The Topsail Accord
Published by jt Kalnay
Copyright 2011, JT Kalnay
This is a work of fiction. While, as in all fiction, the story is based on experiences, real or imagined, all names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of my overactive imagination or are used fictitiously. No reference to any real person is intended or should be inferred.
Discover other titles by jt Kalnay at:
Please Consider Reading JT Kalnay’s Other Novels
The Topsail Accord
No-one would notice me. Not that man I saw jogging on the beach yesterday, and the day before. He didn’t notice me. Not even in this bathing suit that my sister insists is beautiful. Who would notice me? Maybe when I was younger, but not now as I approach forty and the first strands of grey appear in my hair and the first and second inevitable lines etch their history near my eyes. Who would notice me?
Not my husband. Well that’s not true. He notices me more now than he did when were married. He misses me and calls me and writes me love letters like he never did when we were married. He texts and emails. He drives by my lab and drives by my house. I have dropped my Facebook account because of his posts. I have changed my cell phone number and disconnected my landline. Soon I will be moving. Thank God he has never discovered my North Topsail cottage.
I do not want his attention. He made his decision, and I lived with it. Now that his third marriage is over I remain uninterested, even as his interest grows afresh. I know, like he does not, that he would throw me away again, as soon as possible, or as soon as convenient. As soon as he felt he could, as soon as someone else came along. Someone to watch over the children I never gave him, no matter how many doctors and treatments we tried.
No, no-one would notice me. Not the jogger, who is very fit, and very well-tanned, and thankfully not tattooed. He would never notice me, and neither would those children digging in the sand. I walk past them and their eyes do not meet mine. Like somehow they know I am not a mother; I will never be a mother. But their mother notices me, from behind her sunglasses and over her novel. She watches out of the corner of her eye, makes sure that I continue on past her children. She relaxes only when I am several yards down the shore, and moving further away. So at least there is someone who noticed me.
She is walking on the beach again, North Topsail Beach, at 7:15 in the morning.
I am jogging, like I do most every morning when my knees don’t hurt too badly. The sand is still cool underfoot, not yet burning hot as it will be later in the day. The sun is just a hand above the Atlantic, just barely above the pier on this Wednesday in late July. It is humid, but bearable. It is another in the endless progression of perfect beach mornings that stretch out before and behind me on my sublimely beautiful beach. That’s how I think of it, as my beach. Perhaps no-one can claim greater title to it, for perhaps no-one has spent so much time, toil, and love on this sand. Certainly no-one has spilled so much pain into this sand.
She was walking here yesterday, and the day before. By herself. In a light blue bathing suit with a loosely fitting gauzy white wrap that flows around her in the morning breeze. The outfit is perfect for her figure and for her tan. She is thin, toned. She must exercise a lot, or never eat, or both. She has long black hair. She is indescribably beautiful, though I suspect she has no idea about that.
She doesn’t notice me as I shuffle by. Just like she didn’t notice me yesterday, or the day before. She certainly didn’t notice me when I rode my mountain bike back and forth on the beach last night. Luckily I have reached that combination of age and weight and tiredness that makes me invisible to beautiful women and non-existent to girls, whether beautiful or plain. Not noticing me makes this walking vision like most of the other weekly renters. The locals, if we are visible at all, are local color, not real people. We are the servers, the shopkeepers, the policemen, the fishermen, the people who live here because of the renters. That’s how they see us. Like we exist only to serve them and should be thankful for their annual weekly visits. Which we are, they are important to our economy. And I am, because sometimes they buy my coffee and sometimes even come to my bed for a brief romance. But I don’t think this reclusive beauty is one of those.