As he stepped out of his house and took a left, then left again, Jake could hear the seagulls above him, stirring up a storm with their rhythmic squawking. ‘Not-that-way,’ they seemed to chime. ‘Stay-near-sea.’
Jake understood. He had lived by the sea all his life and couldn’t imagine being away from it. Every day he felt the pull of the ocean calling him, wanting him close. The sea made Jake feel alive, with every breath of salty air he inhaled. The vast openness of the ocean, seeming to reach to infinity and seamlessly joining with the sky, signified that nothing was impossible. The sea made everything else pale in to insignificance. All Jake’s problems and worries could melt away with the tide.
If it hadn’t been for his grandparents, Jake would never have been given the opportunity to bond with the ocean in the way he had. His parents didn’t appreciate the beauty of it at all. In fact, Jake wondered why they even lived here. It was his granddad who had introduced him to sailing and the two of them spent many happy weekends on the old yacht they owned, with Gran sitting on the pebbly beach in her deck chair looking on (in between doing her knitting). They were both gone now and the beach was the only place where Jake could feel closer to his granddad. The one place where he didn’t feel quite so alone. When his mind began to feel weighed down with confusion and he could no longer think through the fog, he would come down to the beach and listen to the rhythm of the waves lapping back and forth. The sound, like the ticking of a clock or the beating of a heart, had a lulling effect that never failed to soothe and calm.
That was why he understood the seagulls. It was hard to walk in the opposite direction and with each step, his breaths were coming shorter and his head began to pound. He stopped, took in a deep pull of air and glared at the seagulls. They weren’t helping and it was ridiculous of him to be feeling this way. He knew that. All he needed to do was go and find out where Sophie lived and see if she was ok. He promised his Gran that he would do that and he intended to follow through on that promise. It won’t take long, he told himself, and then you can go back to where you belong.
Sharing this for #theprompt from Sara at mumturnedmom.
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