The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Eleven
The Captain and his wife had been sitting on the wall for about an hour, holding hands, each lost in their own thoughts. Their memories were not that far removed from each other. They were both thinking of their lost boy. It had been almost eight years since that tragic night when their boy had been taken from them during a storm.
It was the last time the Captain had sailed – he had been out on the boat with him and had seen his boy snatched over board by a terrible wave. If it hadn’t been for his first mate Jonas being there and holding him back he would have jumped overboard after him. He had searched the black sea endlessly in vain but hadn’t been able to see him through the crashing waves. Jonas had made port and had assumed the Captain’s role from that day onwards. Jonas had long since moved on. The Captain hadn’t seen him in years.
That night was never far from the Captain’s thoughts, even if he never spoke about it. He couldn’t bring himself to remember Esther’s bitterness and recriminations and her tears. He couldn’t blame her either because he blamed himself too. He had roamed the shoreline in the calm after the storm until he found his beautiful, mangled boy washed up in the rock pools at low tide. He had been so horribly broken that he was hardly recognisable and at that moment, for the first time ever, the Captain hated the sea for what she had done.
That morning with the strange girl had bought back all their worst memories. They had come through the past to the present and were still together, holding each other’s hands, sitting on the garden wall.
“The poor thing. I can’t bear to think what she has been through,” sighed Mrs Captain. “Those bruises! What can have happened? She can’t be more than nine or ten I would say. Who can she be?”
They broke off their conversation as Joe came down from upstairs. “I’ve found out her name,” he said. The Captain and his wife waited expectantly. “Frankie,” announced Joe proudly.
“Joe, you seem to be making a breakthrough with the young lady. Why don’t you go and see what else you can find out?” It was an excuse to get rid of the boy – he had a habit of repeating things that he’d overheard. You had to watch was said in front of him.
When he’d gone, the Captain, “I’m going to ask around Esther. Someone must know something. I’ll drop a few hints about in town and see what happens.”
Catch up on previous chapters here: