For Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word is MELT. 3rd definition: to make tender or gentle: soften.
Sitting on the cold sand at the high tide line, the waves unspooling one after another, Robyn waited for the emotion to pull her under. She imagined giving in to the riptide of it, bouncing along the sandy bottom, before it spit her out, breathless, along the shore.
A wave rushed in, as if desperate to touch her pale skin, the foam dissolving between her bare toes. The next ignored her, as if granting a wish, retreating many yards shy of her lone figure, not wanting to dislodge her.
Tucking her hands into the unzipped pockets of a yellow fleece, Robyn turned up the collar against the chill. What did she look like: a canary, an oriole? A petite, slender woman even in middle age, no thickening at her waist or expanding hips. She supposed she was lucky. Everyone said so. She ate what she wanted, but she’d always had a small appetite. She found no comfort in food as others did, never reaching for it in uneasy times.
Pregnant with Dylan her weight had been problematic. She’d tried to follow doctor’s orders and increase her calorie intake, but it had only made her ill. The final two months, confined to bed, affixed to an intravenous line of vitamins, she’d meekly obeyed her husband’s soft demands that she consume the high-protein green smoothies he’d prepared.
Husband. In conversation she had not said, my husband this or my husband that, as her friends did. It was always Matthew. She had never laid claim to him. But with Dylan, her son, she could not stop saying it, my son.
Protective, like his father, he had wanted to accompany her to the beach, but she had begged him not to. She longed to rest in the soft sand, allow that surge of relief to melt her coiled anticipation. But, it remained elusive, a stranger lurking in the shadows, refusing to show itself.
Where was that palliative sigh? Where was the long-awaited release? Matthew, her husband, dead.