The tide was out on Littlehampton beach. It was the only time possible to sneak underneath the pier. Miriam knew exactly where to go. It was a spot right next to an eroded wooden support of the pier. It was marked with a big, heavy, speckled stone. Miriam and Pete would often walk together hand in hand along the beach, their springer spaniel running excitedly in circles around them. Pete would often joke, that, this precise point would be where he hid all his treasures. Miriam would carelessly tease him; asking if his name was 'pirate Pete'. She wasn't aware of the subtle clue back then.
Pete used to be a volunteer of the Littlehampton RLNI. He gave up his time at the weekends and was on call for emergencies. He had always had a passion for the sea and would walk for hours with the dog, staring out in awe at the relentless power of the frothing waves. One night he was called out in terrible weather conditions, a fishing boat in distress had radioed for assistance. Pete had fallen overboard mid rescue. The strong undercurrents taking him captive, cruelly taking him prisoner to the sea. His body was never retrieved. The Gazette newspaper article that proceeded the tragedy, branded him a 'courageous hero.' But Miriam already knew that, it's why she had fallen in love with him all those years ago.
Miriam regularly sat in the 'Look and Sea Centre,' casting her gaze down the estuary of the river Arun. Watching the way the water weaves it dangerous patterns. It's where She would talk to Pete. She would talk out at the sea as if he could hear her. Every now and then the clouds would break, causing the sunlight to stream down in rays, touching the river and making it twinkle. It looked so beautiful that Miriam would think that it looked like a piece of heaven seeping through. She liked to take it as a sign he was listening, she'd even imagined once or twice that his face appeared from behind a cloud, smiling and waving back at her. But of course, that was just daft.
Underneath the pier Miriam moved the stone to one side and used her fingers to dig into the wet sand. Pete had never mentioned to Miriam that he had left anything for her. But She knew him too well. It was just like Pete to leave her little gestures, he was always so thoughtful. She'd never tried to take it though, he belonged to the sea now. But, every time the tide was far enough out she'd come here. To check it. She wiggled her fingers a little deeper in the sand and her ring clinked against a glass jar. She unscrewed the lid, removed the contents, unravelled it from the plastic bags protecting it. She knew exactly what it was; Pete's silver pocket watch! The one she had given to him on their wedding day. Clasping her fingers around the cold metal she raised it up to her ear and sure enough, even after all these years, it was still ticking. A living pulse. She held it against her chest, a single tear rolled down her cheek. Releasing it, she flipped it over and traced the inscription with her finger gazing at the words....
'Our love is timeless.'