The crashing sound of waves against the rocks broke Andy's sleep. From the time his wife Molly expired twenty years ago, this was routine, he didn't need any alarm to wake up.
Standing by the window he saw the crystal clear water and the pristine white beach bordered by coconut trees swaying gently. It was, indeed, "paradise". He would miss all this.
His daughter Carla, would be here soon to take him away to England. He was eighty-six, and things were getting difficult for him to manage on his own, so reluctantly, he agreed to go and live with her.
His heart sank. He had never gone somewhere outside this island without Molly and didn't want to. This island was his home, he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
Carla lived with her husband in England far away from here. It was a different world for Andy, it lacked the blue skies, the coconut trees, clear waters instead it would have constant grey skies and gloomy clouds.
He had lived all his life in this beautiful tropical island surrounded by a vast expanse of sea and lots of greenery. He had a few friends who were like family but age was catching up with them too.
Every time during an emergency, Carla had to fly all the way here. An arrangement that was proving to be both time consuming and expensive, finally he agreed to move in with Carla.
He prepared his favorite breakfast of coconut pancakes with macadamia nuts. Molly used to prepare it for him every Sunday after they returned home from the church service.
Life was so lonely without her. Her silly laughter, her soft voice, her sweet kisses haunted him every day. They were school sweethearts and got married soon after they finished high school, neither of them had any interest in going to college, nor could they afford it.
He found a job as a lifeguard on the beach. Molly worked in a bakery, baking cookies for the tourists.
They were young and carefree, enjoying the essence of life. His grandmother had left him this house, and after discussing it with Molly they had moved into it.
Every day was like a picnic for the young lovebirds, often they would pack a basket with all the goodies and spend the whole day on the beach swimming, laughing and prancing around.
Carla was born nearly ten years later, after they had given up hope of having a child. Their life changed. Now everything revolved around their golden child. Molly gave up her job and spent all her time with Carla. Andy adored his darling little daughter and started working two shifts so that his family could live comfortably.
Life was beautiful for Andy and Molly until Carla threw a 'bombshell' at them on her eighteenth birthday. She wanted to move out not only from home but also from the island.
She had applied to a university in England and would be pursuing her graduation from there.
Her parents were heart-broken but gave in after seeing their daughter's excitement.
Carla promised to visit them every year but it was easier said than done. They would wait anxiously for her phone calls and letters.
Soon she graduated from college, and got a job and met her life partner . Sean worked in the same office. He was a good man who loved his wife to bits.
Andy and Molly couldn't attend Carla's marriage ceremony due to Molly's deteriorating health condition. The travel would have been too much of strain on her weak heart. However, Carla and Sean came to visit them soon and Molly was happy to see her daughter basking and glowing in love.
Molly passed away a few years later, leaving Andy to spend the rest of his life alone. She was gasping for breath and had wanted to admire the sea for one last time, so he carried her to the patio and she sat there for a long time in Andy's arms, gazing at the sea, untill her eyes closed. Her warm body turned cold and Andy knew she was no more.
After Molly's death, Carla asked Andy to come and settle down in England but he refused, this was home to Andy, and he couldn’t think of another place he would rather live.
Carla would come to visit him during her vacations bringing along her kids, beautiful twin girls who loved being on the island amongst the coconut and mango trees. But the visits ceased when the girls grew up. Andy's granddaughters had now flown the nest and were following their own passions.
He checked his belongings, he had packed most of his things but all the beautiful memories would be left behind. Each and every corner of this house reminded him of Molly and he could smell her sweet scent everywhere.
He would be locking up the house for the time being and eventually it would be put up for sale.
The airport was far away and the flights to England were few, so they would have to leave immediately.
He went around the house for the last time capturing every sight in his mind, he entered his bedroom and his eyes fell on the framed picture of Molly near his bedside. He picked it up and put it in his backpack.
Thinking of Molly and her warm embrace, he lay on the bed. He missed her terribly and wished she was here.
His phone rang, it was Carla inquiring if he was ready and packed up, she would be there in an hour.
He closed his eyes thinking of his new life in England, it was going to be very difficult for him adapting to the cold and wet weather, he would miss the sea, the warm climate, the greenery and most of all this house which had Molly's indelible memories .
Tears started rolling down his cheeks, and he lay there feeling sorry for himself. A whiff of breeze blew in from the window and caressed his face. He felt a soft hand wiping his tears, he opened his eyes to see Molly in front of him. Astonished, he smiled through his tears.
She laid a finger on his lips and whispered in his ears, "Come with me".
Dazed, he got up and silently followed Molly.
Carla arrived at her her father's house after an hour calling out to her father, but there was no response. She searched the house, Andy was nowhere in sight. She went to the beach to look for him and there she saw Andy's shoes and phone lying on the sand and next to them was Molly's framed picture..
Carla instantly realized what had happened, she looked towards the sea and knelt down on the sand sobbing.....