The Flowers She Left For Me
I walked the black sand beach every morning. I loved the feel of the cold air that rushed through my bones, the soft watery sand I stepped through and the rainy Ireland mountains I looked up at. That was then. She was my best friend, my only friend. I would’ve risked anything for her, I did risk everything.
The day I met Meredith was cold, I wore my big rain boots and a heavy green coat my long hair frizzed and my pale skin sunk cold like the day…..
Its December 3rd, Dear journal I’m leaving to walk the beach, the day is cold and rainy, being December our wettest month here. Although I think the mountains are always prettier in the mist, its edges looking as if it were a clean slate waiting to be marked on. The sun shown down every once and awhile showing this small land I walked its reality, it was beautiful.
As I walked I had passed the last rock on my path I usually took. What’s a little farther more exploring I think to myself. I hesitantly pass under the slimy fence, trees to my left and an ocean to my right. Looking at the fence I passed in the distance behind me and I stepped in a footstep that had melted into a puddle, I follow the footsteps down the worn beach. Then I saw it in the distance, a small shack. I'd never seen a house on my walks before, I've never seen a person either. But yet there it barely stood, it looked to be swaying along with the wind. Old fishing nets sat outside near a small, blue fishing boat. As I got closer, the swift air was filled with the smell of dead fish, and rust. The wooden door creaked open, a voice slowly squeaked
“Hello? Is someone there, help, anybody. Please”.
I took a step back not wanting to find someone, and spoke softly
“yes, I’m here, is their someone?”
“Why don’t you come in?” the girl asked, “it’s okay, there’s nothing to be afraid of”
I looked around outside the house to see if anyone had been watching, and slowly walked in. The girl sat on the dusty wooden floor, a large barred fence separated us. My eyes followed the rust stains on the floor from one wall to the other. The small shack looked like death, nothing but dust and a brown moss covered the room. Until you looked to the other side, where she sat there were colors on the wooden walls, purple and greens, flowers and small red suns. A small hand lamp sat on the ground next to a brown, torn blanket. What is this place I wondered.
“I'm Meredith, why are you here?” She quickly said.
“I was walking the beach and saw this shack, I’ve never seen a house while walking, and here it is”
“Where do you walk from?” Meredith asked
“I live on the outskirts of County Donegal just on the beach” I said
“You passed the border?” she said harshly
“I didn’t know there was a border, is it bad? There was a fence but I just went under where there was an opening.” I was so confused, what border was she talking about, what did this border separate.
“We are in Burtonport Republic right now, this is a dangerous place for you to be in if you crossed the border.” she whispered
I’ve only ever heard about Burtonport Republic, never have I been in it, let alone seen its border.
“I’m sorry I need to go home, I shouldn’t be here, I really shouldn’t.” I said turning to walk out, realizing I could be in danger.
“Wait!” she barked, “What is your name?”
“Annie” I said just before I rushed out.
I stood just outside the door, peeking left and right to see if any was there. I slowly creeped out onto the open beach to start my way home. Seeing the tall fence ahead of me, I wondered, why did I pass under the fence. I should never have gone inside the shack, or across the border. County Donegal and Burtonport Republic have been in a long standing feud for decades, people have disappeared or been killed when crossing the border. This was a bad decision. I reached the fence, and looked down to the muddy hole I had sneaked through to get in. I looked back to the shack, it looking as if nobody had ever entered or left. What was Meredith doing in there? I turned and slid back under to County Donegal, to home that at that moment didn’t quite feel like home.
December 4th, Dear journal I’ve decided to go back, there’s so many questions she could answer. It’s dangerous I know, but I have to. Something could be wrong, another adventure I can seek. Back to where I began, on the beach passing the same rock I always do.
I walked for what felt like forever, unsure if I would ever see the fence. There it was in the distance, as I got closer my heart raced with fear, wondering if I should go in again. I slid under the fence in the mud, a little father and I again stood in front of the shack. I gently pushed the door open.
“Hello” I whispered, “Meredith?”
“Yes, yes, Annie!” she said grinning
“I want to know why you are stuck here, why don’t you leave this place?” This being one of the many questions I had for her.
“They are keeping me here”
“Who?” I asked looking around to see if anyone else was there with us.
“I used to live in County Donegal, and I found the fence looking for my bird, and just like you I didn’t know that it was a border either” She began to cry.
“That’s why I need your help” she said as she wiped her tears and stood up.
“I don’t think I should’”
“But, Annie I thought we were friends?”
“I’m not really sure what a friend is” I said quietly feeling embarrassed
“A friend is someone you would do anything for, its someone who is like a sister to you. Someone you can always talk to to and they can talk to you to. A friend helps in the hardest times, they would risk anything for eachother” Meredith explained
“Why don’t you know what a friend is” she proceeded to ask
“I’ve never really had a friend, when I was in school kids were mean to me, everyday I would go home and cry, only to realize that I had no one there for me.” I said with tear filled eyes.
“Well i’m here for you” Meredith said grinning.
“Friends” I said, we talked a little while longer and then I needed to leave.
I had visited Meredith for over 20 days, we were friends, maybe even best friends. She would tell me about how I could help her get out, and I would listen. Some days we had talked for hours, or until dark. Meredith said that all we needed to do was get back over to the border, and we would both be safe from all the bad things in Burtonport Republic.
January 1, Dear Journal Today is the day I get Meredith out. I am packing food, blankets a pair of pliers and one big rain coat for Meredith. I will cross under the fence as usual, and head into the shack with my backpack.
I opened the door and looked up to the shining sun, happy to be walking on the black sand. As I walked I looked to the ocean, and spoke softly “Today County Donegal, is the day you will meet Meredith.” I grinned humming a soft song, but right then a loud voice interrupted. My head shot up and looked towards the fence in the distance, there a man stood with his back facing me. I ducked behind the rock that sat along the shore line, I can’t make out what he is saying, but it was so mean. His harsh words cut through me as if the yelling was directed at me, I was scared for just a minute. Then the yelling stopped, and the quiet silence of the ocean and soft patter of the rain on the mountains fulfilled me. I slowly peeked my head out from behind the rock. So there I began again, looking ahead of me to where the shack sat. I neared the fence once again thinking it would be the last time I had to go into Burtonport Republic, from now I hope to only be leaving. I looked as far down the fence until I couldn’t see anymore, sliding under just as I had all the other days. But this time I ran, I ran to the shack. I had just got here, yet already had the strange urge to leave. I reached the shack, out of breathe, I opened the door and Meredith stood with a soft smile.
“Shh” I said with a quick pause of silence
“We are friends right?” I whispered, just as she had to me on December 3rd.
“We are best friends” she slowly spoke back.
“Then you need trust me to get you out of here” before she could answer I quickly took off my backpack. Just as I set it on the dusty, wooden floor, I pulled out the brown pliers. I went to the door, and touched the lock.
“Wait, what was that?” Meredith said shivering. I stopped to listen and still heard nothing.
“It must of been my imagination” She giggled. I quickly sliced open the lock, the bar door that kept Meredith away flew open, and she latched onto me.
“Okay” I said grabbing the large coat from my bag.
“Put this on”
“A raincoat?” she asked
“Underneath the fence is muddy this time of month from the rain, and that’s how we get to the otherside.”
“Okay” she said as she slipped on the oversized coat.
“Let’s go” I whispered, I flung my backpack over my shoulder and opened the door. I looked back to Meredith, took a step and felt the cool air hit my body. Her eyes wandered everywhere, I was focused on getting to the fence. She took a deep breath in, her relief radiated to towards me, she let out a sigh, there we stood only a few steps away from the fence. I helped Meredith slide under, she slowly got up and brushed off, I was so happy for my best friend, my only friend. She reached for my hand to help me back to where it was safe in County Donegal. I looked to the right and then it started, the yelling. The same sound that had cut right through me the first time, only now it left me bleeding. The sound of the bullet pierced my ears, Meredith let out a gasp, she kneeled down to my body,
"you’re okay now” I said with tear filled eyes,
and through the fence that always seemed to separate us she found my hand, I had squeezed so tightly for the last time. My mind started to drift away, and my grip loosened, Meredith whispered before everything went dark,
I felt more alive than ever that day, I lived like I had wanted, and now Meredith can. She has so many adventures still yet to finish. I can see life through her eyes, although I lay in the dark. I breathed my last breath with the handful of flowers she left for me.