I must have looked so lonely.

Moments before.

I must have looked so lonely.

I remember sitting alone at the boulders on the far side of the beach. I didn’t feel lonely, or at least I didn’t think I was. I told myself I was tired and arriving there, I found solitude; a feeling which I was chasing, yearning. I silently sat, waiting for the first dip of the sun — the moment where it meets the horizon and disappears on this side of the world. It’s strangely comforting, the assurance along with the certainty that the sun disappears only to appear again somewhere.

I must have looked so lonely for someone to stay close to where I sat. I had only assumed they were a family who took a trip to the beach and decided to camp close to where I am. It is the least crowded part, after all. I was no longer alone.

I must have looked so lonely for someone to stay close to where I sat and watch me. Not in the menacing way but out of concern. Of course, I didn’t know that then but strangely, I don’t remember being alarmed or feeling threatened.

I must have looked so lonely. But in that moment, I forced to blank out and only watch the sun set, untainted. I didn’t want to think, afraid to tether an emotion I might evoke by thinking too much. I wanted this memory void of emotions and thoughts. The moment I took out my camera and the sound of the shutter synced with the crashing of the waves, I heard a sigh of relief and string of words that I unwelcomingly thought of during the entire bus ride home. Even as I arrived safely at home, the phrase stuck to me.

I must have looked so lonely. I was in bed, replaying the untainted setting of the sun. Intrusively and as quick as the waves I have seen earlier that day, the phrase hit me; what they meant. I broke out in tears that night in bed. The sunset that day now tainted with emotions as loud as the waves.

I must have looked so lonely. And maybe I was but I couldn’t be honest with my feelings back then. I always had a hard time identifying what I was feeling. I only knew then that I was seeking comfort, and how wonderful would it be to rely on the sea to take all my thoughts away with it and sink it to its depths. To witness time pass by with the sun, to pretend that when the day ends so does everything.

Much like how the sun disappear and appear, waves come and go, and inevitably it may carry something it took, back ashore. My attempt to escape was only partly futile, for I unexpectedly took something home, an anchor — a string of words to keep me tethered to the ground and not sink away with the rough waves.

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