Underneath the Waves

Ayn’s feet sunk further below the freezing water by the weight placed on her heart.  Thoughts emanated after every beat and stung her mind like harsh sand-filled winds upon bare skin. With each wave that rolled out, she sunk deeper. The water washed through her ankles as if Ayn had always been there, removed from the flow of time. 

A thought was making its way through the maze in her mind. A maze of ever-changing pathways where whispers echo around every corner. As her feelings pushed this thought to the surface, it grabbed at other thoughts and feelings and memories on its way up. It dressed in doubt and denial and pain and fear until it eventually formed into a coherent sentence she could articulate, yet not truly believe.

“If I can survive, Jordan can too.” 

She opened her eyes to the empty night that surrounded her, not recognizing where she was standing. The sunset beach she had stood in was now distorted in darkness. Ayn didn’t see the sunset or the moon rise. For her, it was as if she blinked and the light was no more.

A cargo ship slowly made its way over the horizon, approaching the halfway point between the two cliffs where the moon reflected off the waters. 

Yet, Ayn was very far from the beach. She was in counseling sessions, she was in mother’s meetings, she was accounting for Edward’s business, she was anywhere but in the present moment. She sank deeper. 

She was up all night worrying about the kids, her husband, and her marriage. Her marriage meant more to her than she allowed anyone to see, especially her husband. When eagerness is met with apathy, apathy wins. Growing up, Ayn would tell herself, “I’m in pain, but I’m eager.” Now, after fifteen years of marriage, her mantra doesn’t include the latter. 

“Don’t worry, I’ll pick you up,” Edward said with an expression of exaggerated seriousness. Ayn looked at him without any control over her unveiled smile. 

They first noticed each other in the parking lot earlier that day. Edward’s Toyota Corolla ticked and cracked around him as it cooled down from the long drive. Edward loved that moment of silence before opening the door to the outside world when the sudden stop of the engine creates an artificial silence he couldn’t experience anywhere else in his life. 

When Ayn first noticed Edward, he was sitting behind the wheel of his car with his eyes closed, as if meditating. As she walked past his little bomb of a car, she took a side glance at him. She glanced at him the moment he opened his eyes. She saw a depth in Edward’s blue eyes where joy and sorrow weren’t opposite ends of a spectrum, but melted into each other. As calm and nonchalant as she tried to make herself appear, Ayn tripped over herself and almost fell flat on the pavement. 

This was the first time Edward met the gaze of mystery. Of course, he had talked to girls before, but as a wet eared seventeen-year-old, he had never noticed one so beautiful, especially one that looked at him as though he were more. In Edward’s heart, which now beat with what he could only describe as excitement, her tumble was the most attractive thing he had ever seen. 


“How are you going to run fourteen kilometers if you can’t even walk fourteen meters, Ayn?” She thought, shaking her head in embarrassment. She walked a little faster, imagining a scenario in her head where he jumped out of the car and shouted out to her. Maybe she should have dropped something. It could have been a Cinderella story with a glass running shoe.

She heard the door to his Toyota creek open and his feet scuff the concrete. She imagined his eyes on her the whole time. Finally, she reached the car park stairwell where she maneuvered through the open door, determined not to touch anything. Her feet sped down the stairs as quickly as possible to leave the boy far behind her without him noticing that she was hurrying away

“I didn’t fall,” Ayn explained, “I just, tripped a little…” 

“Well, like I said, I’ll pick you up.”

Ayn smiled at him not knowing what else to say, so she knelt down to re-tie her shoelace while praying to God that her face wasn’t red. 

Back on the beach, Ayn pulled her feet out of the water and walked back onto dry sand. She was wrapped in a white bath towel that had a small tear down the side. The wind blew in from the ocean and gently stroked Ayn’s hair on it’s way past. She threw up her towel, like so many sheets before, and it caught the wind perfectly as she lay it down flat on the sand. She dropped her keys down on the towel and turned back towards the sea. 

She got to her feet.

The beach was empty and though Ayn was only walking, she felt all the muscles in her face twitching. She could feel her cheeks pull and ache as they tried desperately to contain the pain beneath. She recalled how she felt finishing that first race and how Edward’s face wore the same expression as hers; the exhausted face that’s revealed only on runners who have passed their physical limit and can no longer hide why they are running. 

Memories and feelings from that day entered her mind as a light mist inevitably leaving her drenched. 

Her gait began to betray her now, partnering with the muscles in her face to destroy the composure that Ayn held so highly. Her steps became smaller as she hunched over her tightening abdomen. Yet further into the sea she went. 

Ice cold waters shocked her body. She pushed forward, or rather, was drawn further into the water. She reached the point where she could hardly stand without her head submerging and her whole body lifted from the foundations of the earth. Strong currents pushed her body in all directions bar the one she desired to go. 

It only took five seconds.

Five seconds for her to realize that the current was too strong. Worry grasped her body. Panic beat through her mind. As a child looks to her parents the moment before pain manifests in a helpless cry, Ayn thought “I need some help.”

The beach became hidden in the night as the moon pulled dark clouds over her eyes. Ayn desperately kicked and paddled against the current, but she had no idea which way to go. She kept straightening her body to see if she could touch the ground, but she had been pulled much further out than she thought. 

After choking and coughing up the saltwater, Ayn calmed herself down. She stopped fighting the current and only used her arms to stay afloat as her eyes searched all around her for some way out. 

But all was darkness. 

She was inside the eye of her inner storm. The tornado of all her worries and fears. Inside this temporary calm was one desire; to wrap her broken soul around her family.  To shield and protect them.

Hours later, As her body dipped beneath the waves, she didn’t feel cold.

She could feel the warmth of her first child, Jordan, taking his first shallow breaths upon her naked chest.

***

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I miss you guys.

I’m trying to write longer content. The above was the first (discarded) chapter of a book I’m planning to write. The ideas and characters are much different now, so it’ll be interesting to look back on this post to see how it has evolved.

What do you think?

I’m Getting Married!

I’m not quite sure where to start.

I never thought that I would actually get married. I knew it was a possibility, but it was never really a foreseeable future. It was always in a realm beyond my vision.

They say when you know you know, which I always thought was stupid, you know? It was a situation where I found the perfect woman and I had to rapidly shape myself into the man I was always supposed to be; responsible, reliable and ready for the next stage in life.

The first time we met was like walking out of a dark house when you’ve been sleeping all day. The bright light of sunset shocked my system and I became confused in my surroundings. How is it possible that the world is this bright?

She ordered whisky at 9:30 ….IN THE MORNING! Ok, so she was sick and apparently it’s good for the throat. Sounds like some real tomfoolery to me…

I knew straight away. I just felt it. A glimpse of the future. Like strolling into a patch of warm sunlight on a spring morning as the dew upon the grass is beginning to melt.

That’s all I’ll say for now. There’s love and fulfilment in my heart and I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with anyone else.



Simultaneity


When stress begins to take control.

Begin to think of time as whole.

.

Streams keep flowing as you think,

And death takes men with every blink.

One foot in fire; One in ice.

Arms outstretched in depth and height.

.

A child dies within the womb,

A flower dances in it’s bloom.

Love’s first kiss on nervous lips.

Flying birds and sinking ships.

.

Midnight, midday, they are the now,

Awake, Asleep, a death, a vow.

.

What are we but selfish beings?

Emotions flow immediately.

Perspective points of different seeing,

Stuck not in time, in sensory.

.

If I were time I’d laugh and cry.

In every second I pass by.

With focus on each lone event,

A flapping wing, a final breath.

.

Stress all you want and waste the day.

The trees don’t stress, they only sway.

A butterfly lands on a child’s nose,

And time holds more than what you know.

.

Written by Randall Evans.

Delay

Once upon a time, the stories weren’t so far away… And their heart were even closer.

If you ever look up from your newspaper or phone on the train, you will notice that everyone’s head moves in the same pattern. They all drift along with motion of the train.

Inertia: a property of matter by which  an object continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

The train comes to its regular stop at the station. A few people get off, a few people get on. After a 23 second delay, people start to look at their watches.

7 seconds more…

“Stand clear, doors closing.”

A sigh of relief is shared by the passengers…

But, the train doesn’t move.

What could only be described as ‘A junky’, starts to swear under his breath. A young student looks over at him from the corner of her eyes.

“Attention passengers,” The speakers don’t have to be so loud, “We are currently waiting for a signal to change, we should be off shortly.”

It’s odd, people that read books on the train always seem to stop reading when there is a delay. They stop and stare out the window.

The landscape never changes. The train never moves.

A girl gets out her phone.

Disease: A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury:

“The train is delayed…. I don’t know… I’ll try and get off…”

The train doors open.

“Attention passengers, we may be here for a long time, so we have opened the doors if you would like to get out. We apologize for this inconvenience. We are just waiting for the police to give the all-clear as a bodily object has obstructed the train ahead of us.”

A small frown forms on the few passengers who have nowhere to go.

“A bodily object…”

The disease spreads. More people get out there phones and stand on the train platform. Peak hour is no time for the trains to stop running. People want to get home to their families or have a drink with their friends.

A staff member of the rail network talks to some people outside. They have no new information.

“They have no idea how long it will take, can you just come and get me?”

Ignorance used to be bliss.

“Yeah, I’m going to be late. Well… Look… I understand that….”

But humankind has evolved.

“Really? No one can come and get me?  I’ve had a really long day!”

Apathy is bliss.

The train doesn’t move, and neither do the people.

At the next station rests a body upon the track. No more pain. No more suffering. No more life.

Once upon a time, we weren’t so far away… And our hearts were even closer.

– By Randall Evans.