The Island Man.......Ghosts of the Past.....

A Short Story......

     What ever happens now is up to mother nature and the sea , On the sound of the wind I can hear the last of the fisherman coming into the harbor , the diesel engine runs along as the boat approaches her mooring . The lighted beacon cuts the air as darkness begins to outpace the dusk and in the distance the buoys begin their nighttime moans , only adding to the dismal mood I can't seem to shake. Normally the sounds of the sea are ingrained in my very essence.
Tonight there is a restlessness that I just can't seem to shake . For some reason I'm inclined to just let the mood take me over , perhaps the storm and I have alot in common , the changing surface winds that turn the sea to a choppy gray making the sea's horizon and the sky as one.
    I make my way too the commercial dock and check on the boat , everything looks fine there , the boat rocks gently on the incoming tides , one last look at the tie up to make sure it's going to be secure and as I turn to the light house and my home , I see her coming towards me in a summer dress carrying her shoes , She walks along with her feet in in and out of the surf , stepping gingerly among the stones and shells there in the sand. she looks cold and small , there is a daintyness about her that looks fragile , I have seen her a few times around the island and talked to her a couple of times too. There is a strange quietness about her , an internal strength , a quiet steady gaze about her. when she speaks , she looks you directly in the eyes, and her eyes, a pale grey , green .
    She has a haunting beauty about her that shoots right through me, her eyes , her soft voice.......it's as if when she speaks she strokes you with a tenderness that reaches inside me.......to places unknown , and a calm comes into my very being , I have often thought of asking her over to dinner , but I know that someone with her beauty must have a significant other. Wouldn't she?.......I watch as she looks once out to sea and turns to the walkway that will intersect my path . maybe if I slow my pace..... we could meet......Oh Man !
    " Grow up you moron , " I say out loud .......to myself.
   But as we both approach the stair way our eyes meet and her gaze goes right through me , for a moment I stop ...transfixed ...... She is crying !.........There are tears running down her face . Her masquera has run slightly and she looks like she's been caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
    " Hello Katie  , what have you done." , I say lamely and immmediately I feel stupid.
    " Hello " , is all she says , and drops her eyes to the stairs .
    " What on earth is making you cry ? , are you alright ?" , but she only looks nervously out to sea and then back across the shore ,before returning her gaze to my eyes , as if she didn't know where she was for a moment.
    " Hello Ethan , how are you , I'm sorry but I must have lost track of how far I walked "
We both stood for a moment facing each other and as I searched for the words to say , she turned and started to walk away down the sea walk .
    " Wait ! I'll give you a ride , and she stopped .....turning slowly and looking at me she exhaled as if the energy left her altogether , It was then that I looked at her arms , and down to something at her feet , she was bleeding .......and scraped on her elbows......
    " What has happened to you , Katie ? , and before she can answer or I can think of anything to say , she looks once at me and turns to the door of my truck .
   All I can think of to do is grab for the door and open it for her ........ the drive is very quiet and as we approach her house she speaks .....
   " I havent seen you around the village much lately , " her tone quiet and steady.
    " No , I kind of like the quiet at the lighthouse , I guess it has grown on me a little too quickly " ......I sound so lame ......my mind searches for how to ask again , what happened to her , but she is way ahead of me ,.....
    " I fell on the rocks back there and scraped my arms and leg , I'm such a clutz .......Just one of those days when nothing goes well. I guess !"
    As I pull into her drive at the cottage , I get out and go around the truck opening her door , but as she begins to turn towards me ........
    " Wait , one moment" .......I reach into my glove box and the first aid kit , pulling out the stuff   I need to dress the scape on her ankle , It seems so strange to reach and touch her ankle and wipe the wound with the antiseptic cloth and then place the larger bandage there on her leg . But she only sits silently waiting , as I wipe down he elbow as well.
    " Thats really not nesessary......I can".........but she doesnt finish , and I continue working at the task at hand.
    I feel an overwelming need to say the right words as she quietly waits ....as if she too knows there is a quiet desparation in my presence , no one I know feels it more than I but , I feel lost and distant , and in a final attempt to turn this experience into something I can understand , I blurt out ,
    " There , thats as good as new"........and when I look at her she's looking at me intently .
   " I've heard about you , everyone says that you're a recluse of somekind " ,.....she says it in such as a way as to sound almost mystical .
    If you only knew ...... is all I can think as I pick up the stuff of my work and put it back in the glove box , not wanting to think of why or what she has heard , I immediately go into my self protection mode and isolate my emotions , which seem to want to burst at times , though right now all I can think of is getting away from here ......
   " I guess that will do you now " , and as she slides off the seat of the truck I immediately regret not saying more..... What a dope , is all I can think to myself .
   " Well Ethan , I must thank you for saving me there " , and as she turns to face me at her gate , the wind lifts her hair over her face and her eyes squint at me a little .........god shes adorable is all I can think ......she seems to hesitate for a second as if there's something she sees on my face that makes her wonder of something she doesn't understand .
But how could she understnd me , my past , my present .....and what future .......I think to myself , well I just blew this chance all to hell.........There's no way I can explain all the turmoil of my past , the life before here ........I came here to escape all that .......and now it's as if everything hinges on what I say next..........
   " Well, it isn't every day I get to save a damsel in distress," .......god that sounds so stupid, I want to slap myself. And somehow I know the moment is gone , thats always the way for me though , I never did know how to talk to such beauty..... ....As she walks in past the flower bed and her lawn chairs she turns at the door and says........
   " Well then , will I see you around town then , perhaps I can return your favors by treating you to lunch " , smiling now as if she somehow knows how lost I feel........
   " Yes , perhaps I'll see you too, that would be really nice ". And I smile my best smile ........I hope at least I seem somewhat normal , although I feel something altogether different .
    As I walk back to my truck and reach for the door I look back once and she stands there still on her steps , she smiles and waves .......and as I get into the truck and drive away I glance out across the bay ,to the lighthouse and out on to the sea .....something inside clicks into place , I begin to realize that if I just try to do the right thing at the right time , if I just play out this scene day to day, week by week , at least life will go on .......I may never have the chance at any kind of normalcy , I may be just an island man , but I think and feel right now , everything is going to be okay...........
    I get back to the house and walk along the bridge to the house , stopping once to look across the bay , I can just make out her cottage there ......I think of what happened this evening ....and I smile knowing , she may never want anyting to do with me but , what I did .......well, it just feels alright...... Slowly I make my way inside .....and look around at the kitchen thinking of what to make for dinner or even if I want dinner.......walking through the empty rooms I find a quiet peace here and stare out at the bay through the big windows, yes its going to be a big storm .....theres a grey sky , whitechops on the bay and the wind bends away at the pine trees , but here there is warmth , thats what matters , hunker down for a quiet evening alone........
    Walking to the fire place and starting a small fire to keep the chill away this evening , I sit and grab a book for the night .........
   Theres a knock at the door and as I pass the phone theres the messege light blinking again , I'll have to get busy with returning calls soon , I can't lock myself away forever .....opening the door ........and There she stands !.......What ? ......
    " I couldn't help but think of how to answer that look you had tonight when you left , so I thought I'd return your favor" , and from behind her back she pulled a bottle of wine ........ and two wineglasses in a plasic bag .......
    " You don't have to say anything , Ethan , I think I know exactly how you feel , you see , I came here to get away from everything as well, And this Island is good for that , whats missing is someone to share it with" ..........and she stepped past me going to the fridge opening the door , and sighing , "well , it looks like you well supplied here for a stormy night except for one thing ".......she looked at me again with those cool grey eyes and smiled.
......." Some company".......
    Now I don't know what can happen tomorrow , or the next day , or even the day after that , but I do know one thing and one thing only . I'd better find the right words to say .
    " I'm so glad you followed me here , and I don't know why , but this just feels right , this here and right now".........
    She smiled a beautiful smile and pulled the glasses out of the bag. Holding up the bottle of whine .......said "Got a cork screw "........











Comments 9 comments

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Gus guess its only natural for kids to want to know als the why's and whats, we must be careful and not let then have a screwdriver.


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

Sorry I meant to comment on Gus the Rednecks comment to my hub


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

It's ok fiddleman , nice of you to stop by , even by mistake.


PaperNotes profile image

PaperNotes 5 years ago

Interesting story, hope there's a continuation.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

I willmake sure there is ! Papernotes , thanks for reading.


daddysgirl 5 years ago

Very nice read dad! Yes I think this is the second write on this story...I like it a lot! Keep up the great work. Never have been one of a romance reader but this is really a love story I feel I can connect to...maybe all of us can.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Hey Girlly Girlly , Love ya bunches.....


sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator

AH, ah, ah, ah...such a lovely read. Ten years following my divorce, I can only hope and pray for a damsel in distress to pass my way. The storm at the lighthouse by the ocean is a brilliant scene and it is painted with the words of an artist. For each of us who is alone, there is another to light our lamp.... just a starry night away.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Sligo bay , yes sir , That will happen if you let it. My prayer for you! Someone once told me "engage her mind " and her heart and love will follow. You even sound like you're easy to be with? Good luck my friend and thank you!

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