She sat where many had sat before, gazing down over the lip of the cliff, down, down to where the dark waters shimmered in the soft moonlight. Dark and welcoming, yet every now and then small star lit crests of surf spoiled the stillness of the surface.

She did not remember the drive from her house to Beachy Head. Her eyes had been so full of tears, her heart filled with pain. She had been numb to the world outside. Climbing the hill to the cliff top, she stumbled on the grass made wet by the evening shower. Her jeans soaked from the grass, as her face was from the tears that fell from her eyes.

The fence and signs warning of the dangers of the cliff edge did nothing to stop those who had a mission at this lonely spot high above the still waters. She looked down once moren into the welcoming depths far beneath her, without knowing it, fiddling with the thin gold band on her finger.

When had it started, why had it happened, her mind was a turmoil of non understanding. Still photographs of the last months flashed in and out of her thoughts as she tried to get them into some form of order.

She had been happy, so very happy, her life had seemed complete when she had found Rob. It was one of those chance meetings at the local bar she sometimes went to with her friends after work. They had been there making the normal fools of themselves, she had been laughing with the others at their jokes and comments about the men in the bar. Suddenly she felt the hairs stand up on her neck, quickly glancing around noticed a pair of blue eyes trying to avoid the fact that they had been looking at her. She smiled at the man who was obviously a little embarrassed at being caught looking, staring at her, a shy half smile had been returned, before the rest of the girls caught on and immediately had started to make her blush by their comments.

That had been the start, it had been several weeks later that he actually came up and spoken to her as she had stood at the bar, it being her round for the drinks.

"Caught you alone," he said with a little laugh.
Charged by the drink, she answered,
"If you want to catch me alone, phone me."

Giving him her phone number. She never knew what got into her to have done that, but something told her deep inside it was the right thing to do.

She had waited and waited for the phone call, and when it came her heart danced with joy.

Their first date was a magic night of being with somebody who was to be part of her life for a long time. The evening merged into the night neither of them had wanted to end. They had talked and discovered, kissed and learned, she knew at the end this man was the one for her. That date turned into a romance, the first night they had laid together after making love, she had known what heaven really was. Rob was everything she had ever wanted, everything she had ever needed, he was her love.

The days turned into months, months to a year. On the anniversary of their meeting he gave her the sparkling ring that now she twisted round and round on her finger.

They planned and started trying to save for their future, both got second jobs. Together they worked out what they needed for a future home for their much-wanted family. The times together got shorter, their loving less often, they were both tired, but she knew it was for the best. Then came the phone calls.

It was strange at first calls with nobody there when she picked the phone up, calls asking for a wrong number. At first they had laughed about it, now she realized that it had been a warning sign.

One day he told her he had to go away on a business, coming back a week later, looking tired. She had sensed at that time something was wrong, something was there lurking deep behind his eyes.

Then when she got home from another long day at work, he was not there, she gave a sob, peircing the chill night air. He was not there that night or the next, she had called all her friends, called the hospitals. She had realized when she had looked round the house that despite them living together for some time, there was really very little of him left in the now empty rooms. Rooms where they had loved and laughed, lived and planned, empty shells of a romance.

She heard nothing from him this last month, nothing, her pain grow as her worry turned to heartache, everyday she checked with the hospitals, police and friends. Each day she received the same lack of news. That was until tonight, until she came home early from her job. Feeling the pain too much from the sad looks and "trying to help" remarks of those who cared for her.

He was there when she opened the door, packing up what was left of his things. He had looked totally embarrassed to be caught. She rushed into his arms, which automatically went round her though felt cold and unresponsive, she kissed him, but got nothing back in return.

He had simply said
"I'm leaving. I have met somebody else. I am sorry."
Then he turned and left.

Ten words that had broke her tattered world asunder, ten words that lead to her being here, now, looking down into the welcoming arms of the sea far below, where life would no longer hurt, where the pain that filled her heart would not be there any more.

A night birds cry ripped the silence as a splash sent ripples across the silent sea far below, it was over.

Slowly sinking into the dark depths, something gold reflected in the moons soft beams.

She stood up feeling the weight gone from her heart as it was from her finger where once a ring had been placed.

This night the sea would not be her home, this night was the start of rebuilding her life, She would get through it, she would find that one person who was meant for her, she would start again.

Once more she looked into the darkness of the sea and thought she caught a faint glint of gold deep from its depths, this was not the end, it was a new beginning.

© Copyright 2003 Barry Eva