Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: BEACH (12/05/19)
TITLE: No Day at the Beach
By Chiazo Obiudu
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Kaima was at the beach again, alone and lonely. It was a cloudy morning and there were just a handful of people there.
“How did I, we, get here?” She thought to herself. She must have thought out loud because the young man that jogged past her turned to give her a curious look.
“I must be losing it.” She was careful to keep that particular thought to herself.
She never imagined she would find herself in such a place. A dark place filled with doubt, pain and a good dose of fear- fear of losing all she had spent years building. A little brown shell, washed ashore by the waves, caught her eye. She didn’t need to pick it up to realize it was empty, devoid of life. Very much like her home.
But it hadn’t always been like that. Her home used to be filled with life and love, light and laughter; oh, there was loads of laughter. She stood transfixed as she recalled one particular occasion. She was in the dining room with her husband, Meka and their kids. Kaima had never been a good cook, but that night, the soup she prepared was anything but edible. She knew it was bad, but the reaction she got from her husband and kids was epic. She smiled as she recalled the expressions on their faces when they tasted the soup.
“It’s not that bad,” she had said, laughing as she reached for her phone to order some take-out from a fast-food place.
“Seriously honey, I know I can’t cook to save my life or anybody’s life for that matter; but one day, you just might kill somebody with your cooking.”
Those were the days when Meka could make fun of her cooking and get away with it. They had all laughed over it. Kaima found herself chuckling again, but then she stopped herself. Her husband’s words had nearly come true. She had almost killed, not somebody, but something equally dear to her. She had nearly destroyed the home she had painstakingly built with her husband- the man with whom she had walked this same beach, hand-in-hand; the man with whom she had raised two beautiful children; the man that was meant to be her forever. She had almost ended it. And as she recalled the unsavory events of recent years, like fierce currents, those heart-wrenching emotions began to roll in again.
“Lord, how did I get here?” She slumped and spread herself right there on the white sands of the beach. The tears of pent-up anger and frustration came down in torrents, the sobs exploded from her chest. She didn’t care who heard her, didn’t bother if people saw her. She only knew there was one Person she must reach, One to Whom her cries must ascend.
“Lord, Jesus. Help me.” There was nothing more she could say. She lay there, looking up. She cast her eyes on the lush green hills that lined the horizon and remembered her favorite Psalm.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.”
“Lord Jesus, help me.” She kept muttering, saying the words over and over again. A young couple passed by her, paying her little attention. They were lost in their own world, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, reminding her of her early years with Meka. They could talk and talk for hours, but now, the few words they exchanged were barely civil. There was nothing lovely about their conversations anymore. Their marriage had become anything but blissful; definitely not a quiet day at the beach. The turbulent waves crashing on the far coast painted a better picture of their current situation. They had to send the kids off to boarding school to keep them from all the tension. But when they left, it seemed they took the little light that was left in their home.
‘How did I…” She found herself asking again. But she shook her head. She was done with that.
“Lord, how do we move on from here?”
“Up,” came the still small voice.
They had hit rock bottom. There was no other way to go but up. Just then, the dark clouds lifted just enough for the mid-morning sun to send slivers of light across the sky.
She stood up, shook off the sand that clung to her and made her way home.
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