TITLE: Pomegranate Seeds
GENRE: Literary Fiction
After returning to the house where she watched her older sister drown twenty years ago, Stephanie encounters Rob, her sister's old boyfriend. Steph, who's twenty-six but hasn't dated much, doesn't want to sleep with him but doesn’t tell him to stop. Pregnant, single and unsure whom to blame, she has to choose: if she decides not to keep the baby, she'll never have to think about Rob or what he did to her again, but she'll also destroy the first chance she's had to be part of a family since her sister's death.
There are two things which I remember very clearly from the house on the beach where we lived until I was six years old. The first is the sound of the ocean crashing against the rocks in our backyard. The second is the day my sister Sarah drowned.
We lived there until right before my sixth birthday, when my parents announced we were moving to Spain. I was allowed to bring one stuffed animal and a small backpack of toys. Unable to decide what to take with me, I sorted through my closet again and again.
Sarah, sixteen, was convinced that my parents were trying to ruin her life. “Why can’t you wait another three years?” she shouted at my mother. “I’ll be in college, and then it won’t matter!” My mother shook her head and refused to talk about it.
Sarah spent most of her time with her boyfriend, Rob. When she was home, the afternoons were punctuated by slamming doors and muffled sobs coming from her bedroom.
That afternoon, the afternoon she drowned, was clear and sunny and almost hot. The breeze blowing in from the ocean was as cold as always, but the sun was so bright, and the air so warm, that you could be forgiven for thinking it was still summer. Rob had come to tell her goodbye, and the two of them went down to the beach. I followed, aware that if they saw me they’d tell me to leave. Rob didn’t seem to mind, but Sarah hadn’t wanted anything to do with me lately.