This is not a goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. But most of all, thank you for showing me that there will come a time when I can eventually let you go.
I love you, T.
Maybe someday I’ll write to you,
I’ll put a message in a bottle and throw it into the ocean hoping it will somehow reach you when the timing is right.
I know I could just send it to you, but simply sending it to you would be too easy;
too easy for you to not respond, too easy for you to break my heart, too easy for me to loose you completely.
So I’ll toss my words into the ocean because keeping them locked in my head any longer would drive me insane.
Excerpt from a book I’ll never write, 58
“Letters to the ocean”
Scribbled in blue ink
on tanned sheets of paper
some secrets, some regrets
some wishes, some desires
wild winds and raging storms
in frangible bottles of glass,
voyaging alone in infinite seas,
wandering since a lifetime
under boundless skies,
of coasts acquainted,
each day, they
embark a new journey
to the undiscovered,
riding on mighty waves
sailing further away
from the author.
But even though she was attractive, there was something else about her that caught his eye. She was intelligent, he could sense that right away, and confident, too, as if she were able to move through life on her own terms. To him, these were the things that really mattered. Without them, beauty was nothing.
I received another wonderful prompt from romancoin the other day! She seriously has the best ideas. If y’all need prompts, ask her. But, anyway, she sent me this completely developed story and hinted she might try her hand at writing fanfic someday… so I strayed a bit from her premise in hopes that I’d annoy her enough to make her want to write it her own way. Ha! I love you romancoin, don’t hate me.
Here’s the premise that she pitched to me: Lonely Modern-Day-Claire (an engineer, to stir things up a bit) goes to Craig na Dunn not knowing it’s hidden powers. Something vanishes thru the cleft in the stone, prompting her to send other things thru. Jamie finds them and sends them back. Love letters ensue and one travels thru the stones to the other.
Day One - July 10th, 2016; Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.
Uncle Lamb and I had relocated to Oxford from Cairo about five years ago. He had taken a teaching position there, while I attempted to graduate early from upper school and begin taking university courses of my own in London. This set me at a complete disadvantage in the friends department, yet managed to earn me a certain measure of unwanted attention in the biochemical engineering department.
I took this summer off from internships, classes, and labs and instead followed my uncle to the Scottish Highlands. It was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, to be back in the field with him.
This location wasn’t really within Uncle Lamb’s usual scope of historical exploration, he was an expert on the intermediate Egyptian dynasties with several books published on the more specific topic of New Kingdom hieroglyphics, but he had lost a bet with a favorite professor friend of his and, so, here we were.
Tipping my head back, I peered up the steep slope of the hill. Hiking was never far out of the realm of possibility with my uncle and I thanked my lucky stars I had worn my boots today. “It’s at the top?” I asked, rather unnecessarily.
Of course, it was at the top. It was always at the top. Except when it was at the very bottom, but, even then, you had to climb back to the top.
“Yep!” Dr Joe Abernathy, an American who specialized Scottish folklore, replied eagerly.
I trailed behind Uncle Lamb and Dr Joe as we hiked the path up to the top of Craigh na Dunn, listening absently to the two of them discuss the myths surrounding the site. They were two peas in a pod, although Dr Joe was significantly younger than my uncle, and were both in a titter about recently found artifacts or some such.
“And you say they just appear at the base?” My uncle asked skeptically.
Dr Joe nodded, “Dead as door nails.”
The thought of poor, dead birds randomly materializing on the ground in the middle of a henge made me shudder.
What on earth had I agreed to?
Day Three - July 13th, 2016.
I sat on the ground between two of the outer stones and chewed on the end of my pencil as I tried to get the cleft in the center stone right. It was quickly frustrating me, being almost geometrically proportional but off just enough to make it irritatingly irregular.
Tearing the page out of my sketchbook, I crumpled it up into a tight ball and threw it at the offending rock. It arched perfectly, looking like it was going to pass right thru the divide. I silently congratulated myself as I waited to see if it would land my uncle, who was working on the other side.
A startled shriek escaped my lips as the paper vanished into thin air.
“Are you alright, Claire?” Uncle Lamb stuck his head around the side of the stone.
Pointing above his head, I gaped, “Where the hell did it go?”
“Where did what go?” Dr Joe asked, coming towards me.
“My paper,” I stood as I answered. “I threw it at the stone and it disappeared.”
Dr Joe laughed and patted me on the head patronizingly, “Sure you did, kid.”
“I’m eighteen and I know what I saw!” I informed him.
Day Four - July 14th, 2016.
One of my favorite things to do when I was in the field with Uncle Lamb was to go for morning hikes. We were both early risers, but, as he need an entire pot of coffee before he was ready to do anything productive, I used it as my own private, quiet time.
I got to the top of the hill just as the sun was beginning to hit the standing stones. The sunrise painted the already eerie monoliths in an almost otherworldly light and I took out my phone to quickly capture the moment. Something white caught my eye in the corner of the image, prompting me to move closer to the center stone to investigate.
It was my paper.
Mouth open in astonishment, I scooped it up. It was slightly damp from the dew, but very obviously the paper I had thrown the afternoon before. It certainly hadn’t been there before we left, I had scoured the site looking for it to no avail.
I uncrumpled it and dropped the sheet of paper like it was a hot coal.
Someone had finished my sketch, signing their work with five neat letters in the bottom left hand corner.
But because they didn’t see each other very often, their relationship had more ups and downs than either of them had experienced before. Since everything felt right when they were together, everything felt wrong when they weren’t.