On the winter beach

She screws up the letters he had written her, page by single page. Burning them would still feel too final, the ash too easy to smooth between fingertips. She imagines the powder-grey prints she would leave on the banister.

So crushing the letters is the best course of action. The only way. One by one she drops the pieces of paper and the wind sends them skirling across the winter beach.

She feels bad, of course she does. If the world were normal, she would never drop what in a normal world is litter. But the world is not normal, not now.

One page is caught in the dip before the rocks; others are held in the frothing shallow water. A single tear would be appropriate – the thought surprises her and she almost smiles. Then the smile fades from her eyes and she feels the chill on her neck.

She drops the last page and watches it skitter. The last one. Gone. She turns and walks away, into the wind.

Some years later, she returns with a dog and children. Of course there is no sign of his letters. No sign. Of course.

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