The Painter

The Painter
The splash of the waves against the sand filled the silence between Rose and Ira. The sky was an azure blue, not a cloud in the sky. They walked hand in hand, their shadow on the beach becoming one as their stride began to match. There were not many too people about, just an old man painting near the edge of the beach, where the rock pools were. There was a flock of birds above them, the group of them making an arrow shape in the sky. Rose admired their freedom and the way they could sore across the Earth. Then, Ira cleared his throat, breaking the silence between them. His trembling fingers began to dig into the front pocket of his pants. Their steps began to slower, coming near to end of the sand. Finally, he retrieved a small white box. Rose’s heart pounded and she worried the loudness of it could be heard.
“Rose,” he began “would you do the extraordinary honour of marrying me”. It was difficult for her to process his words. It was unexpected.
“.. Yes Ira, I would happily take your hand,” she replied.
He carefully and slowly slipped the band onto her finger.

1915, February
There were many men around. All wearing slouch hats, breeches and puttees. They look determined, hopeful and excited about the up coming event. Rose embraced Ira tightly, feeling his warmth course through her body. She looked him in the eyes and was assured that he would come home. This December. It was soon; he would just be on a short holiday across the world. Moving away from each other, Ira gripped her forearms drawing circles with his thumb across her skin. There was a loud voice on a speaker informing the troops It was time to go. He assured her that he would be fine. Rose smiled out him, but the thought of him gone made her feel a little queasy.

April 25th 1915
Ira was part of the Anzac landing. There were twenty thousand Australians over in Gallipoli. The sky was a mix of grey clouds and patches of blue, reflecting Roses conflicting mood. It was a cool...