Waves lapped at the shore while rain fell from a slate grey sky. Half of Brighton was still asleep. Niamh found she preferred the quiet. She wandered down the beach, hands in the pockets of her grey satin overcoat, her shoulders hunched against the cold. The salt spray in her face was a bitter reminder of days long past. She owed it to herself to make the walk, to hold on to the good it would do. Wind swept through her chestnut hair as she strolled along the shore, pebbles crunching beneath her feet.
She walked underneath the pier and stopped among a forest of worn pillars. Niamh touched a beam tentatively, searching for the right spot until she found what she was looking for. A crooked heart, marked deep enough so it would never fade away. Words were etched carefully beneath it.
TOGETHER FOREVER. D+N.
Niamh traced the words with her fingers, determined not to cry. She twisted her wedding ring, using it as an anchor to keep her steady. Niamh knelt in front of the beam, the monument to her past, to the man who’d been her entire world. The man who’d want her to be happy.
Niamh wrapped her arms as far around the beam as she could manage. Her cheek pressed against the heart, as if he were standing right in front of her. To anyone walking by it might have looked absurd. To Niamh it was the final sendoff. Three years of mourning.
By the time she let go a thin patch of sunlight had broken through the clouds. Niamh stood and composed herself. The chill of the wind no longer bothered her.
“Goodbye, David.” Niamh said to the sea and turned away.