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The Loudly Silent End

A morning of observation at the beach

By Bekah JimenezPublished 9 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - October 2023
A woman alone, gazing at the ocean

I stood a few feet behind the occupied bench, enjoying the new morning after a glorious yellow sunrise. I could hear the sea breeze rustling the palm trees, the barking sea lions, and the cawing seagulls. The soft sand was cool and damp beneath my bare feet, since the sun hadn’t yet scorched the morning dew from beneath the tree’s fronds.

The middle-aged couple seated in front of me had been firmly settled long before I arrived. They had barely moved at all, aside from the times she had brushed the hair from her eyes and tried to put it behind her ears. The wind teased the strands back out in short order and playfully threw them back in the woman’s face.

Though I wasn’t really paying attention to them, I could see she was a handsome woman with a lovely smile. She was quite contented – just looking at the ocean. I was almost directly behind him, so I couldn’t see his face, yet I noticed that he was sitting with a very erect, almost militaristic posture.

The woman sighed deeply and laid her head on his tweed-encased shoulder. He jumped at the touch but then he softened and wrapped his arm around her. He seemed a bit younger than she, but not remarkably so, and rather handsome as well. He brushed his lips over her hair and kissed her forehead tenderly.

I went back to watching the waves crash onto the sand so as not to intrude on the intimate moment. We were all motionless for so long that I was nearly hypnotized by the scene.

Suddenly, someone coughed.

The couple on the bench sprang apart so quickly it looked as if he might fall off the bench for a moment. She moved to help him right himself but he didn’t see her reaching hand because he was staring over her shoulder, a look of horror on his face. She slowly turned around and I followed their gaze.

Another woman looked back at them, a mix hurt and anger oozing out of her. She was far too thin, a big, red coat wrapped tightly against the gentle, cool breeze. She trembled and brought a tissue up to her mouth to cough again. The cough was phlegmy and so strong it wracked her small frame. She finally took a shuddering breath and glared at the two of them in contempt.

The man guiltily stood up and started to walk over to her. The woman on the bench caught his hand and clasped it firmly. He looked down at her hand, then into her eyes.

They gazed at each other for a long moment.

Finally, he smiled at her weakly. Then he pulled his hand from her grasp, walked to the woman who was still glaring at him, and led her away. As they walked toward the parking lot, the woman shot a look of triumph over her shoulder.

That was too much for the woman on the bench to bear. She sank to her knees and bent her face nearly to the sand before she started sobbing.

I looked to see if the man had noticed, but the couple was now deep in conversation, never looking back at her again. They got into a small silver car and drove away, leaving her to grieve by herself.

I stood there awkwardly, wondering what I should do, if anything. I don't know her, or the context or anything really, aside from what I had seen this morning.

Eventually, the woman's pain was too much. My throat began to burn with tears. I couldn't stand to listen anymore. I walked over the hot sand back to my apartment.

And she was truly alone.

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About the Creator

Bekah Jimenez

I love writing. I've been writing since I learned how. I'm currently working on three novels - two fantasies and a psychological thriller. I can't wait to find a publisher!

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (27)

  • Carlos Mesa Pla8 months ago

    Good morning

  • Test8 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Kageno Hoshino8 months ago

    Sad but nice story.

  • Cathy holmes8 months ago

    This is excellent. Great storytelling. Congrats on the TS.

  • Babs Iverson8 months ago

    Wonderfully written!!! Impressive storytelling!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!💕❤️❤️

  • anu shani8 months ago

    nice please read my story

  • Ramoon Mal8 months ago

    Nice please read my story at https://vocal.media/futurism/oriental-garden-lizard

  • Story Room8 months ago

    Nice Post

  • Abby blasius8 months ago

    I enjoyed reading it. Excellent work!

  • Hyper Anger8 months ago

    nice

  • ArsNus028 months ago

    nice

  • javed khan8 months ago

    good job keep it up

  • Rachel Deeming8 months ago

    I love the way that your narrator is the observer. And the detachment at the end after showing the couple's affection for each other is the biggest heartbreak of the whole story. It left me thrown a bit. I don't like the sensation but I do like the surprise of it. Congrats on TS.

  • JBaz8 months ago

    Well done, you captures our imagination. Congratulations

  • Kendall Defoe 8 months ago

    Excellent! You told enough with the material and created a worthy TS!

  • Congratulations on your Top Story🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Oh my heart ❤️

  • Beauty Ufuomaefe8 months ago

    💝💝

  • Hannah Moore8 months ago

    I loved that quandry, and the humanity of it, nice work.

  • I love to watch the waves 🌊 ♥️✌️ Congratulations 🎉 on your 🎉 🎉Top Story🎉

  • Sweet Yvonne8 months ago

    Nice.

  • Dana Crandell8 months ago

    This drew me right in. Well written imagery and strong emotions. Well done, and congratulations on Top Story!

  • Alicia Gordan8 months ago

    Nice Post

  • Margaret Brennan8 months ago

    I felt that way when I caught my husband and his "friend". He didn't walk away immediately, though. I took him almost a year to decided that and by the time he made his decision, I'd made mine. He moved out and I moved on.

Bekah JimenezWritten by Bekah Jimenez

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