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The Market. {Stories from Topsail Beach}

I stood in the back of the market clutching two cucumbers in my hand and walking nervously around looking at the fishing supplies.
I didn’t need any, I just like the way it makes me feel, nostalgic I guess.

My brain was so full and my body was anxious.
I’d been planning this trip for years.
The time in my life that I would get away. I would shut out the internet and turn off my phone.
It would just be me, a good book, and a pen and paper.

Planning something for years and never acting on it sure does add an element of pressure to the events.
I’d been convinced that something was going to disrupt my plans.
How could I make it all the way to the beach, have a place to stay for free, and not die in the process?
It’s too good to be true.

Topsail (17 of 42)

I had prepared myself for it to not work out.
Somehow my car would break down, I would get into a fatal accident on the way, or I’d be locked out of the place I was staying.
There was no chance in my mind that I would make it there safely and without a hitch.

So, once I’d made it into the house and unloaded all of my belongings, I think it took a while for it to sink in.

I stood in the back of the market clutching two cucumbers in my hand and looking at the board for fish.
My hands were shaky and I felt timid.
The man behind the counter called to me, “You can come closer you know! I won’t bite.”

I walked slowly to the counter and nervously asked how much a 1/4 lb of shrimp would be.
He weighed it out for me as I grabbed a cantaloupe and a box of rice.
I laid all of my findings on the counter where he’d placed the shrimp and  I looked at him.
I wanted to tell him how this is the first time I’ve gone on vacation by myself.
The first time I’ve been completely alone.
That I was nervous and worried but invigorated at the same time.

I wanted to tell him that this trip was more then a vacation.
That it was a symbol of my ability to do life alone.
It was my chance to prove to myself that I can actually do it.

Instead I smiled at him and kept my secret to myself.
Then,  a man yelled from the back, “Hey, give her my discount.”
I shot him my biggest and brightest smile and hoped that would tell him all that it needed to.
That it would share with him what he’d shared with me.
That everything was going to be just fine.

with love,


Gretchen Joy - April 29, 2014 - 4:46 pm

<3 Love this. Fiercely brave by admitting you were scared.

Jessica Hedrick - April 29, 2014 - 7:07 pm

This gives me the chills. I am so proud of you!

Donna Dobbins McCall - April 29, 2014 - 8:27 pm

I am a bit jealous!

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