Don’t Look Back

“You have to go now, Danny,” Claudia said quietly, as we stood beside her car in the low dusk light. The sound of lapping waves against the seawall drowned out the hum of the town, whilst seagulls called from the deep-blue skies above. “You’ll miss the ferry.”

“I know,” I replied. Several of the streetlamps along the Dover waterfront were beginning to flicker on, illuminating the benches that sat lonely beneath them. Dog walkers and evening strollers stepped slowly by, whilst somewhere out to sea, hidden behind the hazed horizon, the muted sound of a ship’s horn rung out.  Despite being May, the night was cold and our breaths emitted translucent puffs of vapour into the air. I put my arms around Claudia’s wrapped-up body, feeling the soft textile of her woolly hood on my cheeks. It would be four months before I would see her again.

“OK, now go.” Pushing free from my embrace, she grabbed me by the collar and straightened out my black GoreTex jacket, pulling the zip to its highest point. Teary eyed, but not yet crying, I took one final look at Claudia and then turned painfully away.

Glancing over my shoulder every few seconds, I paced along the redbrick promenade, flanked to its south by the murky waters of the English Channel. The quicker I walked, the sooner it would be over.

Eventually, amidst the fading light, I lost sight of Claudia’s waving arm, pulled my hood over my head and didn’t look back until I reached the ferry.

About Danny Graham

I am a 27-year-old Englishman, currently living on the western coast of Canada. From my bedroom window - which looks south across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and towards the Olympic National Park - I can see river otters playing in tangles of kelp and seaweed. These are the things that are important to me and I like to write them down. I would like to learn more about memoir writing.
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2 Responses to Don’t Look Back

  1. Judith says:

    Enjoyed this! Where is he going? Why will he be gone four months? Makes you want to know what’s going to happen…

  2. Betty Jo says:

    Danny, I just found your writing that was done back in December 20 14
    I enjoyed the read and I too want to know where he is going. A great description of the cold. “Despite being May, the night was cold and our breaths emitted translucent puffs of vapour into the air.” I want to read more.

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