.

Brian came into her life so suddenly that perhaps it had been an accident. She was walking along the beach one day, deep in thought when she accidentally walked into him. He had blonde hair, deep blue eyes and darkly tanned skin.

They became friends almost immediately and quite soon, something more than friendship was blossoming. Brian filled Jamie’s life with a joy she couldn’t explain. It was so strange to her because she had hardly laughed or even smiled in months, but when she was with him she felt so carefree, almost as if everything else had never happened.

Jamie was convinced that Brian was her guardian angel, but there were days when even the joy she felt with him was not enough to mask the terrible feeling of sadness in the pit of her stomach. He was there when the tears flowed freely down her face and the grief overwhelmed her. He was there when the memories came surging back and she was unable to even speak. Through all this misery, he was there to comfort and protect her, he was, her guardian angel.

The last rays of the sinking sun shone brightly across the water. The gentle sound of small waves breaking on the beach could be heard. The pearly white sand was smooth and unmarked except for two sets of footprints, leading side by side along the coastline. In the distance, two silhouetted figures, holding hands could be made out and the sound of laughter echoed across the water.




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