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The Choice

Updated: May 25, 2021


He walked with his back towards the green, grassy hill that he’d come from. The smell of the salty water filled the air, and also his nose. He walked slowly now, hands in his pockets, his head down, with his back towards the home he’d grown up in, his back towards all of them.

I shouldn’t have come home. I should never have brought her here.

He reached his destination, the place he had called “The Cliffs.” He stared out at the never ending sea that splashed Below him at the edge of the beach. Standing at the cliffs, was how his grandmother made some of her most important decisions. It was here, he escaped to many times in youth, unable to handle the enormous pressure that being in his family brought.

It was here, watching the the ocean waves crash against the rocks below, he could sit for hours receiving profound thoughts. It was here, that life seemed precious delicate and in a dance of balance. It was here, he felt his Gran.

Listen to them, In Harmony the gulls sing, The respect of earth dwellers and sky travelers and sea, all together existing at the tips of each world peacefully, as one. Two worlds so clearly colliding and yet existing side by side, spilling into each other unapologetically, without any controversy day after day. We are all one.. Never forget this lesson, it can be done.

His eyes misted as he thought about how long ago those words were spoken by his wise, Nan. His fists shifted uncomfortably in his pants pockets as he blinked the mist away.

I love her Nan. I don’t have a choice. They didn’t give me one

The cries of the gulls filled his ears alongside the crashing of the waves. It was a comforting melody, compassionate even, as if in reply to his thoughts. He brought himself to the ground and sat in rough earth mixed with sand. This space, had been sat on by many before him, it was far from the beach below, yet sand made it’s way up here too. The wind bringing the below, right where he was sitting, high above. Any moment now, the sun would retire here, and If he could just stay a bit longer, undetected, unexposed maybe he’d find a solution.

There was nothing he craved more than to find a way to live in peace. He couldn’t seem to please anyone anymore. He was the fun one, the silly clown who enjoyed everything life had to offer. He was the most adored of his mother’s children, that wasn’t a secret. It was even said that Nan had favored him.

This is why they hated her. They won't even give her a real chance.

The arctic chill that replaced the expected warmth of his family, this time was aimed at him.

Coming home was a mistake

He couldn’t figure out how it all got so twisted. It wasn’t her fault he’d been gone, or left at all. He’d longed for his escape from this place before he knew she existed. It was when he found her, yes, it was then he realized, she was what was missing. To him, she was his home, his family. To them, she was a betrayal.

This is why they all blamed her for his absence. The way they made her feel unwelcome and sent her off crying. The damage done to his foreign beauty’s reputation was too much for her to stay. He had to sneak her into town under the cover of darkness for fear of what would be said or forbid, what would be done. That was the last time....

He was only here now, to say goodbye. Forever.

He remembered how his family behaved when he first brought her here. It pained him to recollect. He truly thought they had accepted her. He remembered sitting there at the table, as they listened to her stories, politely chuckled at her jokes, and the kind embrace each member of his family gave her. He frowned, looking down at his shoes. He really thought she’d be happy here.

“They’ll never accept me. They see me as the woman who took you away from them. I don’t belong here” she had cried. He couldn’t find comforting words for her, he knew she was right. If only they knew the truth... A sudden voice from behind him, interrupted his thoughts.

“You still come here? Good. I haven’t seen you at all this time, since you arrived...”

He turned around to see fire-red hair matching his own, bouncing around his sister’s shoulders as she ran towards him smiling. He turned His back towards her, facing the water. The center of his chest was on fire with ache, and he was still bitter. He sighed as he rested his arm on his right knee.