They sit together, side by side, and watch the ocean move along the sand. He holds her left hand in his right and gently rubs it warm. She watch’s him smile as a memory or thought cross’s his mind, she see’s the colour in his cheeks and the fading of his hair and longs to hold his face in her hands.
He will slowly and lovingly disappear from her forever. This man, who holds her hand on the bench by the sea, her constant, will be a stranger. Fear is ever-present but somehow on a day when the sea is clear and the wind is playful there is peace amongst them, and they can sit in silence and simply be. No one life is perfect. No partnership is without its moments of joy, sadness and pain but she sits here beside him, her hand in his and is looking beyond the disappearing horizon.
He watches her closely and fondly, this lady beside him. She has wrinkles around her eyes and lines of laughter on her cheeks, he will miss her daily. She has been changeling, difficult, wonderful, and an ever-present friend. He wants to take her home and make her warm but her eyes are telling him, she isn’t ready to leave. He wishes he had made a flask of tea or brought a blanket, but as he looks at her again, it isn’t the cold that is troubling her.
They never really have to talk anymore as the words have all been said, there are no more sorry’s left or regrets to be discussed. The laughs have been relived and the tears forgotten, there is nothing left to say between them, not even a good-bye.
The sky is dark and the sea no longer looks calm, it’s time to head home and he slowly helps her up and rests her on his arm. She smiles at him as they walk home, he can feel her happiness. But he simply looks ahead or at the ocean. In a week or maybe two she will be gone forever and his hand will be empty, her smiles will be his memory.