The waves lapped against the golden autumn shore, just as they have always done. Just as they always will. And just as he did each and every evening at sunset, Jim Foster walked his golden retriever, Bessie, along the rocky shore. There was something comforting about the timeless consistency of the waves. No matter how many changes life is certain to bring, the waves are a constant reminder that some things can go on forever, immune from change, even while change is happening all around us.
Jim sat upon his favorite expanse of rocks reaching out into the open water, as Bessie stayed behind to sniff her familiar turf as though for the first time, just as she does each and every evening. And just like the waves, the rocks were also constant, unlike the companion that will never sit by Jim’s side again. Then again, Jim thought to himself, even rocks slowly erode over time, until they are nothing but countless grains of sand with no sign of their former, mighty existence.
As Jim rotated his wedding ring around his finger, he watched the sun kiss Lake Michigan goodnight – another therapeutic source of comfort. It was then, during those final specks of daylight, that Jim spotted something from the corner of his eye – a floating, plastic pop bottle, bobbing against the rocks below him. Damn pigs, he thought to himself. Although no environmentalist by any stretch of the imagination, he at least at the common decency to fish out any trash within his reach, even if it meant lying on his stomach on the hard stone and stretching with all his might to reach the bottle, nearly falling into the shallow water below.
The bottle was sealed with electrical tape, which Jim struggled mightily to remove before a Pepsi bottle emerged. Inside the bottle was a piece of paper, containing a handwritten message, which he had to pry out with a twig:
“To whoever finds this letter, you have been chosen by fate. Or perhaps mere coincidence. Please write a letter to the address below to let us know where it was found.” The address was for the nearby town of Petoskey.
Jim neatly folded the note, placed it into his pocket, before heading on home with the bottle in hand, wondering if it was even worth his time to track down the sender of the letter.
“C’mon, Bessie,” Jim said. And like clockwork, Bessie followed him home. Just like she always had. Both before and after everything changed.
After washing down some pretzels with a glass of cheap red, he headed off to bed, joined by his faithful companion. He placed the pop bottle and letter on the nightstand next to their wedding portrait – another ghostly reminder of what was forever lost. And just as he had done every night since she lost her battle, Jim laid awake in his now-too-large bed, twirling his ring, trying to remember how the summer breeze fluttering through the window used to feel and how the waves snoring against the shore used to sound. Just as it was with everything else, it wasn’t that things were different, but rather dulled, as though life now came with an opaque gauze placed over it. Bessie laid awake at the foot of the bed, also waiting for the past to come back to the present.
The next morning, Jim ate another lonely breakfast in deafening silence, an unused place setting sitting across from him. He felt surprisingly rested, despite his general lack of sleep. He now had a new focus. For the date was July 3 – the one-year anniversary of the day he lost everything. And the same date on the letter.
They bought the cottage five years into their marriage, taking advantage of a down housing market. Owning a summer cottage on Lake Michigan was something they first started dreaming about on their honeymoon up north. At the time, they knew it was a mere pipe dream that relied on Jim hopefully getting his big Hollywood break – a dream that at one time was alive and well, unlike the ruins it lay in today along with everything else. At the very least, they figured it was something they could afford to own after retirement. They promised each other that one way or another, they would own a cottage.
When the economy collapsed, Jim and Julia saw a golden opportunity. It was foreclosure. An abandoned dream for one couple became the start of a new dream for another. The cottage’s original owners sold it five years earlier to a family of four after nearly 50 years of memories were made there. When old age started making it increasingly difficult to take the four-hour trip back and forth, they decided the time had come. They initially hoped their kids would take possession of it. But they decided against it, so they put it on the market, seeking solace that memories would be made by another family. However, when the new owner was laid off from the automotive industry, it was back on the market. Months later, it became Jim and Julia’s.
Julia had reservations at first. She thought it was too modest, too simple. Jim saw it as cozy, its plainness representing “the simple life” that people dream about, but rarely achieve. In fact, it is what they ended up naming their cottage. It would be here that Jim and Julia could have this life throughout the warm-weather months and sometimes, the not-so-warm-weather months. Furthermore, for Jim, the cottage represented a haven for his writing. For Julia, a haven for reading and cross-stitching and hopefully – a place where she could finally begin painting – something she had been longing to do since she realized that teaching wasn’t as rewarding as she thought it would be.
One thing they both rejoiced about was the fact that they were both teachers, which meant entire summers could be spent at the cottage if their hearts desired. They couldn’t help but envision their future children running outside, swimming at dusk, building castles in the sand along with endless other dreams of domestic comfort and bliss. Despite Julia’s fertility problems, there had been hopeful signs in recent months. They were hopeful that the stress-free tranquility of their summer Eden would be precisely the remedy. And if not, they would adopt. Children were a part of their future, one way or another. In all, it was a dream come true. As it turned out, a dream too good to be true.
Now a widower, all Jim was left with were ghosts from his past. Memories are bittersweet enough even with the promise of more memories to come, but devastating to live with when the promise of new memories is gone.
With the pop bottle in hand, Jim headed into his rusting Dodge Neon, with Bessie eagerly taking her rightful spot in the backseat on her tattered Sesame Street comforter – a remnant of Jim’s childhood. After they got married, Julia wanted him to throw the raggedy comforter out, but Jim felt too much attachment to it. But rather than picking a fight over something as seemingly insignificant as a blanket, Jim simply hid it, thinking he would probably never see it again, along with a dozen or so other items that Julia didn’t want in the house. Despite his wife’s incessant requests, Jim just couldn’t bring himself to throw it out. When Bessie came into their lives, his old childhood comforter would rose from the ashes.
When one loses someone close, it’s amazing how many “things” become placeholders in their absence, like scattered fragments of their souls; little “ghosts” of what was lost, morphing the materialistic nature of the objects into something far more transcendental. In the case of the comforter, it now represented both a fragment of Jim’s childhood and Julia herself intertwined through the worn fabric itself. As Jim knew perfectly well, it’s both a blessing and a curse to be sentimental at times.
In the case of the Neon, Jim strongly felt Julia’s presence whenever he slipped behind the wheel. It was the first car Julia ever owned and she felt an attachment that Jim deemed irrational once the car began having constant problems and over 100,000 miles on the odometer. But she insisted on driving the same car, warts and all, despite Jim’s constant offer to buy her a new one.
After she passed, Jim not only decided to keep the car, but he drove it every chance he got, all but abandoning his newer and flashier Ford Fusion in exchange for a car that made him feel closer to Julia. Even the four-hour drive up north began to take on new meaning after her passing. Initially, Jim assumed that anything dealing with the cottage would be too painful for him to handle. After all, it was where some of their best memories took place. But as it turned out, it was precisely that reason that made him feel most at ease with his new reality. Grief is like that at times. You just have to grasp onto any reminder and never let go. Because some things outlast even us. Each time he drove up north, he felt a connection to every single time they had driven up together, as though the past was somehow still alive, concurrently running alongside the present. And now sitting in what should have been Julia’s place was the empty pop bottle.
The drive from Traverse City to Petoskey was about an hour. Jim decided to take the scenic route, which was a little longer of a drive, but worth it. Jim and Julia had stayed in a bed and breakfast in Petoskey on their honeymoon. They had planned to come back at some unspecified future date, but like so many other things in life, it never happened.
As Jim neared his destination, he wondered what he would do if the owners weren’t home. Would he just leave the bottle on the porch with a note? Or would he come back some other time? He decided just leaving it would be sort of anti-climatic – at least for him, which echoed his decision to come in person, rather than simply writing a letter like the message instructed him to. After all, he wanted to meet the people who decided once upon a time to send this bottle on its little journey. Would they even remember sending it? That was the bigger question. And one that he was hoping he was minutes away from finding the answer to.
Jim pulled up in front of the spacious lakefront cabin, which was much bigger than Jim and Julia’s downstate home; it suggested a primary residence, rather than a summer cottage. A Jeep Cherokee sat parked in the driveway, quelling the concern that nobody would be there. The question now, of course, was whether the people currently inhabiting the cabin were the same people who sent the pop bottle adrift? If not, the most Jim could hope for was that they would at least know the former inhabitants. If not, he wondered to himself whether he would simply give up the search? Or would he continue pressing forward? He decided to cross that bridge only if necessary.
Jim carefully checked his shirt pocket for the note, confirming the address before heading out of the car, trying to shake the feeling that he was being too intrusive and wondering if it was even worth it.
“Stay here,” he commanded an overly eager Bessie. As he turned toward the house, a golden retriever barked in the window. Bessie barked back.
Taking a deep breath, Jim rang the doorbell, wondering why he felt so nervous. For some strange reason, he couldn’t help but shake the feeling that he was returning a corpse. In some ways, he was.
Just as Jim was about to knock, an attractive, but melancholy and worn woman opened the door. Like Jim, she was probably around her late 30’s, give or take a few years on either side of 40.
“Yes?,” she said with a combination of curiosity and skepticism, as though visitors were an uncommon practice around here.
Jim slowly handed her both the letter and bottle.
“Does this look familiar?” he asked.
The woman examined the items with a blank, slack-jawed expression that Jim was unable to decipher. As she read the letter, she began to shake uncontrollably, as though trying to stifle back tears. Suddenly, the tears began to flow, surrendering all hope that she might keep her composure in front of this stranger on her doorstep.
“I’m sorry,” Jim said. Somehow, the sound of his voice soothed her nerves. “I see I have disturbed you. I should probably go.”
“No. Please don’t,” she pleaded. “How did you find this?”
“It washed up on the shore behind my cottage in Traverse City.”
She stared at the letter again, transfixed as though staring at the ghost of someone near and dear. Little did Jim know that in many ways, she was.
“I was going to write a letter like it asked me to,” Jim said, “but something compelled me to come here.” In his mind, Jim was beginning to question his decision to show up in person.
“Would you like to come in?” she offered, wiping away the tears on her face.
“I really wouldn’t want to trouble you anymore than I already have,” Jim said.
“You haven’t troubled me at all. It’s the least I can do for bringing this to me,” she said. “There’s a fresh pot of coffee if you’d like.”
“That would be great,” Jim said, offering his hand. “By the way, Jim Foster.”
“Claire Smith,” she said, shaking his hand, before stepping aside to allow him in.
Bessie barked from the car, as though demanding that she got invited in, as well. Claire spotted Bessie in the front seat.
“Oh, you have a golden, too?
“Bring her in!”
“Are you sure?”
“I love dogs. She can meet George. She doesn’t bite, does she?”
“Nope. She might kiss you, though.”
“That would be perfectly fine with me.”
As soon as Jim opened the car door, Bessie ran straight to the door, where a playful George immediately greeted her.
“Thank you so much for taking the time to bring this,” Claire said, still admiring the letter and bottle.
“It would have been wrong of me not to,” said Jim.
“I’m sure most people wouldn’t have wasted their time.”
“You’re probably right,” Jim said in agreement.
“Which is even more reason why I should thank you,” Claire replied.
Jim hoped he wasn’t blushing, despite how he felt.
“Let me go get the coffee,” Claire said. “You can have a seat at the dining room table if you’d like.”
As Claire headed into the kitchen, Jim took a moment to admire the cottage, feeling as though he had stepped into the pages of Architectural Digest. The walls were painted a crisp sky blue and immaculately decorated with nautical décor. Sheer curtains ethereally billowed in the wind. Lending itself to the atmosphere was relaxation music accompanied by lapping waves – the kind of CD on display in those kiosks at Target or Bed, Bath or Beyond (or as Jim referred to it: Blood Bath and Beyond, which always annoyed Julia to no end). If heaven were a home, this would be it. How could anyone ever feel stress in a place like this? Jim wondered, before noticing a wedding portrait above the fireplace. They looked like the perfect couple, which is exactly how he and Julia had always been described by just about anyone who knew them – or even spent a few moments observing them.
Jim suddenly and strangely began to feel like a trespasser in another man’s home. What would Claire’s husband think if he suddenly walked in and saw another man standing in his living room? He knew it would be sorted out quickly, but the initial moments would certainly be awkward. Yet somehow, Jim got the feeling that nobody would be coming home anytime soon – that somebody has been gone for quite awhile. He couldn’t finger point why exactly. He just knew.
Jim sat down at the crisp white, dining room table, punctuated with equally crisp blue placements.
“Milk, cream or sugar?,” Claire asked from the kitchen.
“Just black is fine,” Jim replied.
Moments later, Claire brought Jim his coffee in a mug with photo of a golden retriever and an in memoriam message that read: “Cody: Forever in our hearts.” She then retrieved her coffee, along with a plate of assorted cookies before joining Jim at the table.
“So is this your primary residence?” Jim said breaking the silence that somehow was anything but awkward.
“Yes. We used to live downstate, but we moved up here five years ago. Do you live up here?”
“Just in the summer. I’m a teacher in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
“Small world! I went to U of M. It’s where I met my husband.”
“What do you guys do up here?” Jim asked. “I can’t imagine you’re retired …”
“I work at a florist shop in town. I was a teacher. But am on an extended leave of absence. My husband was an attorney.”
Jim took notice of the “was an attorney” part as Claire stared down at the note, with the same sort of affection one would use to gaze lovingly at a portrait of a loved one. Jim searched for something to say, but no words could come.
“He died two years ago – right around this time – the day after his 38th birthday. Colon cancer. But it was the liver that killed him. He was so determined to fight it. And he did for over five years. Doctors gave him less than a year when he was first diagnosed. I think he was more afraid of leaving me alone than he was of death itself. We celebrated his birthday the weekend before with family and a couple of friends. It was the last time I truly saw him happy. Even with cancer, he was still the most optimistic and happiest person I ever knew. I used to ask him how he could remain so optimistic. And do you want to know what his reply was?”
“What’s that?” Jim asked.
“’Because I have so much to be grateful for.’ He thought this while slowly dying of cancer. He truly believed that a person’s overall sense of happiness was at a fixed point, no matter what the circumstances surrounding their life.”
Jim reflected on this, getting the sense that Claire rarely had the opportunity to talk about this with anyone.
“On his birthday – right before he died – he seemed to reach a different sort of happiness – a sort of inner piece. I assumed it was just because he was surrounded by so many loved ones. I knew deep down that he knew he was about to free from the pain once and for all. But seeing him so genuinely happy like that … it was like waking up from a nightmare. The nightmare was only beginning, though. It’s been nothing but ever since. But now with this bottle …” her voice trailed off, as she fought to hold back tears.
Claire examined the bottle. “We sent this the day we closed on this house. We were celebrating at the beach. It was actually his idea. In fact, I was opposed to it because I thought it would be like littering. Not to mention a little cheesy.”
Jim laughed. “When I first saw it, my first thought was that it was from some polluter. I’m always pulling things out of the lake when it’s within reach.”
“Well, I’m glad you did,” Claire said, before chuckling. “We actually argued over it. One of those stupid little arguments that you only regret after it’s too late. I’m glad he didn’t listen to me.”
Jim suddenly realized that he was sitting at what may have been the head of the table and became uneasy, but decided not to make an issue of it.
“What about you? Married I assume?” she said, noticing him twirling his wedding band around his finger.
“In spirit. She passed away exactly a year ago today. Car accident.”
“I was driving. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d rather it be cancer. Less guilt.”
“I see your point. But at least she didn’t suffer.”
“True. But I am,” Jim said bluntly. “Let’s just agree that nobody would envy us.”
“Fair enough,” Claire said in return. “I hope it didn’t seem I was trying to minimize your loss.”
“I know what you meant. Are you okay telling me about what happened?”
“Drunk driver. Ran a red light.”
“You shouldn’t blame yourself.”
“I was behind the wheel. I should have looked twice. Especially considering that she carrying …” Jim stopped himself short, fighting back tears.
Claire knew exactly what he was getting at.
“I’m so sorry.’
“As I am for you.”
“More coffee?” she said, noticing that he was now twirling his ring more intently.
She poured each of them another cup, then sat back down at the table. They looked at each other, feeling the pain in each other’s eyes that they both shared – the type of pain that only those who have gone through what they have gone through could possibly fully understand.
Suddenly providing a much-needed diversion was George chasing Bessie into the kitchen.
“George, stop flirting,” Claire commanded. And as though George somehow understood what she was saying, he listened, sitting down next to her, wagging both tongue and tail.
“Can I give her a treat?” Claire asked Jim.
Claire got up and gave each dog two Milkbones each.
“What about me?” Jim quipped.
Claire pointed at the plate of cookies. “Help yourself.” Jim smiled, taking her up on her offer as she rejoined him.
“I prefer Snausages myself. Sweeter. Less dry.”
“You haven’t really tried them, have you?”
Jim nodded in embarrassment. “I take it you haven’t?”
“Gross! No, I have not. Are they really good?”
“Try one sometime. You won’t be disappointed.”
“Maybe after a couple of drinks.”
They laughed at the absurdity of this exchange.
“Seriously, can I fix you some human food?”
“I really don’t want to trouble you.
“I have lots of cold cuts and some fresh bread I just picked up at the bakery. I’m a bit hungry myself and making a second sandwich isn’t going to break my back by any means.”
“Well, in that case … I’ll have two!”
“Ham or turkey? Or one of each?”
“No, seriously, one’s fine. Turkey.”
Claire headed into the kitchen to prepare the sandwiches, both oblivious to the fact that something magical was possibly taking place. It wouldn’t dawn on him until later. Things of this nature are often the case.
“So what was her name?,” Claire said from the kitchen.
Just then, another framed portrait of Claire and Brian caught his attention. They really were a fine-looking couple. He immediately felt a jarring stab of empathy. As Claire entered with the sandwiches, Jim quickly looked away from the portrait, but Claire had already taken notice. She set his sandwich down in front of him.
“Something to drink?,” she asked.
“What do you have?”
“Pop. Lemonade … would you like some wine?”
“Sure,” Jim said, realizing that nothing sounded better.
“Good. Because it’s the only kind I have,” Claire said with a smile before retrieving the bottle, two glasses and opener, which she handed to Jim.
“Would you mind? I’ve never been good at this. Especially after the last couple of years, you think I would have been a pro by now.”
Jim smiled, even though he found her statement equally sad. If anyone could relate to an increase in alcohol consumption, it was himself. And just like himself, he got the sense Claire also didn’t realize the drinking only made things worse, despite convincing themselves otherwise.
Jim took the bottle from her, once again fighting the pervasive feeling that he was imposing on someone else’s territory. For a brief moment their eyes locked and there was no doubt what either one was thinking.
Jim opened the bottle, poured two glasses, then raised his, having not a clue as what to say for a toast. He also realized that this was the first toast with another woman since before Julia. And it saddened him. Yet somehow, mixed in with the sadness was the first tangible sense of moving on, no matter how small a step a simple toast was.
After several moments, Jim decided no words were necessary and simply clinked Claire’s glass. Sometimes, a toast warrants no words at all. After they each took a sip, they sat in mutual, comfortable silence before Claire finally broke it.
“To tell you the truth, I had totally forgotten about that bottle. I guess after we sent it off, I assumed it would not return, figuring most people would ignore it like any other piece of trash. And now, it’s almost as though you have returned Brian himself. I can’t help but think he’s somehow behind this, letting me know that he’s okay. And that he can still find me. I can’t thank you enough.”
“Like I said, I didn’t think of it as a choice,” Jim said.
“I wonder how many other people ignored it all together before you found it,” Claire pondered.
“Maybe you were supposed to find it? That it was somehow looking for you? I know that sounds strange …”
“Not at all. Because I know exactly what you mean.”
“I just keep trying to convince myself that everything happens for a reason,” Claire said. “It’s the only way I can stay sane about everything.”
“I’ve given up even trying,” Jim said.
“Is that what you really want?,” Claire asked.
“Want and is are two different things,” Jim said in reply.
“True,” Claire conceded.
“But the thing of it is, I come to that same spot every day. It wasn’t like I just found it in some random place and then happened to find it.”
“More proof that it was looking for you.”
Jim reflected on this thought, before adding, “That spot was where Julia and I would walk our dog every night, before sitting to watch the sunset. Sometimes, even the sunrise. It was our own little private corner of the world. Until God decided He needed her more than I did. Now I sit and watch alone.”
Claire looked at Jim with empathy, forgetting for a moment her own plight.
“Want to go outside and get some fresh air?” Claire finally said, breaking through the sadness. “The dogs probably need out anyway.”
“Good idea,” Jim said in reply.
With wine in hand, Jim followed Claire outside, where they sat side-by-side on the deck overlooking the sun setting over Lake Michigan as Bessie and George chased each other along the shore, carefree and free from human suffering.
“How has it been for you?” Claire asked.
“You mean the recovery?”
“If you can call it that – sometimes, I don’t even know if I’ve begun the process of recovery. You?”
“I barely sleep anymore if that gives you any indication,” Jim said.
“I sleep too much. That’s part of my problem.”
“Of course, some days are easier,” Jim began. “It’s the nights that are toughest. The nights force me to think, even when I don’t want to. Hence the sleeping problem.”
“And that’s exactly why I sleep too much,” Claire countered. So I don’t have to think. And so I can dream.”
Claire paused for a moment, before changing the subject. “Forgive me for asking this, but have you gone out with anyone since …”
“I know I should. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. Not yet. What about you?”
“No,” Jim replied. “I told myself I would wait a year. And I still don’t feel ready.”
“And it is just me, or do you find that everyone has someone they want to set you up with?,” asked Claire.
“Yes,” Jim said, laughing with relief that he wasn’t alone in this. “Very frustrating. It’s not that I don’t appreciate people’s intentions. I know they mean well, but I can’t help but feel like they are sticking their nose where they shouldn’t be.”
“I know exactly what you mean,” Claire said. “I’m waiting until I think the time is right. And I don’t want it to be the result of a charity case. I want it to be something I find on my own.”
“To be honest,” Jim replied in return, “My biggest fear is a one-night stand. Yet, at the same time, I’m not ready to fall for another person. Or at least I didn’t think I was.”
They paused for a moment to take in the sights and sounds of the shore – the gulls, the waves, the breeze and two golden retrievers frolicking in the remaining sunlight on what had blossomed into such a welcome and unexpected day.
Claire shivered from the breeze as she sipped her wine.
“You look a little chilly,” Jim said. “Shall we go in?”
“Will that be alright with you?”
“Of course,” Jim said.
They got up, both calling for their retrievers, who gleefully ran toward the house. Everyone headed in.
As they headed into the living room, Jim took notice of another portrait of Claire and Brian, presumably taken somewhere in the Caribbean.
“This was the summer before he got sick. We took a cruise. I don’t think we were ever that happy.”
Claire began to tear up. Beyond her tears, Jim could see all the love, heartache and longing filing her soul. It was a look he knew all too well every time he looked into a mirror.
In an attempt to regain her composure, Claire asked, “Do you have a picture of her?”
Jim removed his wallet to reveal a picture of his wife.
“I miss her so much.”
“One thing I’ve tried to convince myself,” Claire said carefully, “is that we’re never really without the ones we love. As long as they’re still in our heart, they’re out there somewhere, floating in a bottle, waiting to return home. Or for us to return to them.”
“Do you really believe that?” Jim asked.
“I’d like to think I’m starting to. But not quite there yet.”
“Then let’s make a deal. I’ll believe it if you will. If not right now, then someday.”
“Deal,” Claire said in agreement.
They shook on it.
“Well, as much as I’ve enjoyed this visit, I don’t want to wear out my welcome,” Jim said.
“You won’t,” Claire declared. “In fact, you’re welcome anytime … if you want.”
“I would love that. And if you are ever up near Traverse City, I’d be happy to return the favor.”
“Thank you for bringing him home,” Claire said, through tears.
They stared at each other, recognized the possibility of better days ahead, before Jim called for Bessie.
“C’mon, girl. Let’s get home.”
“Sleep well,” Claire said.
“I’m thinking tonight, for the first time in a long time, I can,” Jim said.
“Be careful on the road.”
“If you ever need anyone to talk to,” Jim said. handing her his business card, “please don’t hesitate to call me.” She then wrote down her number for him.
Jim suddenly leaned in and gave her an unexpected, but much welcome hug. They held each other, as a gentle breeze came through the window, enveloping itself around them, soaking in the sound of the waves on the shore and the soothing music from the Blood Bath and Beyond CD. They held onto each other for what felt like an eternity – an eternity they didn’t want to let go of. But as both these star-crossed widows knew more than anyone, every great thing must pass. And so it did. But the lingering effect would last a lifetime.
Jim and Bessie got into the car. Claire waved from the porch – an image that instantly became imprinted in Jim’s collective memory. And just like that, he was back on the road, guided by the moonlight and filled once again with comforting ghostly memories of his past and the promise of a new life to come.
When he arrived home, he headed straight to bed. For the first time since he lost everything, he slept soundly through the night as his wedding portrait watched over him and Bessie slept soundly at the foot of the bed.
The next morning, finally feeling refreshed and awake and alive, Jim walked Bessie along the shore and sat on his favorite spot on the rocks, watching the sunrise. As Bessie ran along the shore, Jim stared out into the distance, rotating his wedding ring, listening as the waves of the past gently caressed the autumn shore.
By Bobby FoxBobby Fox is the award-winning writer of several short stories, plays, poems, a novel and 15 feature length screenplays. Two of his screenplays have been optioned to Hollywood. His works have been published in the The Naked Feather, The Medulla Review, Lap Top Lit Mag, The Path, Contemporary Literary Review India, Yareah Magazine, One Title Magazine, The Knotted Beard Review, Bareback, The Zodiac Review, Fortunates, Randomly Accessed Poetics, Wordsmiths, Toska, Enhance, Airplane Reading, Untapped Cities, The Lyceum, Detroit News, Dearborn Times-Herald, TravelMag and inTravel Magazine. He is also the writer/director/editor of several award-winning short films. His recent stage directing debut led to an Audience Choice Award at the Canton One-Acts Festival in Canton, MI. Fox graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English and a minor in Communications and received a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Wayne State University. In addition to moonlighting as a writer, independent filmmaker and saxophonist, Fox teaches English and video production in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, where he uses his own dream of making movies to inspire his students to follow their own dreams. He has also worked in public relations at Ford Motor Company and as a newspaper reporter. He resides in Ypsilanti, MI. His website is foxplots.com, or follow him on Twitter @BobbyFox7.