And so, he doth part from thou dying world

She sat alone on the bench, her face hidden by her protecting hands, gazing without focus into the sea. Shaking her head slightly, she lowered her face into her lap. He could tell from her expression that something was bothering her and the troubled look in her downcast eyes drew him to her. Her head barely lifted as he came to a stop in front of her.

"May I sit here?" he asked her, and her head moved in a shadow of a nod. Looking at her thoughtfully, he wondered at her complete disregard of him. He sat beside her, a polite distance away and they sat in silence as he watched wave after wave crash upon the shore.

"It's a lovely day, isn't it?" he said, trying to make conversation. Once again he saw her head nod a little, but he received no answer. Turning his head fully, he gazed at her complexion, and as she removed her hands to tuck a stray hair behind her ear, he finally noticed her troubled red rimmed eyes, and the small tear tracks carved like wounds down her face.

"Oh my god..." he said, eyes widening in shock. "Are you okay?" A wave of fresh tears cascaded from the already distraught tear ducts under her eyes and she broke out into sobs. She shook her head several times, but couldn't get a word out.

He scuttled closer to her and held out his arms, embracing her shaking form as he stroked her hair. She threw her arms around his waist, holding him like a fading lifeline, and wept onto his neatly pressed shirt. He clutched her closer, feeling she was just an illusion, her head burrowed into his neck and her hair brushing against the slight stubble on his chin. She continued to shake her head as her tears drenched his chest. It was several minutes before her sobs resided into shallow little hiccups and she pulled herself away from him and slid across the bench again, creating some distance.

"You're not okay," he told her. "You need help. Please talk to me!" At last she turned her face to him and brushed her dusty blonde hair out of her face. She was beautiful, a work of art, even with mascara smudged down her face. Her hair was dishevelled, thrown about carelessly by the insensitive wind, and he reached out to touch it. She recoiled violently, closing herself off from him.

"Just leave me alone." She said, her voice the very sound of misery, beautiful and heartbreaking. It was the only time he heard her speak, and yet he remembered it forever.

Before he could reach out for her she was gone, her sad young form racing across the dunes and into the dying sunset. His heart deeply touched, he stared after her, a hand outreached, before sighing deeply and turning. He knew he wouldn't see her again. And as her troubled eyes watched from afar, he laid a small flower upon the bench, before disappearing down the lonely beachside street. It was several hours before she ventured back again, tiptoeing to the bench to grasp his parting gift. Holding the flower close to her heart, she gazed mournfully at his silhouette, long since vanished, and collapsed gracefully onto the bench, her long dress fanned out beneath her.