An Awakening

Arcanum

It was the first holiday Rahda had taken since the funeral one year before. Numbed and hollowed out, she had buried herself in work.

She was on an island in the Whitsundays. Her hut on the beach was thin-walled but cosy, with rattan furniture and a lazily-spinning fan. There was a sunlounge on a small porch and the susurration of palm fronds overhead. At dawn, the birds chorused high and low, and waves licked the shore in a slow rhythm. The sea was mirrored cerulean, darkened at the horizon.

Rahda wondered what Yan would have made of it—his running critique of the menu, the other guests and the service. In the privacy of her hut she spoke to him about the curious looks she received being on her own and how she missed his body curved to hers at night.

Love and its absence. This preoccupied her. Was she diminished…

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