Coming Home by Carol Jones
Towards the bottom of the hill the beach road curved sharply to the left. Edith knew these coastal roads like the back of her hand. Headscarf blowing in the wind as she raced around the bend. A knowing smile appeared on her lips, a white knuckle ride he called it, Bill didn’t like her driving fast, in fact Bill didn’t like her driving at all.
“Bill, my darling it’s a convertible, it needs to be driven fast, where’s your sense of adventure.” Now they had retired Bill had been scouring the market for a more economical car, but Edith was having none of it. If they were coming back to the bay she wanted to feel the sea air on her face at every opportunity.
Glimpses of the sea shimmered in the distance. They were close, soon be home to where their love affair began many years ago. Edith could see the familiar white fisherman’s cottage perched on the edge of the bay. As she followed the winding descent there it was, in the distance, the iconic red telephone box. Bill had proposed to her there. Not the most romantic gesture, but it was where they always met as teenagers. She remembered how they would both squeeze into the phone box for a discrete fumble. Bill figured out how to undo her bra with one hand in there, a man of many talents. She glanced towards the passenger side, a tear slipped from her eye, what a marvellous husband.
The road ran alongside the shoreline. Edith parked at the bottom of the tiny footpath that led to a bench facing out to sea. The times they had sat on that bench as kids, discussing how they would run away, get married and live happily ever after. Families were dotted about on the beach, kids fishing in rock pools, clamouring on the rocks or simply enjoying the view.
Edith knew there was a more stunning view if you hired one of the small fishing boats moored along the granite cobbled slipway. A small deserted cove, with a tiny pristine beach only accessible by boat. It was their place, where they could be alone to cement their love, as they watched the sun retreat behind the mountains, blue sky turning to orange.
Along the jetty, steps led down to a patchwork of granite boulders and wet shingle. He was there waiting. He took her rucksack and helped her onto the small red fishing boat. As they headed out to sea her wish to feel the sea air made her close her eyes and appreciate she was home now.
“We are here now love, I’ll cut the engine.”
The boat glided around the rocks and the familiar dazzling view opened up before her. As the sun shone in the cloudless sky, the fisherman gently held Edith steady as she opened the lid on the small marble urn.
“We are home now my darling, until we meet again.”
Bio – Carol Jones is a recently retired bereavement counsellor living in the North West of England. She is new to writing having been spurred on to submit her work by the flash face off gang at @writers_HQ. This is her first publication. You can find her occasionally lurking on Twitter via @jonesyCJJJ