Counting the Hours to Sunset

Ariana packed her bags in a hurry. She was going back to her parent's house for her year-end holidays and she couldn't wait to get there. Her dad would be picking her up and she didn't want to be late. After ten years of staying away from home due to her dad's constant moving from one state to another on work assignments, her stay in her paternal grandparents' home was coming to an end. She lived with her grandparents so she could attend a private school nearby their home. It was a missionary school and Ariana loved attending school there. However, she didn't stop missing her family when away from them and looked forward to the holidays when all of them could be together again. She especially missed her dad as he was the one person who would mollycoddle her and indulge her with presents and whatever she asked for. Mom was always the strict one. But with her dad, she could throw a tantrum when she didn't get what she wanted and not be punished for it. She looked forward to the year-end since her birthday falls in November and come December, Christmas and New Year celebrations made her time with her family all the merrier. Ariana had a secret passion though. Her parents lived near the seaside and each time she went back for the holidays, she would always look forward to catching the sunrises and sunsets that graced the skies there. She would count the hours to sunset just as the hours of sunrise trailed away. Before dusk, she would walk, sometimes miles down the beach, talking to the winds, hearing her voice echo back as the tides washed softly ashore in a welcome whenever she traipsed down its sands. Like her, the waters of the seas believed she belonged among them, and she whiled her hours away till the evening sun lit up the horizons in unbelievable colors of crimson and gold. Ariana had an affinity for the seas, the tides, and all of the skies' splendorous revealing. She knew them to be as mystical as they were seraphic. The colors of the skies were seraphic and blissful in nature. They created artistry and displayed the wisdom of the Gods. Her dad pulled up at her grandparent's house, and after saying their goodbyes to them, Ariana and her dad were on their way. It was at least a five-hour drive to reach her home in another state from where her grandparents lived. When they reached, it was late evening. Her mom and siblings ran out to greet her gleefully. Mom had prepared an elaborate dinner to celebrate her return. All of her favorite food was laid out on the table. Ariana had a sumptuous meal that night with her family members. They sat down together after dinner and talked about Ariana's plans to further her tertiary education since this time around, she was back to stay for good. Ariana could smell the sea from her house. So after they had finished talking, she walked out to where the beach was. It was dark but the path to the beach was lighted as were the surroundings of her home. She saw the park empty on the way when usually the residents who lived there would come out after dinner to sit around and talk or walk on the grounds and enjoy the cool breeze that blew their way from the seaside. When Ariana stood by the fence overlooking the sea, she heard the waves rise and splash against the rocks. She couldn't see the waters in the dark except for a lighthouse in the distance. And its light shone and shimmered on the waters of another part of the sea. Ariana thought about how light dispels the dark. The lighthouse was symbolic of it. She listened for a while longer to the waves and waited to catch the sunrise the next morning. Dawn was only a few hours away, she came away thinking. That night Ariana slept peacefully while listening to the sounds of the tides and the winds. They instilled a deep sense of solace and calm within her. Ariana woke up to dawn and got dressed quickly. Her mom was already up and about in the kitchen. She briefly told her that she was going down to the beach and rushed out. She sat on her favorite spot on the beach and waited to see the first glimmer of light. Like her, the skies waited their turn for the radiance from the rising sun. The sun drew an embodiment of colors across the sky and rose in resplendence. Far in the distance, the horizons came alive almost like the skies sat upon the seas and transmitted an array of visually colored clouds throughout the celestial universe. Ariana sat mesmerized as never before for the winds whispered that they would create a splendorous viewing just before dusk overtakes the night once again for her. Ariana walked back home appeased. She began her count to the hours before sunset. She had heard it in the winds and wanted to be part of the sunset's silhouette. It was going to be an exquisite, lustrous day. Ariana's embers of passion for celestial beauty would be reignited once again. The End.

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Angell Kim

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