I stole away in the last of the night to the sand and the sea. I let the rushing tide warm my bare feet as I patiently awaited the sun to greet me a humble hello. Sadly, He didn’t have quite as pleasant a welcoming for me as I had wished.

The sunrise was as dull as my expression, but not nearly as bleak as my heavy heart and mind. The Dolphins didn’t mind this, though. I watched them play together against the dreary pastel backdrop like it was a happy morning. And it probably was for them..

Nearly two full turns of the clock had rounded before it slipped into the forefront of my thoughts, that someone might be worried if my bed was found unoccupied and my phone on the dresser.

Then I realized that, possibly, I didn’t give a damn. I didn’t care to know who might be concerned about me, or if they were at all, and I took my sweet time brushing my arms and legs off.

It didn’t take long for me to change my tune, however, because I also realized I didn’t want to risk the possibility of my whereabouts being questioned; so I started jogging in-land.

I wasn’t fifteen yards from the shore when I fell, knees first, from a striking pain in the sole of my left foot.

Blood dripped quickly from it, staining the sand beneath it crimson, and covered my helping hand.

And it was then that I started to cry.

After two hours of sitting alone on the beach without a soul to listen to my strife, I began to let go of the tears I’d been harboring. It wasn’t for my salt and rock-ridden wound, or my tormented heart, no; but for my poor foot’s assailant… I wept at its beauty.

It’s elegance was as shocking as the pain it’s perfectly-sharp edges had inflicted. This shell, just larger than the size of my fist, was gorgeous beyond comparison. Its’ iridescent colors of white faded into sapphires and coral hues, and the swirls and splotches of seafoam-green and turquoise were a sight to hold themselves.

For a split-second, I longed for having my phone to take a picture of this lovely ocean treat; but only for a fraction of second. No amount of pixels could capture a rudimentary portion of its’ radiance, and would not do it justice in the least. It was a delight only to be held by one’s own two eyes.

Then, as if to spoil my small moment of fascination, I caught sight of the blood it conjured when I ran over it. I was angered and very sorry, both at once, to see the bright red trickling down from its edge to a few of its smooth nooks and crevices. My tainted blood should not have corrupted this impeccable shell.

I gaped at it for ever and it boggled me—this little conch.

What absurd reason did any creature have to not have this to be their home? Why on earth was this marvelous piece of natural art, lifeless and uninhabited? How could something so miraculously beautiful be so horribly empty inside?

My tears fell silently, fast and swift.

We weren’t so different, this vacant shell and I.

I clutched the magical little thing gently with my clean hand and I limped my way back seaward.

I gazed at the waves and I stared at the shell and I knew that I couldn’t keep it for myself. It was too timeless. To deprive it of purpose would be a selfish crime.

I peered at it a moment longer, said farewell with a wish and a kiss, and tossed it into the foam.

Maybe that fine beauty can find a good home..

Maybe I gave it a second chance to live.

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