Now so calm, so peaceful. Even beautiful. Pink sky and blue clouds reflected in the deep blue water.

But she could no longer see beauty in the world. Not here, looking out where the Makassar Strait met the Celebes Sea.

The violence of the tsunami was gone now. The serene water held the dead below. It held her  child, her son, her Banyu.

Behind her Palu City had gone. She had returned in desperation to search for him. She could not find where their wooden shack had stood. Nothing was recognisable.

She longed to be with him. To be close to him again.

Anger filled her. Standing there, she screamed. An animal, furious call. A shout into the abyss. At who? God? There could be no God now. There was only fact and circumstance.

Her son was dead. After everything life had thrown at her. After everything that she had had to do to survive. He was taken from her, the only good thing to have come from her wretched life.

And now he was so faraway from her. Gone. Suffering? She could take it no more. She would be reunited with him, or she would refuse to go on without him.

With that she took two strides forward and leapt from the rock.

The cold water enveloped her. It dragged her down. The shock stunned her. She let herself fall.

Strong currents pulled her down. Strong hands grabbed her arms. She felt herself be pulled upwards. She opened her eyes. An angry face. It screamed at her. ‘No more. Enough.’

He laid her down on the rocks, she coughed up salt water. He slumped next to her and through tears repeated, ‘No more death. Enough.’


There is only fact and circumstance.

The fact was he had saved her. The circumstances had brought them together.

They walked up to the makeshift orphanage entrance. He knew she secretly hoped they would find her son there. They both knew they would not. It had been three months.

What they would find were children who had lost their families, who were alone and needed new homes.

He held all the paperwork they needed. She smiled at her guardian angel. Together they would start again.

Banyu would always be in her heart.

Faraway, so close.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt – Faraway curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

42 responses to “FARAWAY, SO CLOSE”

  1. You may pass a whole case of tissues if you will. this jerked my heart out and sank it beside her. Such a powerfully written expression of grief… have been there… how you say it rings so very very true to form. The scream that comes from somewhere so deep inside that it defies reality…. sniffle. Great writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautifully done – the heartbreaking pain that can only be resolved through ending it all, transformed to acceptance through happy accident. Poignant and the emotions so strong and real.

    Liked by 1 person

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