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Fred L Anglin Jr.

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The Sea Shell
By Fred L Anglin Jr.
Monday, January 05, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Fred L Anglin Jr.
· A Birth
· Looking Back...
· A Christmas Remembered
· Cripple Creek Remembered
· A Boy Named Stephen
· The Rites Of Fall
· Can I withdraw From My IRA...?
           >> View all 11


This is only an OUTLINE that I am working on at the present time...needs a lot of work...

Looking Back

He was only twelve in 1943 when he came to the island with his mother. He watched her from the porch as she kissed and embraced his father then he was suddenly gone…back to the war she said…an easy answer for him.
They left Macon by bus the next morning, “We’ll be there by dark.” She said as she looked out of the window…it was as if she was talking to her self not him. They would be staying with Ruth his mom’s sister. He had only met her once before and he didn’t like her. He couldn’t wait to get off this island and back to Macon…the place was infested with mosquitoes, snakes and all kinds of bugs. He had a whelp on his back or arms and legs all the time…damn bugs he whispered under his breath. He knew his mom didn’t take to no cussing. He whispered all the time…
Dog Island would be his home for ever he thought. The tiny island was covered with palmettos and palms, and surrounded by beautiful turquoise surf which eased onto the beach with a calm approach. He once sat in the rain as the waves beat at his feet…he loved rainy weather and at every opportunity he would sneak out of the house and take long walks along the beach. Walks that led to no where just away from his mom and Ruth. He wondered how 400 people chose to make their home here…anywhere but here.
With school still 2 months away he made it a habit to stay on the beach or in the tiny town. Anywhere away from his mom and Ruth. He was surprised at all the different shells he could find. He once thought about collecting and selling them to the few tourists who came to the little island on vacation.
“I found a Tiger Conch. “ A voice said. He jerked around but did not speak. “I come down here everyday to hunt for shells.” She’s about my age he thought, but Kinda tiny. Her blond curls were drawn back with a red ribbon She was pretty but he didn’t want to think about things like that. He had more important things to think about. “You visiting here or do you live here.” He asked. She smiled and told him the same story. Her mother came to the island to live with relatives while her dad was overseas. Then they would return to Atlanta. He wanted to say more but he couldn’t find the words.
Days turned into months and the months gathered with no word about going home. Then one Saturday morning two military men knocked on their front door. The boy watched as they talked to his mom. Then suddenly he watched as she fell to her knees. Ruth and the men helped her get back into the house. He waited and sneaked down and took the paper she was given. He was stunned as he read it. WE ARE SORRY TO INFORM YOU THAT ROBERT DAVID SIMPSON WAS KILLED IN ACTION AT NORMANDY. The letter said more but he didn’t want to read it. His father was dead and no letter could bring him back. He peeked around the corner and saw his mom on the couch with her head in Ruth’s lap.
He made his way into the tiny town to get away from everything. He saw Catharine and wanted to be with her. He suddenly felt feelings that he never thought he had. “Hi…” She turned around smiling. They had something between them that was hard to understand. Every time they were together she made him feel special. Something he had never felt before. He told her about the letter. She took his hand and they walked along the beach for hours not speaking just feeling each others heart beat. He knew then that she was special and he never wanted to lose contact with her.
Time came for her to leave…they knew this day would come but they made believe that it would never arrive. He stood on the dock as the boat came to take them away. She waved until he couldn’t see her any more…he wondered if he would ever see her again…
The tiny island would now be their home. He would never see Macon again he thought.
The days became years and she never returned to the island. Each summer he watched as every ferry boat came and left but no Catharine. He finished school and was accepted at Georgia Tech. He would study math and later took a professorship at Colby College. His tenure came and still the years passed ever so quickly. He never married. Some how he never got Catharine out of his heart and mind. He no longer tried to find her. He could only speculate about her and how her life had gone. Ruth passed away in 1983 leaving the home to his mom. Two years later on her 71st birthday he said good bye to one of the two women he ever loved. He was now totally alone.
He sat patiently in his doctor’s office as he was told that he had cancer. He was only 54…he asked how long he had and was told 3 years at the most. He left and made his way to the spot where he and Catharine has spent so much time…the beach had been their comfort spot…the place they could go and no one could hurt them…their special place.
Two weeks passed and each morning he took his walk along the beach…with him he took a small basket and when he found an unusual shell he saved it…telling himself…”Catharine would love this one…”
It happened on a Saturday at the little café where he had coffee every morning. It was his routine to read the paper while he waited for his two scrambled eggs and toast. “Where can a girl get a good breakfast?” His heart began to beat as he turned around. She stood looking down at him…smiling like he remembered. Her beautiful blond curls drawn back with a red ribbon…they sat together that morning and held hands while they tried to explain to each other so many years lost. They never returned to the tiny island because her father never came home. Words from the army were sent and her family stayed in Atlanta. She graduated from Smith College and moved to Nashville where she worked in merchandising for a New York based company. She married but never had any children…the marriage only lasted 2 years. A failure she said…something she never wanted to do again…still she couldn’t get the summer of their youth out of her mind.
They never married…but they never left each others side…their morning walks along the beach became legendary on the little island as the locals referred to them as star crossed lovers…in three short years they made up for all the time lost…then on a Saturday morning in May…she sat with him on their porch that over looked their beach…they held hand and looked at the sunrise as it passed over the beautiful turquoise
waves…he smiled and closed his eyes…he was happier than he had ever been…
She buried him on the tiny little island that he hated…the island where they had first met…the island where he would rest for eternity…She was old now…her blond curls were silver and she could still hear his voice as she walked all alone on their beach. She died 6 months later and requested to be buried next to him…her wish was granted.
In a small cemetery east of the town rest two lovers who met when they were just kids…fell in love and found each other before their lives ended…
 


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Reviewed by Kristine Thatch 3/23/2009
trying to reach you

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