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The Sand Does Not Forget

You won’t forget anything, I promise you

By Riccardo VallePublished about a month ago 3 min read
Image created by the author with DALL-E3.

We took a small boat and sailed along the coast, which was already receding like a memory.

The man at the helm had a hat too big for his head. Perhaps he had chosen it for the solemn occasion, a safe place to hide his awkward eyes.

— I’m afraid I’ll forget it, you said.

I didn’t know what to answer. I too had the same fear as you, while the image of the earth began to dissolve into the monotonous noise of the water.

— You won’t forget it. The memory will fade, and it will hurt less, but then a drop of water, a perfume, will be enough, and he will return to you as he was two days ago. Suddenly. And you will remember everything again.

You looked at me from behind a line of tears. Maybe I convinced you. It took time to accept a memory in place of a physical presence.

I pushed my hand towards the water as it transformed into slow foam. Splinters of sun around us. We were in the middle of the day too beautiful to be experienced as a sick fever.

You clutched the urn to your chest, never to leave it again.

The last thing left. The first and last link between matter and memory.

You never wanted to, but your fingers moved on their own. They surprised me with how confidently they grabbed the lid and swung it around.

Metal screamed into the sun, and in a single second, all the sounds of the world died away in the warm gray ash, like a warm afternoon at the beach. The hot sand caresses your ankles.

It didn’t make much sense to choose a specific point. Water has no memory. No paths can be found. It just flows. It’s up to us to choose the moment in which to immerse ourselves in its movement.

A single gesture, and beyond the side of the boat, the ash began to fall slowly, creating a second slow trail. Soft, which melted into the blue of the sea. It widened more and more until it lost its contours and gave back to the sea the space it had illegally occupied.

You closed the urn with a click.

— We can come back, thanks.

The tears were over. A sadness was descending on her without beginning or end, which left no room for the thought of her. Now it was the sea’s turn to cry.

From our living room window, you can see the sea. Today a very strong south-westerly wind sweeps the canal. Violent gusts shake the house. Ferries have suspended crossings.

The horizon is violent in these cases. Aggressive. He roars like a frightened lion.

I look at you standing by the window. I know what you’re thinking. I think I know.

The reflection of the glass reminds me of your face which you dry with your fingers.

- The sea is very rough today. Did he take him far?

I don’t know what to answer.

I only have memories of the sand and the sun. The light blinds, reflected by the very clear grains, which burn like needles. Afternoons so distant as to create dizziness and tremors. The anguish of not knowing where to look. The panic of being alone.

Maybe you’ve stopped crying, while beyond you and the glass, the palm trees shake furiously in the wind.

— He will never go away. He will always be in the sand. I promise you.


About the Creator

Riccardo Valle

I write about writing on my blog, Medium and social channels.

But I also like writing fiction.

If you like my stories, subscribe to my The Quite Page.

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  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydred30 days ago

    This is a wonderful prose poem in my opinion, excellent work

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