An Ocean Away
“Hold it up to your ear,” Miri’s brother Daniel tells her. “Listen, real hard and you’ll hear it.”
“What?” she asks.
She places the conch to her ear, all the while watching Daniel’s expression. Her eyes grow big when she hears a distant echo. “Is that it? Is that the ocean?”
“Yes. Now, remember. I’ll be on the other side of the ocean you’re listening to. This will connect us.”
He nods, straightens up, and removes a dog hair from his uniform. “When I get back, I’ll take you to see the ocean and we’ll play in the waves and build a sandcastle.”
“Promise.” He lifts her up into a hug. She kisses his cheek.
For every subsequent day, Miri listens to the distant echo, imagining her brother on the other side of the ocean, seawater lapping at his bare feet, playing something called Marines, while she waits for the day when he finally comes home.