Nestling his toes into the sand, Adam allowed the surf to encroach upon his space. The ebb and flow of the water was therapeutic despite its chilly temperature. He always came here when he needed time to think.
Adam had dedicated everything to Rachel and their relationship. And now, two days before their five year anniversary, she ended it most callously through a text message. She had decided to move in a new direction. In other words, I found someone new.
Adam was what most would consider a social outcast, holed up in his apartment paying more attention to his laptop screen than the world around him. When Rachel entered his life, everything changed. A new world had opened up that changed something at Adam’s core. Now, he felt like receding back into that sheltered corner of his mind where vulnerability and risk could be kept at a safe distance.
The morphing color from the setting sun, apricot to crimson, reminded Adam of a childhood memory. While the red balloon was inflated with helium, Adam finished scrawling his message on the paper. He allowed his imagination to wander. The belief that this vessel could travel across the ocean to some foreign land was a manifestation of the energetic hopefulness of youth. His balloon never made it far, but that never stopped him from believing in something more.
Lifting a handful of sand, Adam allowed it to trickle between his fingers. Where has the time gone? The thought came from his rational mind, but was quickly accompanied by a rumination from his emotional mind. Where has the hope gone? He wanted a return to his youthful dreams. The reality of adulthood was getting in his way.
As the water crested over into a wave that Adam would never forget, the surf enveloped him with its comforting arms. The bottle that washed up with this wave began to recede back into the ocean. Instinctively, Adam grabbed it. The top was corked with something inside.
The Asahi beer label had been peeled off and placed inside with a small heart-shaped pebble. Adam smiled, remembering that Asahi meant morning sun. Through the promise of a new day, a spark was ignited allowing Adam to recapture the boundless hope of his younger days.
On a similar stretch of sand, a continent away, a young woman sits, watching the sun peek above the horizon. The hope of something more had vacated her life too. She hoped that dropping that bottle in the surf, watching it be carried away, would bring her some solace. She had visited this shore countless days, for months, anticipating some sign from afar. The sunlight that filtered through the clouds and passed into her eyes on this day seemed to carry with it something more, the smile of another. The smile on her face spread wide. As if tethered by a strand of sunlight stretched across the miles, two souls were forever connected through the promise of hope and a shared smile.