ADSactly Fiction: The Woman Who Visited The Sea
The Woman Who Visited The Sea
That August, the holidays came early and my parents decided to send my sisters and me to Grandma's house. From the first day we got there, we started visiting the nearest beach, where we would spend hours swimming, playing with the ball, or just lying on the sand, exposing our skin to the sun and watching the birds cross the blue sky. One day, in the middle of the afternoon, I thought of going behind a forest that was on the east side of the house. I was walking along, collecting sea shells to make necklaces, when I visualized a woman sitting on a stone and looking at the horizon.
My first thought was to run away from there, but I just kept watching her. The woman was wearing a dress and her hair was down. She seemed to be crying because her hands were wiping her face again and again, as if cleaning, erasing or hiding the traces of sadness. I don't know how much time I spent there looking at the woman and imagining what might be happening to her. I imagined that an old love had left her stranded on that shore, condemned to an endless wait; also, that in pain she was crying over the loss of a loved one drowned in those waters. I too, far from her, sat down on a stone and began to look at the horizon, trying to decipher the reason for her crying.
After that occasion, every afternoon, I would go into the woods to see the woman who came and sat on the same stone looking at the horizon. I did the same thing. I remember asking grandmother who that woman was and she said she had never heard of her. I also told my sisters and none of them could give me a good answer. In fact, on one occasion I invited them to join me and none of them wanted to. They told me that they were not at all curious about that woman who was crying. So I didn't insist anymore and went to the beach by myself to see her.
When my vacation was almost over, I decided to approach the woman to ask her what her name was and who she was waiting for. So one day I went out with that idea, but when I got to the beach, the woman was gone and never came back. I asked the grandmother and she told me that she didn't know anything, that maybe that woman was a tourist like me who had also run out of holidays. That was a probability, but inside me or in my childish mind, I knew that it was not so.
After those holidays, others came and others went, and every time I went back to Grandma's house, I ran to that hidden beach to see if I could see that woman again, but that never happened again. I remember that many times I dreamed about her, and sometimes she spoke to me and told me about her crying, other times she went into the sea and disappeared. Eventually, Grandma died and it was my turn to go back to her house. That afternoon, after burying Grandma, I went to the beach and sat on a large rock, looking at the horizon. Sitting there I couldn't hold back my tears. At that moment I knew that the woman I had seen so much of in my childhood was my own shadow, and without fear I turned to see the little girl sitting on another rock. From there I looked at her and in that moment I knew the reason for my crying.
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