I was wading in the surf on Matagorda beach one warm, sunny day exchanging dialogue with Clara.￼
I had known Clara for about ten years and I have to admit, conversing with her was like pulling teeth. I don’t want to say she was dull, but she was too quiet and a tad introverted.
Don’t get me wrong, Clara is a lovely girl. She is smart and pretty and sweet and kind, but she was just too darn nice for the most part. Too calm, too reasonable, too… dull! There, I said it!
Anyway, as I was wading in the surf, dragging my feet (literally to scatter the sting rays) I was thinking how I might kill her. I know that must sound horrible, we had been comrades for so long, but she wearied me. Her unspoiled, hoity-toity, prim and proper,everything by the bookpersonality made me want to send her sailing face down with the outgoing tide. I think she knew it (she has that sixth sense thing, you know).
I didn’t expect Clara to fight me; it wasn’t in her nature. She had been so silent and distant, I thought she had given up on life and maybe she wanted to die?
I had mulled it over and over in my mind and finally come to terms with my decision. Clara no longer served a purpose and she must be done away with.
Suddenly the voice of a perky little blonde caught my attention; she was running down the beach waving and shouting,
“Hey y’all wait for me.”
Oh my lord,I thought, while trying to ignore the thin, tanned Mississippian’s approach.
Get it over with. I quickly shoved Clara toward the incoming wave but she didn’t budge; her feet were planted too firmly.
“Don’t make this difficult, just relax and go with the sea.” I filled my lungs with sweet, salty air and and shoved, harder this time. Again, she did not move and to my surprise she pushed back!
“Hey! Hey!” The Mississippian yelled, “What are you doing? Leave her alone dammit!”
I’m not sure why I obliged this person whom I had never met, but I stepped back.
I studied Clara, standing there quiet and unshaken. Her eyes fixed on mine and oddly, I no longer saw her as timid, dull and passive. I recognized the quiet strength she had held all along. “Do you know her?” I asked, referring to the woman approaching us.
Clara shook her head slowly and smiled, “No but you do. You met her on a trip to Biloxi once.”
I was speechless.
“Hey, I’m Maggie,” the lady smiled as she looked past me and held out her hand, “you must be Clara.”
I suppose it’s true that opposites attract. I watched Maggie come alive and in doing so she saved Clara.
*This is a story about a story. Clara and Maggie are safe and sound (for the most part) inside a fictionalseries.