The memories flooded her like a maelstrom of vivid images, half truths and naked lies. This was the reason she had put off visiting the lighthouse for so long. But a time comes when putting something off no longer works and you are forced, by circumstances or otherwise, to confront all those glorious memories. That time had come for her.
She remembered looking at the lighthouse from her window. Her bedroom was a small excuse of a room next to the attic. With the slant roof, all she could put inside the room was a tiny mattress, a trunk to keep her belongings and a jug of water since wandering around the house in the middle of the night if she got thirsty was an eventuality as unappealing as the bedroom.
But there was something that made it impossible for her to leave this room and pick a better room – even when one was made available when Daniel died at sea. It was the window…the window that had the best view in the whole entire house. Lucy could see the sea for miles and standing in that colossal grey mass of roiling and writhing waves, stood the lighthouse – tall and proud, like a beacon of hope and salvation to any man lost at sea.
She looked at the lighthouse now. So many years later. So many that she had lost count. It had lost some of its majestic quality; it no longer looked tall but bent, like an old man who is too proud to use a stick to stand erect. But it hadn’t lost any of its hold on her.
When she had been younger, the lighthouse had actually worked. It had actually served its purpose for being constructed in the middle of a sea – a feat that was by no means simple or straightforward. But now, with modern technology, it had lost its relevance, just like her.
Lucy started to walk towards the lighthouse, inexorably drawn towards it and the final moments of that fateful day. She hadn’t actively tried to avoid those memories…but like that lighthouse, they had become irrelevant…until now.
When she reached the land surrounding the lighthouse, she turned back. If she tried hard enough, she could conjure the house that had been at once a curse and a blessing. She could even conjure up the window from where she would keep vigil over the lighthouse, just as it had kept vigil over the sea.
She absently raised her hand and waved, as if saying goodbye to that house, that window and that little girl.
Lucy walked onward, toward the jagged rocks that had been invisible from her window. Now she knew why – had she seen them before, she would have been drawn to their bruising beauty and died before her time.
Edmond had shown her the rocks. He had shown her how to see the beauty in the most broken of things. He had seemed so wise and so charming, Lucy had had no problem in accepting him as her first (and only) lover. He had opened a whole new world for her…it was like everything that was broken inside her had been broken keeping Edmond in mind. After all it had been him who had first told her she was beautiful.
They had made the pact together, to walk onto the jagged rocks and into the sea, a fitting tribute to their individual lives. But he hadn’t shown on the day. Lucy had waited until dawn. And just when she had been about to give up on him, he had come to her, from the sea no less! She hadn’t asked questions. She had simply walked into his arms.
She didn’t know, had never realized, that she had drowned, long before dawn in one of those big waves she had seen from her window…the types that almost ate the lighthouse whole. Those waves had always sent a shiver of fear and thrill down her body. It was fitting then that something that equally terrified and excited her had taken her away from the world.
And now Lucy was here again. Ready to leave the spirit world. Just like the real world had broken her, the spirit world hadn’t been all that glamorous either. It had disappointed her, more than the real world. She was ready to quit this world too. Maybe the next one would be better. All she knew was, as long as the lighthouse lived, she would too.
For December, I will be writing stories based on prompts I have gotten from friends, family, friends of friends and some generous people on Twitter. Thank you Jasmita for this prompt.