The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Nine
The Captain was leant against the garden wall pondering things while the town woke up. He pulled out his pipe and went through the calming ritual of preparing to smoke. Esther stood in the window at the sink staring at him intensely. He knew her patience was wearing thin for an explanation – she was the only one he could trust. She was the only one who could appreciate what he was feeling. His heart filled with warmth and gratitude at the way she had acted this morning, selflessly helping her, but that was her way – she had such a good heart. He wasn’t an openly emotional man but seeing that young girl lying there, almost lifeless, had affected him. It brought back memories which he would rather keep hidden. He puffed on his pipe to calm himself.
“Mornin’ Captain,” said Pete as he wandered on his way down to the port. “Beautiful day for it…fancy joining us? Who knows what we’ll catch!” He didn’t really expect an answer and barely paused his step – he knew it would be a negative answer. The Captain didn’t sail any longer.
He acknowledged Pete with a brief shake of his head and carried on smoking. The town was waking up and the streets were as always this morning. The ladies were cleaning their doorsteps or gossiping over the garden wall; children were playing in the street; dogs were sniffing around the butcher’s doorstep; seagulls were screeching overhead; the men were all heading down to the boats. Nobody seemed to be missing a young girl or asking questions about her. They all greeted him on the way past with a friendly comment – he was a well liked man in the village and he believed that they respected him.
Esther came out of the living room and perched next to him on the wall in silence. He took her hand in silent thanks.
“I still want an explanation Emos,” she said. “She’s awake by the way.”
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