Her shoes lay in the sand behind her. She dipped her toe in the water and stared out at the horizon.
“I know it sounds awful but it wasn’t actually that simple…” Her voice trailed off.
She paused, sighed, and started again.
“He was a good man, as they say. Nice. Stable. Maybe drank a bit too much, but that’s not such a big deal, really. He was the faithful type. A Good man with a capital G. And yes, he was good to me. But I wanted excitement, travel, walks in the moonlight, romance.”
She ran her fingers through her short grey hair.
“I’m a dreamer, I know. It was just… a lifetime of goodness, stability, fish-on-friday and go to the theater once a month as a special treat… that’s not what I wanted. I was selfish, I know, I know. I still am. I still want you to forgive me.”
Her hands rested on her stomach. She took a deep breath before continuing.
“I sent him away. He never knew. I’m sorry, and I know you will probably never really understand. I wanted to love you, but I just couldn’t. I’m sorry.”
Her eyes filled with tears. A teenager dressed in a bright t-shirt and shorts came closer, looked at her with concern.
“Lady, you okay?”
She kept her eyes on the horizon and nodded.
He looked around him at the empty beach and then at her again.
She turned to face him, crying openly now. “Do you think she can hear me?”
He took a step back, looked around again. “Who?”
“My little girl. The daughter I never had.”
He moved away, shaking his head nervously before breaking into a trot and carrying on along the coast, away from her.
She turned back towards the water.
“I think you can hear me,” she whispered.
Sylvia Spruck Wrigley is a German-American living in Spain who writes about things she sees in a room which isn’t there.