Warm, salty air blew in my face as I made my way to my favorite market, a place I had not visited in awhile. A setting sun pinking the soft clouds overhead let me know I needed to hurry before they closed down for the night.
I turned a corner for the stairs leading down into the market. But my feet slowed as I approached, for ocean water slapped against the bottom of the iron handrail, covering the steps halfway up.
All across the market was ocean.
As I stared out at the calm waves, my mind scurried around, searching for an answer. Though some time ago now, the last time I had visited this market, the ocean had lurked over a mile off, trapped behind the barrier of a sea wall to prevent flooding. The market itself had bustled with lively trade, the brick paths ringing with music and voices raised with the joy of shopping. Colorful awnings and overhangs had protected from the sun and seagulls. Street food scenting the air.
Yet the waves lapped and lapped at the stairway. Going nowhere. Giving up nothing. To me, it appeared as though the ocean had come to stay.
A few people moved along the sidewalk behind me, including a kid. A girl who gawked at me but tried to hide it.
As she passed, I cleared my throat to get the girl’s attention. “Excuse me, there used to be a market here,” I said, pointing at the waves. “Where is it now?”
The girl pointed in the same place. When I looked in the direction of her index finger, I saw a corner of red and white tent cloth waving from a few inches below the water. “The sea rose too fast,” she explained. “We couldn’t save any of it.”
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