Linda sat on the deserted pier - it had truly become hers over the past few days - dangling the blue tips of her toes in the warm water. She had redone her nail polish that morning, a fickle attempt at a new start. Again. All anew.


How long would this have to go on for? How long could she have it go on for before more people knew and she could no longer live with the staring, pitying eyes, the words of comfort, the knowing looks, when, really, they wouldn’t know anything at all. Couldn’t.


How does one lose a child and not suffer? How does one not sit hours on end, contemplating life from a whole different angle, as if one’s entire reality has been upturned, the way it had been chucked mercilessly into a bin on the way to work and replaced by the dull haze that followed like a silent shadow?


No, it wasn’t silent. It was loud. Like a bear crashing through the forestry, pursuing a hunter who had disturbed its cubs. A loud wail in the middle of the night because one’s heart is breaking to pieces remembering. An uncontrollable sob that escapes one’s parched lips every now and again, cracking the thin, ragged, red skin again and again.


How does one lose a child and recover? Even if it’s not your own, birthed child – it does not matter. A child one has falling in love with, a child one cannot and does not want to let go of. And then an orphanage is attacked, robbed, and the child is no more. Gone. Away from this horrid world, which by some awful mistake the powers of the unknown decided to throw him into, defenceless and alone.


He was better off there. Up above. He could watch the world from there. Maybe he had the power to help others like him, the less fortunate, the ones we make ourselves believe are alright when we close our eyes for the night, the ones that truly need our help.


Linda drifted back into consciousness. She realised she had dozed off right there on the pier. Her back rested comfortably against the warm old wooden planks, her toes still in the water. Had it been a couple hours? A couple minutes?


The sun still hung high in the sky. Probably lunch hour. Linda took a deep breath and propped herself up on her elbows, taking a sleepy look around herself to see that she was truly alone. The burn on her chest made itself known as she brushed a slim hand to get rid of an itchy spot - Sylvia had insisted one must never scratch the skin, but rather pet it, or stroke it, and the itch would go away within seconds.


The itch remained. Stubborn. Damn, she had forgotten to put on sunscreen that morning. She never forgot things like that. Not even after it happened. Not even after that…


Linda looked down at the calm waters moving smoothly below her. Her solemn face stared back. There were no creases around her eyes, her face was tanned and everything a woman would want: smooth, pretty, with a small chin and a fine nose. Her fair hair framed it in the shape of a heart, the sun above dazzling the strands so they reflected as one fuzzy halo in the sea. Not a crease, not a freckle, yet Linda’s face devastated her. The golden tendrils reminded her of a happiness she had known, a happiness which had come so easily, and granted her such desire to live, to work, to be happy, at the prospect of adopting the little orphan boy from Thailand…little Jeremiah, she would have called him.


A prospect it had remained. A prospect it had died.

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