Saturday, April 3, 2010

In Her Shoe

The leaves on the ash trees outside the window rustle gently in the morning breeze. It’s too early for the ocean on the horizon to show off its turquoise shimmers, but you know it’s there. The cool, damp air and the waves of salty sea kelp smell constantly remind her of it.

It’s still new and strange to her. She grew up on a tropical island where the beach and the sea water were always warm and welcoming. Here, you can barely put your feet in the edge of the water before you have to hastily retreat and wipe the beads off of them. Frigid water does not spell welcome to her since her first attempt.

Tara’s unhappy and disapproving face comes back to her. She gets up to refill her tea mug, trying unsuccessfully to fill her head with a different image. She tells herself it's only a dream.

Tara--always the sentimental and considerate girl of the two who was the carbon copy of her own image. They are completely identical in looks and yet opposite in every other way. Tara loved small animals, while she thinks they are too much of a bother. Tara loved poems and sunset, while she couldn’t understand why.

A walk on the beach with Matt the third day after she arrived changed her mind. With Matt’s big and warm hand holding hers, the sunset at the end of the ocean looked mesmerizing in spite of the cold wind. That must have been what Tara meant, she thought to herself. Love changes everything to the brighter, better, and prettier perception. For the first time romance didn’t feel like a laughable idea.

She didn’t come here to fall in love--she argues with herself. She came with a promise to Tara. Matt was so happy to see her that words were lost in his embrace. She smiled and didn’t deny when he called out, “Tara!” and the masquerade was on. It’s too late to go back now. Tara’s tearful and fervor words still ring in her ears: Promise you will go there and tell him in person. Promise you will make sure he’s all right. I’m all he has, Darla. Don’t let his heart break.

Tara died the day they took her to the hospital. They never found out who hit her with what kind of car. She was exhausted after comforting her parents and taking care of the funeral. All she could remember was Tara’s last words when life was rapidly pulling out from her, so she made the journey. She knew Matt before she met him. Tara loved him with all she had, and it showed in the letters she wrote to Darla. Matt is not perfect, she wrote, but he is perfect for me. Darla remembered thinking to herself “I’ll give it six months” in her usual lighthearted and sarcastic way.

The sixth month never came. Tara’s vacation in her hometown turned into a bottomless nightmare, with renewed grief greeting her everyday. Darla grieved for Tara’s death, and for the happiness Tara lost. Falling in love with Matt was completely unexpected.

Did you hear that, Tara? I didn’t do this on purpose. I just couldn’t hurt him with your death. I didn’t have a choice. I see what you saw in him. He loves you without reservation. He nurses me patiently so I could gain the weight back, of which I blamed on the heat and the long journey. He made it so easy to love him. The only thing to do was to kill Darla, and that’s what I did.

“Morning.” Matt kisses her from behind and wraps his arms around her. He buries his face in the dip of her collarbone and whispers, “Did I tell you I love you?”

She closes her eyes and says, “I love you, too, Matt.”

(Happy Easter Everyone!)


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  1. You write with so much depth and passion. It is a joy to read along here.

  2. I love stories with a twist ending. It's hard to write that unexpected (well- i find that difficult!) but this was really well written. Nice one, Sarah!

    Happy Easter to you too. :)

  3. Good stuff, Sarah. Happy Easter.

  4. rae - thanks for reading it and glad you liked it.

    lou - thank you for the kind words.

    hunter - thanks for stopping by.

  5. Very Cool! Great identity crisis story.

  6. WOW. That is so romantic, so twisted, so real! Your writing completely draws me in, and I always want more.
    Happy Easter.

  7. Simply mahvelous, dahlink...Hope the Easter Bunny put something extra-special in your basket today!

  8. mark - thanks!

    robyn - love the word 'twisted' :)

    melissa - thanks and hope yours were wonderful.

  9. Sarah, as beautiful as your soul. A masterpiece of sensitiveness and excellent writing.


  10. That was a lovely story, Sarah. You have a very cool style which I really enjoy. Great job!

  11. tom - thanks for the visit and comment. glad you liked this.



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