Oops, I missed Friday’s post. Sorry.
The last bit of the section I have been working on. Hope you like it.
The very next Saturday afternoon. Back at Noss’
“Wonderful Nigel. Just bloody wonderful. It will be a great opportunity for you.” Mr. Sommers said, about as excited as I was. Ruth was non committal.
“Well, I should miss you Nigel Filtness.” was all that Ruth could say.
“I will not be gone bloody long Ruth. Maybe a month or two. Then back.”
“It will not be the same.” she said emphatically. “Oh I know it won’t Nigel. You…you will be gone off to some…some exotic mysterious locale and may never return. I may never see you again…or our afternoon adventures with Lilly and Lillian.”
She was pouting, like a ten year old spoiled schoolgirl.
I was confused. She had never shown me any affection other than that as a sibling.
“I do not understand you Ruth. I thought you would be happy. For this opportunity for me.”
She looked at me, shyly. “I am happy Nigel…really…I am…good on you. She seem to perk up, smiled a very broad smile then ran off toward Bridge Road heading in the direction of Kingswear, which was about 2 miles away.
Mr Sommers shrugged. “I cannot help you there Nigel. I think she sees this…I mean you going away… as an end to her idyllic life here. A disruption of her routine. She does not like change.” He shrugged again then drew his attention back to Lillian.
I looked at Mr Sommers, then in the direction to where Ruth was heading. I threw down the rags I was holding and run up to Bridge Road to catch up with her. I walked on past the upper bridge ferry to Dartmouth but there was no sign of her. I continued on for a short while down the laneway until I came to a small clearing on my right which was just up from the train tracks but below the laneway. Ruth was sitting there on a grassy slope looking out across the Dart to Dartmouth. Her arms were wrapped around her legs which were bent upward almost touching her chest. It seemed as if her chin was resting on her knees. She was rocking back and forth. She seemed to be in some sort of meditative state, as if the world around her was but a distant sideshow of her immediate reality.
“Ruth…Ruth.” I called.
Startled she looked up and behind her. Her left hand and arm across her chest. She gasped.
“You scared me Nigel.”
“I am sorry Ruth.” I walked down to her. “I did not mean to scare you, only to find you to see if you are okay. You left in a huff it seemed to me.
Can I join you? I promise I will not bite.”
She motioned me to the grass not saying a word. I sat down beside her. We sat there as one and in silence for a time.
“You will not be coming back.” she said. “I just know it.”
“What makes you say that Ruth?”
Without looking at me directly she responded. “I can sense it Nigel. A feeling I guess.” After a pause. “But why would you come back?” She turned toward me as she said that. “There is nothing here for you. Is there?” She touched my arm. “No family. Not many friends to speak of? Nothing concrete really…to anchor you to this place? And why should I care? Outside of our sailing afternoons with Daddy, I hardly know you. Do we have anything in common Nigel? You and I? I mean we come from different households…have different backgrounds…different life experiences. What do we have in common Nigel? Hmmm?”
I did not know what to say. This was not like Ruth. What has gotten into her I thought.
I looked out across the Dart for a while, then back at Ruth. She looked beautiful, radiant.
I went on.
“We have a lot in common Ruth. More-so than you may think and many others I would gather. We share a common love for sailing, for the water, our environment here on the Dart…this place, Kingswear, Dartmouth, “Lilly” and “Lillian” Saturday afternoons, the Dartmouth Castle, your father. Oh yes indeed.” I paused to gather my thoughts, emotional as I had become. “Yes Ruth your father. We share a common bond there…that I know for sure. Mr Sommers may be your father and you love him and he loves you very much indeed. But for me your father is also very special for he saved my life. Without him I would be nothing. I shudder to think what I might have become without his friendship and his kindness to me. He has been like a father to me. The father that I never had.
And above all else Ruth we share a common memory of our life here on the Dart.”
Oh yes, we have a great deal in common Ruth.”
As I said this Ruth turned toward me. Slowly, ever so slowly she moved her head toward mine. Her arms came up and touched my shoulders. I did not know what to think or do at that very moment. I followed her lead. Our eyes met. She smiled affectionately at me, then, instinctively, we embraced. We were drawn to one another, naturally. We kissed. A sweet short kiss followed by a long, warm touch. It was wonderful. I was becoming aroused.
“I will not be leaving you Ruth. Not ever. I will be back. I promise you.”
Saying nothing she smiled at me with her eyes, with her mouth and with her expression. She stroked my facial features and my hair with her soft hands.
“Promise me Nigel? Promise me again and again.”
“I promise Ruth.”
“I think I love you Nigel. I do love you.”
She loves me? I thought. She loves me. What does that mean?
What a wonderful afternoon we spent together. Walking back to Kingswear hand in hand. Playful. Laughing. Boasting in jest. Stopping from time to time to embrace. Time stood still, the walk to the lower Kingswear Dartmouth ferry melted away – too quickly. As she boarded the ferry to Dartmouth, I stood there and watched her go. In her giddy way she jumped up and down…for joy…as she waved goodbye to me over and over again until she was out of sight.
For the first time in my life I was extremely happy.
Great song. Never heard from these guys after this one.
Check out these two books that I wrote: