Grace

Pain and Love

From her position sitting on the wet shore of the beach, Amy could see far out to sea although tonight it seemed scary. Dark, threatening waves splashed fiercely against looming, immense cliffs, barely seen by the late light of that July evening. It was a warm night and Amy felt strangely comforted by the heat. Sitting there, the waves gently licked her toes that disappeared every few minutes underneath the wet sand. Her hot pink summer dress sat, sandy and drowned on the shoreline but Amy couldn’t have cared. Not when she had so many other problems waiting just 100 metres up the shoreline.

The Flamingo hotel located on the perfect island of Corfu had seemed to be a curse for all the fighting which had taken place since the Gwen family arrived last week for their annual summer holiday. Amy picked herself and her gritty sandals up; the heavy hemming of her wet dress stuck uncomfortably to the back of her thighs. She flicked her dead straight, beautiful brown hair over her bronzing shoulders as she walked. The sand flicked up and across the silent beach, which in a few hours would be full of hundreds of tourists, each carrying the coconut scent of summer.

Amy struggled to walk through the deep sand. Her calves ached when she reached the dusty road, which lead her back to the hotel. In the distance, a different holiday camp’s entertainment program was in full swing. She listened to the soft beat of a far off disco and wished she could be there rather than making her way back to the small, mouldy bedroom where her parents would be in the middle of a heated row.

Looking back, I remember that night too well. Yet, after the walk back to the dark hotel room, all I can remember are the tears and the pain. My father walked out on us at 3:30 in the morning. He didn’t come back either until we were due to meet the holiday reps for our transfer back to the airport.

My mother had cried a lot that holiday. She cried when she didn’t know if Dad would ever come home. She didn’t have a clue of her way around the island and couldn’t get hold of him at all. Therefore she panicked and didn’t stop panicking until he did arrive back to us. After that were more tears when he told us he was leaving. He would pack his bags when he got home and be out of out hair forever.

At the age of 13, as I waved to him from the living room window on that July evening, his face was full of guilt perhaps. I knew he loved me then but I never spoke to him again. He never rang and when my birthdays and Christmases came and went, I found myself missing him less.

At the time, it hurt. To think that my own father who taught me right from wrong, didn’t love me anymore. But now, looking back, he treated my mother with disrespect. She was a fool for marrying him and although you can’t undo the past, she had made many mistakes that should have been corrected a long time ago. He beat her and, for a long time, made her life a living hell.

Mother said they loved each other once but now, it was all over. Not even a spark of regret formed when the memories came back. As for me, I watched as Mum bought home new boyfriends each weekend. I was behind Mum at the registry office when she remarried and realized she is the happiest woman alive.