An only child as she grew up. Her husband gone. Her child an only child. On the beach.
And now she realizes that she is old. “She was old! Worse, she was no longer a woman—she was a discard, a provider-of-meals, a scrubber-of-floors.”
“Clair tugged the hat over her eyes as if by this one violent gesture, she could obliterate everything and everybody around her.”
Her mind goes back to when she was sixteen and she met a young man on the beach. They had a wonderful camaraderie. Until a frumpy, gray-haired woman called him from the shore: “Harrrollld!” “Is that your name?” “That’s my wife.”
She wakes from her day dream, crying. Crying for that frumpy woman who must have panicked when she saw her husband frolicking with her, at sixteen.
Rating: **** out of *****.
About the Author: “Margot Ticher, born in Victoria, taught primary school until her marriage. For the last ten years she has been writing and publishing short stories which are also broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting C omission. Her interests include genealogical research, photography, sketching and competitive swimming.”
Short Story International #30. Ed. Sylvia Tankel. February 1982. Pp.8-16.