Short Story Development, Second Draft: For The Wind I Will Move

 sailboat-in-black-and-white-robert-suggs

                                                                                                     For The Wind I Will Move

By Artemis J Jones

 

#amwriting

#Second draft

#StoryDevelopment

 

When you go to the beach in the morning feeling the breeze and watching the sun, what do you see? For centuries Man has tried to tackle the wind, to control it, and man has had some success. The wind lifts carries, and sometimes has multiple faces, faces of comfort and terror.

Some  years ago I was a young man. The powers of youth swelled through every void left in my body, from a childhood that was gone forever. I am old now, my time has come and soon I will be gone. But I remember that summer.

I was one of their friends. We called ourselves the homies. We were always there for the good times, the parties, the toasts to the winner. I knew both of them since middle school, we played baseball on summer nights. High school was a time for, well for some of us, parties. But Jake was different. Chad wanted to live in both worlds. He wanted the parties, but school mattered. Chad had dreams, big dreams. Jake was a realist, he had to learn about everything to understand: to touch and listen, that was how Jake learned. That was how he grew up. That whole summer we all thought we were trying to embrace adulthood. Jake took aim on life’s promise of adventure.

Chad and Jake had grown up in South Florida together, same schools, same neighborhood, and similar interests in girls. Chad was always looking at brunettes and Jake liked classic blue-eyed blondes. But they both liked girls that were fit and were willing to push back a little competition. By push back I mean directly back, Jake wanted a girl who was competitive like him. Chad was the same. Chad and Jake were competitive with each other and that built a bond that could not be severed. Their friendship depended on their competition. The slight differences; for example, their tastes in girls, kept them from bringing the competition to a point that would damage their friendship.

 

Both came from families that could provide a lot for two young energetic men, they lived in an upper middle class neighborhood, two streets apart. They had access to the ocean, and shared similar interests in the ocean and all the desires it conjures up in your youth. Chad’s father had two boats, the first was an awesome fishing boat, a blue water boat by all standards. The second was a 33 foot sail boat. Both boats were well equipped and Chad took the Coast Guard safe boating classes with his father three years ago.

 

Jake’s father had little time for any boat. He loved the water but could never devote the time, to learn about boating, as a result, he was willing to ask advice because he knew he had no knowledge of boating. Jake’s fathers name is Douglas and he has known Chad’s father David, for several years. When the boys were in eighth grade middle school, Douglas asked David for advice on buying a boat. David discussed many things with him and asked him several questions; “ Why do you want a boat?”, What type of boat do you want?”, “What will be the purpose for purchasing a boat and where will you keep it?”.

 

These questions were a lot for someone whose past showed only a marginal interest in boating, but Douglas had a lot of interest in the water. He thought about a family power boat, then he thought about a sail boat like David owned. The Sail boat seemed perfect, it was large enough for the family and Douglas had decided to put the time, money and efforts in that direction. He was going to purchase a sailboat and keep it at the neighborhood marina. In the spring while Jake was still in eighth grade his father purchased a new 35’ Sail Boat . It was a beautiful boat, could sleep 6, larger than normal head and galley and fully equipped. Douglas spent more than seventy-five thousand and made sure it could handle any weather, and had full electronics and battery backups. He and Jake took the Coast Guard safe boating classes and now they were ready to sail.

 

For Four years Jake learned what he could about sailing and boating. He sailed with his family and with Chad. By the time they were seniors they were taking each family boat out separately and having some friendly competition plus showing off their skills to their girlfriends. Jake started to talk about more serious competition: something he really was not ready for. He learned a lot but had never seriously been challenged by the sea and the weather especially at the same time.  At the marina restaurant Jake proposed a race in the next month up to the Hillsboro Inlet. Chad thought about it, the waters are only about 40 feet deep most the way. “That sounds good” was his reply.  Chad a sense of ire for really deep water, he had this recurring dream of drifting in the deep blue sea. The dream was endless and lovely. When he awoke from the dream he would always think about Corin. She was the definition of lovely he saw it every day when he looked at his girlfriend of 2 years. Corin was brunette and 5’ 9” tall she was very athletic and always challenged Chad, sometimes she was more than he could handle. Corin was more than any boy could handle, she was straight  “A’s” with honors through high school and had her choice of colleges to go to.  She chose to rest this summer at home before college in the fall and to be with Chad. You could say that they were in love, even though Chad always had a strong pull towards his friends.  As talk of the race progressed Jake and Chads friends proposed a Party at the finish line, for each race they did, and the rest of the friends would go to the Finish Line and wait. The Homies would give the party and celebrate the winner. The party was to become a strong force that pulled at him every day. The party meant good times with his friends and a chance to celebrate victory in front of Corin.

First Race

The race to Hillsboro Inlet commenced and Chad caught the winds perfectly. He handled his boat very well even though he had a clear disadvantage, Jake’s boat was faster. Chad kept his mainsail full he did not have a roller furling like Jake’s boat, his mast was 30 feet and Jake’s was 32 feet. Jake had a larger mainsail and a boomless cruising spinnaker. Jake did not know how to use the spinnaker  and therefore kept it stowed. If he had known how to set up the spinnaker he would have sailed past Chad in a few minutes. Both boats were using there mainsails and jibs. Chad never lost his lead and had his bragging rights ready to burst when he dropped his sails and coasted up to the dock, to the cheers of his homies and the broad smile on Corin’s face. As the sun set everyone had a good time and was winding down for a good night’s rest and preparation for the return trip tomorrow.  Before they turned in for the night Jake suggested switching boats for the return trip, Chad exclaimed “What are you crazy you want to give me a win win for the weekend? “  Jake said sure, but Jake was more interested in learning more about his own boat and he knew Chad was a better sailor right now; he also wanted to change that for the Bahamas’ race later.

 

Sunday Morning, Chad and Jake got up early, and checked the weather. The days forecast was perfect for a trip south and back home to Ft. Lauderdale. Winds forecasted S/SE & steady 9-12 knots with some gusts to 20 knots.  Nice push all the way back and some light tacking to bring them into shore and head for the inlet.

Chad suggested that they do it “Old School” no Lorans or radio unless it was an emergency, they plotted their trip with charts and headed east for about 10nm then headed south.  Jake started first and was about 5Nm out when he saw Chad closing in with his boat. Jake signaled Chad about the spinnaker and Chad started to set it up, this was what Jake wanted and was prepared to lose to see his boat at top form and full sail. As the winds changed SE Jake saw the potential of his boat and he was stoked out! The boomless Spinnaker filled with the cool dense air out of the North West and the boat sailed into the lead. Jake watched as Chad followed a heading due south, stowed the spinnaker and set up the jib, and set the boat to port and all the sails were full, he saw everything he needed.

That moment changed Jake, he felt a desire to learn more about sailing than just basic boat skills.  Jake wanted to know more so he could someday become better than he was today. This may have been the first time in his life when he was not going to be competitive, and he only wanted to learn more to better himself. He began to understand that he had to pursue knowledge, that it would never be the reverse, and that what he gained with knowledge was his to use. When they got back he thought about talking to the Old Man in the boat yard. He knew of the Old Man but mostly ignored him, now he wanted to learn more and he began to think of the Old Man as useful, but he was also intimidated because he knew what the Old Man could tell him and the words he would use . When Jake got home he spent one week reading and studying sailing terms and definitions.

(  Third revision has sailing terms written into the story )  He went to see the Old Man the next weekend as he watched him prep a boat for a trip to the Bahamas. Jake watched him as he chewed on an old cigar and spit on ground, he was direct and blunt in his demeanor and attitude. The Old Man asked Jake” What do you want?”. Jake said “ I want to learn more about boats. He got a muffled response about spoiled brat youngens. But Jake was not deterred and he continued all day prodding the old man for knowledge. After a couple of weeks they had become friends.

The Old Man lost his mistrust of youth and Jake discovered he could respect something and someone who was different and not full of the boisterous youth he depended on to acknowledge respect. Jake did not need to be challenged to respect this man. Meanwhile Chad and Corin were hangin with the homies and they kept asking Jake when he was going to join them. Jake was thinking ahead, and Chad had relaxed after his recent win without a care in the world.

The Learning Curve

As summer rolled on with warm breezes and never-ending sun, Jake prepared his boat checking everything once, twice, sometimes even more than was necessary. He looked at the Halyards, and the standing rigging. He inspected every stitch of the main sails, Jib, and Spinnaker. He put on his scuba gear and inspected the hull. He practiced all the rope work that the Old Man taught him, and mentioned to Chad some things he saw on the older boat that were not in proper condition. Chad said to him “ What you are expert now? I will have my boat ready.” But Chad put little time into his older boat and depended on his father to check the boat for repairs.

This reminded Jake about a story they both read in their senior year English literature class. The words “ As we rest on our Laurels we dismiss the time that they go from green to grey”. ( citation needed )

Jake studied the charts four nights a week and did practice drills for deploying the gale rider, the spinnaker, and man overboard. He actually asked Chad to loosen the boom vang and allow the main sail to come about ( with some control from the lines ) and knock him into the water one afternoon just offshore. Jake was lucky he did get some broken ribs when the boom made contact. Chad laughed when Jake got pitched into the water.

Chad discussed with his dad about getting the boat ready, and was surprised when his father said “you make the time and ask the Old Man in the yard to look it over”. David wanted his son to take more responsibility in his life, he knew he had to push the issue, but was not confident Chad would listen. He started slowly by making sure Chad studied the charts, and could navigate if the electronic equipment failed. He used that time to push the self-reliance agenda that this own father taught him. Both boys had become determined to set a date for the race before college started in the fall. Both were not factoring the most important variable in the trip, the weather. Jake had studied weather, but weather is always a changing, it is something you need to feel, to accept its challenge, on the terms you are given and to find a solution to all it presents. To think about weather as a “ being” is what the old man taught Jake, and Jake wanted to understand his meaning. Jake took the boat out to sea, in late July,  as a hurricane brought forth high seas and some coastal swells. Soon Jake was over his head in what to do, the changing winds confused him, he dropped all the sails and motored back to shore. He went straight to see the old man. As Jake tried to regale the old man with his story of bravery against the winds, he only got laughter back. He also got an invitation to sail with him the next day and the weather would be worse, Jake accepted. With Gale force winds they teamed up to sail the 1935 Morgan Ketch out of the harbor and go three NM* and turn about to head for home. It was short lesson, with a long-lasting impact. As the old man grappled each  sheet with his bare hands and hoisted the main sail, he instructed Jake to prepare the boat for a “ tight leeway” and to make fast the Jib stays. They kept the boat “ out of irons” and Jake learned tricks to pull the boat astern as way to help tack into the fierce winds. On the way back to shore, the gale winds grew stronger, and the Old Man instructed Jake to Drop the main sail and use the Jib all the way to shore. The old Morgan came close to broaching two times that afternoon and Jake thought he would fill his draws he was so scared.   Each time the Old Man laughed. The weather is never your friend even when it moves your way, he said often. As the two approached the dock they were met by Chad, David, and Douglas. The stern looks on their faces were only meant for Jake, they were all intimidated by the Old Man. Jake jumped off the boat grinning from ear to ear and exclaimed that was a lesson of a lifetime his father accepted the unorthodox wisdom and they all went home.

 

The Bahamas

Wind was part of the late summer season in South Florida. It was welcomed by all, if it came as light air and cooler temperatures. It is Hurricane season technically through October but if you live there you think about the end of August and early September, those are the times that will weigh your mind. So with these thoughts at hand and college approaching for both Jake and Chad they decided to do the race to the Bahamas in early August.

The Caribbean is such a lovely and peaceful place it is impossible to see it as hostile, as it is teeming with sea life. The sun soaks into your skin and the warmth is intoxicating. A place like this does not hold dangers of the north, where you can freeze to death in some places during the summer months, and in the winter you can die immediately or slower, in a cruel and torturous death as you witness your own demise, your limbs freezing from exposure. In a Northern environment you would cry for the sun and your tears would freeze on your face and peel off your frost-bitten skin. The lure of the Caribbean contrasts with those places that are lonely and inhospitable: it is soft salty water, abundance of fish for sport or for dinner and the unknown but expected promise of life extended to its full breadth. This all takes place under the deepest Azul sky that greets you every day.

So the influence of sun and salt air brings one’s mind to a sense of forever. A sense that we will always be safe, even if we have misfortune, we can always survive under the eternal sun of the Caribbean. These are your innate feelings each day you live here, nothing will change that. And it is the premise of planning a trip, during hurricane season, which has only one purpose, to find out who is the faster sailor. The race is about skill, but only if those skills get you to the dock first, and let you hang with the Homies. If a percentage was given to each Chad would be all about the win 100 percent, but Jake could not be pigeon holed that easy now, he learned a lot this summer and he wanted to win, but he wanted his skills tested also.

 

Each inspected the others boats one week prior and made a report for their fathers. Jake’s boat was flawless per Chad. But Jake’s report to David on the older boat was not perfect, the boat was overall, in good condition. The hull showed no damage, the mainsail sheets were okay, but he noted the boom vang hardware was weak and some cleats were not tight and working properly. He also commented on the Kedge ( a small anchor with a short line attached) and the hardware for the main anchor. David replied I will tell Chad, and he will need to get it repaired before you both leave. Chad got a little defensive with Jake about the boats condition, “ That boom vang has been like that for two years, we never use the kedge and the sheets have little fray”. Chad made no changes to the boat and he told his father it was repaired and ready to go one week later.

 

The first Monday in August they packed clothes for the trip, loaded the boats with supplies and food. Both put on their sailing suits and life vests and climbed aboard. As they undocked their families and Chad’s girlfriend Corin watched them motor out to sea with little wind. It was 7am. The Sun was warming the air, that would change throughout the day, and change the race. Soon a light wind came offshore and the sails were up. They sailed together about one hundrend yards apart for 20Nm enjoying the wind and warm air of the morning. Jake radioed in to shore and over to Chad. He told Chad he wanted to try some stuff while he was out and he separated some but not completely out of site from Chads boat. Chad radioed back, hey not too much; you want to get here before me! The two boats separated but stayed in radio contact and they were both heading towards the Bahamas at about 9 knots, their destination Marsh Island Harbor on Great Abaco. The finish line was 150Nm away, almost due east. They both had enough speed to get into port at Marsh Island a little after sundown. Chad remained on a starboard tack and headed east north-east. He planned on Sailing close to Freeport just in case and he wanted to stay south of Grand Bahama Island.  Jake was practicing a port tack when suddenly he found himself: Head to sea and Head to wind. This meant that the water was moving in the opposite direction of the boat and the boat was headed directly into the wind, a strong wind from the south. He was “ in irons” which means he was dead in the water and would have to back off the Jib to get off the wind and think about getting back on ( and setup the Jib again )course with Chad. As the wind began to suddenly rip past Jake it was also swelling the seas. Jake radioed Chad and told him about the wind that was coming at him. “Thanks for heads up Bro!” Jake continued to tack, the wind from the south and plotted a new course, he was going to sail a little further south, close but not passing the Bimini islands from the west and turn toward Great Abaco and the finish line toward the northeast.

Chad was about to get a rude awaking, the wind was a steady twenty knots and had gusts to over 30. When the wind change hit Chad’s boat along with the change is sea direction it was almost broached. In layman’s terms the boat almost flipped over. Chad was lifted into the air and grabbed whatever he could to hang on and get back behind the helm. Chads boat was now sailing in a Northern direction and if he continued it would take him away from Great Abaco. Chad chose to keep the boat under control and did not change course, he went with the flow, and did not think he could safely turn the boat to wind and tack into the heavy seas that were producing  twelve-foot waves. Jake was struggling, but succeeding in keeping a tight tack and making progress as he challenged the twelve-foot waves and 20+ knot winds. A few times he deployed the gale rider to pull the boat astern and help the tack, a trick he learned from the Old Man. Jake was enjoying the challenges and Chad was not. Chad did not want to fight the wind, he was not lazy, at that moment, he did not think he had the knowledge and for several moments he wanted to trade with Jake: win or lose.  Soon they were 40 miles apart traveling in different directions and only thinking about finishing, not winning.

Chad was in real danger of being blown out to sea, and this thought slowly crept into his mind.  His boat was now on a heading north of Grand Bahama Island, his slow decision-making and intermediate skills were okay for weekend day sailing, but not for this, he was in trouble. He began to think about ways to change direction as the sun began its slow drop in the western sky. It was beautiful and left colors that reflected off the sea as it slowly set. Chad turned his boat off the wind, attempting to go downwind almost broached again but finished the turn and went from bad to worse than to okay in less than five minutes.. During the turn the boom vang and controls came lose. Chad tied them down with lines( ropes) from the storage locker under the seats. This made it much harder to control the main sail as he continued downwind in the wrong direction.  He was sailing north of Grand Bahama Island, surfing off the breaking waves, but if he could get back on a south-east heading, he could sneak through the shallows between the east end and little Abaco Islands.

 

Jake was making progress, slowly, very slowly and, he also, watched the sun set as he tacked between a location north of the Bimini Islands to the east and the coast of Florida. He was in the Florida straits and if he went too far he would have to sail around the largest island of Andros. It would take all night to get back north towards Great Abaco. He needed to turn east before Bimini Islands then onto Marsh Island on Great Abaco. He knew he would not be there by sunset and wondered where Chad was, he had no radio contact with him, but Corin radioed him and told him she had spoken with him and he was changing his position. Jake had little time to plan anything while the boat and the wind were taking all his time, and talent. He thought about dropping anchor and resting but was not sure if he had enough rope for the depth of water. (He did not) Jake was in water 1000 meters deep now. He continued using his Loran for guidance and worked every tack the best he could for forward movement. Long after the sun hid under the western skyline he realized he accomplished his goal. Now he could head East towards the finish on Great Abaco. As the boat came about to port ( he was turning left) he pulled the sheets tight and avoided a broach, then he deployed the spinnaker at night ( this is a difficult thing for one person to do, the old man had taught him well ) and felt a rush of adrenaline like never before, the boat wanted to plane, it was suddenly moving faster than he ever experienced. He was able to do this because of a change in the wind again, now he was in warm air out of the southwest. At night with the stars and the wind it was a moment to never forget, his speed would put him south of Freeport in about one hour.

 

Chad was working his new direction, having problems with his Loran because of the water that washed over the starboard side when the boat was almost broached; he was using his charts when he had time to look at them. He radioed Corin and she responded, gave him an update on Jake, and wished he could just be home. She started to cry a little, this was all very serious and dangerous to her, but Chad had his nerves up and always put on his game face, even at night in the Atlantic ocean, all alone except for a voice on the radio. He said “ I’m good babe, it’s all good. I will get there tonight or tomorrow morning, no worries.” I will be celebrating winning or finishing with my homies. Finish: she said and, I love you. Love you too babe! Chad out.

 

Jake saw the lights of Freeport off his bow, to the north, he was maybe about 5Nm out. He had stowed the spinnaker earlier. Now was time to breathe, to just take in the sounds and the visual experience.  He used the auto pilot for a short time and began plotting his course into Greater Abaco. He turned on his weather radio and listened for anything that might help him finish. At this point he wanted the boat docked in the cove on Great Abaco and turn in for the night, he was not interested in hangin with the homies, he would call home and rest.

 

Chads serious problems had just begun. He did not know this, but realized suddenly what his cavalier attitude about the boats condition had brought into the open. He failed to apprise the weather and wind. He failed to repair the boat as per Jakes inspection. He failed to protect equipment when he was under way. It was all suddenly pouring on him, drenching him, and warning him: perhaps for the last time. He used some stowed lines to hold down the boom vang again, then went in the cabin to repair the Loran, after that he went up on deck towards the bow, but was distracted by the luff in the mainsail and failed to see the lose anchor on the bow. All of this was going on while he continued on a heading in the wrong direction. While good luck was not giving Chad much attention, and bad luck was working him over like a fighter stuck in the ropes, he managed to eventually change his heading toward the south-east. Turning the boat and tacking the same strong gusts that Jake had faced forty miles away. With his position now on the Loran at 27.009 Latitude -77.83 Longitudes he was able to confirm he was off course, but for the moment his heading was correct.

 

 

Jake entered the shallows near Great Abaco, the Moon was now high in the sky, for the moment the winds were light and moving northeast, his boat was leaning on a slight port side tack, he relaxed at the helm and took in all the moon would show him as he headed for the docks. Full moons can be different things to different people, this night he was hoping his friend was looking at it the same as him, he wanted Chad to finish. He felt he was the winner, but felt no joy in winning, perhaps later maybe, he could feel some sense of victory, but not tonight.  He thought about the days trip, what the Old Man taught him, he knew he could not have made it without his help and friendship. As he slowly moved through the shallows his friends called him from Marsh Island airport where they were waiting to receive a winner. Jake talked to them briefly, asked if they had heard from Chad, they had not. He asked them to go to the Hotel and wait he would be at the dock in about thirty minutes.  The shallows continued to amaze him as he sailed closer to his unwanted victory, this night under a full moon revealed hues in the water and sea life that hides during the day. Jake saw a conch eating urchins, a green Moray Eel coming out from some coral. The hues of color on the coral were pale and vibrant at the same time. The full moon left glimmers and reflections that flowed with the gentle waves of the sea.  Spectacular, surreal: yes.

 

 

Sixty five Nm to the north-west Chads boat was moving into changing winds that were fighting ,over the sea, for dominance at the same time. A wind collision.  Low pressure cool air masses from the north were pushing up against the warm southern air and both wind forces were fighting a losing battle with the wind from the Atlantic that was moving slowly due west. The Atlantic wind would be an on shore breeze for the coast of Florida, for Chad it would be a nightmare. He looked up at the moon, gave a shout out to Jake and began to feel the forces of three wind events at the same time.

 

Chad went to the helm and found no relief from the rudder, he was stalled, “in irons” and the older sailboat was being tossed starboard then to port, the mainsail pulled the boom up and the lines on the broken boom vang came lose. The boom swung wildly out of control as the mainsail swelled with changing air and threatened the boat with each movement. Chad was ducking, bracing himself, using his arms to deflect the dangers swirling about: he was in defensive mode. You can never think straight in defensive mode, you lose the ability for forward thought, you know you are being beat up and your thoughts are more about protecting yourself from imminent danger. Survival depends on a good offense and Chad’s offense did not exist.

He grabbed on anything he could as he crawled on the deck towards the bow, he thought he could repair the boom vang and he was going to try. At that moment he thought about Jakes inspection of the boat, and how his attitude about Jakes inspection had left him in danger he could never imagine. Chad was grabbing lines, cleats, clamps, anything … he was desperate. As he lay on the deck face down, with the wind tossing the boat, and the mainsail violently dancing in that wind, he attempted to make repairs to the boom vang. He wrapped his foot in a line that was secured to something then he reached for an eyelet on a turnbuckle that was attached to the boom vang  with his anger coming through his thoughts and spreading into his actions. He was able to tie a knot then he pulled on the lines and looked for a way to secure them, but the force on the boom was too great and it lifted Chad up off the deck and he swung in the wind. Chad let go grabbed the Jib sheets ( lines for the Jib ) and the boom swung 270 degrees it hit Chad in the head and knocked him into the water, as he fell into the deep blue sea, he lost consciousness and the line around his foot was attached to the anchor. The anchor fell through the water and followed Chad to the deep, and then it struck him racing past him pulling him down farther. The line on the poorly secured anchor was 100 feet long, it would never hit bottom Chads boat was in 1500 meters of deep blue sea.

 

There was no chance for farewells and he would never have had a thought of giving up. Giving up would be a prerequisite for farewells, so Chad was gone. His body dangled under the boat as the boat moved where the wind made it go : eventually it came ashore on the north side of Little Abaco. The Bahamian marine patrol found it and radioed it in then tracked down the owners information. They knew of no race, they followed their procedures and towed the boat. As the boat entered the shallows it began to pull backward on the tow line , the sails were down and could not be the cause of the line tension, they stopped the tow and sent a diver into the water. The Sun had risen over an hour ago as the diver went into the shallow to investigate. In less than a minute he came back up, “We have a body.” He grabbed the tangled mess of lines that wrapped Chad and pushed him to the surface.  The crew on the patrol bought pulled Chad’s body up and placed the lifeless young man on the deck. Then they covered him up. The first officer on the patrol boat said “ We were lucky to have found him, the sharks could have gotten him, now his family will have him back.”

They returned to Port and made the phone calls, as Chads father ran to the phone to answer, expecting to hear Chads voice, the bad news gave him a shot of pain and agony that brought him to the floor and left him weak. He cried out to the house: Chad is gone, Chad is gone. The family came running and Chad’s mother took the phone and spoke to the Marine Patrol officer. She lost her ability to stand and leaned on the counter and cried as she hung up the phone.

 

 

ENDING FOR A LIFE

 

The ending of a short life, leaves the beginning of dreams, for the survivors, that will always be unfulfilled.  The dreams and memories are left for true friends, and family. Grief that has a powerful overwhelming force cannot be held back, for Corin it hit her about a month after Chad’s funeral, she sat in a chair watching TV one quiet afternoon. Her family was out, she was alone. A beach volleyball competition came on and she watched content, warm, she was safe. Then one player spiked the ball hard, the same way Chad did, and she began to cry like she could never imagine, the waves of pain and grief flowing out of her and pushing to give her rest true rest. She cried lying on the floor, then fell asleep. As she slept she dreamed of Chad, she saw him playing, laughing with a care free life. He kept saying to her “ NO Worries “ .

David had the boat towed back to Ft Lauderdale, went to see the Old Man and told him to sell it at any price immediately. He replied “ Okay and I am sorry for your loss sir.” The boat was sold in a week, but that did not ease David’s thoughts, he lost his son, and he lost him in a place that is so beautiful and peaceful, this cannot be true, it must all be a lie.

Jake went to see the Old Man, he walked into the boat yard and found a place to sit. It was on a piece of broken keel. He sat there, for more than an hour, finally the Old Man came out to talk to him. He said no one can fully understand loss, we all feel it sometime, but it is not the same for each person. Jake asked” How did your loss feel?” He answered by showing him the wedding ring on his finger, and said, “She has been gone thirty-five years.”

The Homies just moved on: they mentioned Chads name in ceremonial toasts, they made comments about his laughter and his easy life. They just let him go.

END

© Copyright Artemis J Jones 2014

Follow the development of this story before final publication. It will be published in a collection 2015

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