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June 14, 2013

Excerpt: More Than You Know by Alexandria Rhodes

When I got to the beach, I immediately took off my shoes, letting the sand in between my toes and looked at the scenery in front of me. The beach on Tybee Island seemed to stretch on for miles. An infinite amount of sand and ocean was all I could see. A strong breeze blew across my face, the scent of salt and ocean filling my nostrils. I breathed in the warm beach air and smiled. This was something you couldn’t find in New York City. I looked ahead and saw my favorite part of the beach: the pier. 

I was surprised to see how few people were here, but it was a weekday. I weaved my way through the bodies lying out on their towels and walked up the old wooden stairs. I made my way over to my favorite spot at the end of the pier and looked out onto the water. The sounds around me made me smile: the birds squawking and flying around us; the mother yelling at her child to not go into the water without taking his shirt off. I couldn’t help but feel some jealousy that I had never experienced anything like this with my mother whom I never knew. I was about to leave when I saw an older man walking up to the pier. He was staring out into the sunset with a smile on his face. Smiling to myself, I walked away but heard him grumble about something and I turned around to see his cane had dropped. Rushing over to him, I picked it up so he wouldn’t need to bend over.

“Thank you, dear, I don’t think my back would have made it had I bent over myself.”

I smiled. “Of course, glad I could help.”

“It sure is beautiful, isn’t it?” he said as he walked over to the edge.

“It is.”

“You look troubled. Do you come here often to think? It’s a wonderful place for troubled souls.”

The old man sat down on one of the wooden benches along the sides of the pier. Something about him made me feel comfortable. “I used to when I was younger.”

“Well whatever is troublin’ you, my dear, know that things will get better. Just keep coming here. The sounds of the waves overtake your own thoughts. The smells here calm your insides, and the feeling of the warm air hitting your skin makes you feel like you’re not alone.” He sighed and took out a white handkerchief and wiped his forehead. “I’ve been coming here for decades and it still feels like she is here with me.” He looked at me and smiled. “She being my Laura. My best friend, my soul mate, and my wife.” He looked out onto the water, never breaking his smile. “This was the last place I saw her.”

“I’m sorry you lost your wife.”

He smiled. “Oh, that was years ago. I just have the good memories now. You know, the ones that can keep you going through the darkest of times.”

I got chills as his words hit me.

“She left on a sailboat for an afternoon adventure. We had all been here, our normal group of friends. It was as though as soon as she left, the skies blackened and the wind picked up.” He paused before going on. “The boat eventually came back to shore without my Laura.”

My hand reached out for his, even though I didn’t know him. The compassion and sadness I was feeling was so great that I felt as though I was supposed to know him. 

“So I come here whenever I need to think or talk to her. I can still picture her smiling and laughing as she climbed into the boat, her long blonde hair flowing in the wind.” He shook his head. “I didn’t mean to bog you down with all of this.”

“No, not at all. We all have our stories, and sometimes no matter the subject, we just need to share them.” The man and I exchanged names, and I left feeling humbled having met someone as kind and open as him. He reminded me how deep and powerful love could be. It could last forever for a person, even if their loved one wasn’t present. The man was able to live without his love. While he didn’t have a choice whether he lived with or without her, I did.

Buy More Than You Know at Amazon and B&N

About the author:

Being a first time novelist, Alexandria is excited to get her writing career off the ground. She is a recent college graduate of Kent State University with a degree in English and Creative Writing. Living in a small town her whole life, she would prefer to reside in a city such as New York City as she has always loved the fast paced environment.
She has been a writer ever since she can remember. Whether it was when she was little writing mini plays to perform for her parents or composing short stories on a typewriter she bought at a garage sale when she was eight, she has always needed to write. She has written professionally for her school’s website as well as a reporter for celebrity news on an online news page. Her passions in life include traveling, especially to Savannah, GA, writing, reading, fundraising and connecting through social media.
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