By Marta Pelrine-Bacon
Ella Mariah Kane lived by the sea and waited for her husband to return. At first the people in town understood and counted along with her how many days, weeks, passed. Later, they offered condolences and brought her food.
“But he returns every day,” she told them, smiling. People looked around but saw no boots by the door nor smelled the sweat and fire of a man at home. But they didn’t ask because this was one of those places where asking felt like staying too long after dinner.
Ella would’ve told them if they’d really wanted to know. He was in the sand the sea rolled to shore that crunched with the broken shells under her feet. He kissed her everyday with the spray of water hitting the rocks. He whispered to her under the sound of the waves coming in and drifting out.
No one asked about the father of the child that appeared too many months later. She was her own woman, after all, and this wasn’t a place where people pry. But Ella would’ve liked to tell them about her husband’s undying devotion even from the depths of the sea. Didn’t they know that’s why she slept on the beach in the dark?