The slow bobbing of the boat kept up with with her thoughts. They were thoughts that also kept afloat on the calm surface of her mind as she revisited her favourite reverie. The sun set she can see here is not too different from the sun set in her memories; it is the same sun, sinking below a rippled horizon. Here the horizons ripple are disturbed into a pattern of movement by the wind as it glides freely on the water, while in her mind's eye she sees green fields that ripple for the same reason. The open space is a common factor; there were no clutters of the markets, which could only be so similar to the docking station she left behind.
Her legs swing in time, like a inverted metronome. Her feet swaying as she sits on the edge, a mere few feet from the water that laps solidly against the boat's metallic blue paint. The knuckles on her left hand turn white as she reaffirms her hold on the deck's railing; starboard and safe as her fishing rod points to the sky. The invisible thread that she had many moments ago cast, out of pure activity rather than necessity, leads to the little red buoy that is over fifty yards away. Her free hand, still bandaged but not too bruised now lies limply on her lap as she peers over the edge, inching forward with a tight grip that she assures herself with. The face, distorted by the miniscule currents is her own, looks up at her, nothing but a stranger with the newly cut hair, too calm eyes, and the jacket's collar that was not her own.
She left her dresses and coats back home, after all.
The decision to leave the farm, with its rolling hills and soft sweet air for the rolling waves and salty breaths is not a hasty one, but not much the same could be said for the tipping point that left her packing only mere necessities and her savings and hitching a ride at the break of dawn. It has been almost a week, but with the fresh wave of tears that she could feel break from her eyes and down towards the water, the feeling of uncertainty and fear that she felt huddled on the back of the bus that dawn might as well have been this morning.
She was not too young, so no one asked. She looked equipped and competent enough with her none to heavy bag and her trusted case of hooks, a reel of line, sinkers, and a rod; she might as well have been an apprentice. So now she is.
"Be heading into the cabins now?" A soft voice calls out from behind her, a slight young man with wind-strewn red hair stand there. His feet lightly tapping as he sways with the boat, hands in the deep pocket of his trousers. His gaze is steady, but, like hers, is not piercing.
She did not even hear him approach.
In lieu of responding, she rises from her place at the edge, pulling up using the deck railings, then leaning forward to reel in her line slowly – empty. She turns as she tucks the rod under an arm and smiles at him, nodding.
He nods back, but his smile is wider; "Okay, Charlie." As he turns she follows.
This time, despite the darkening bruise around his left eye, she knows that his smile can only grow higher into his eyes when he hears her footsteps on the wooden deck behind him.
You hurt the ones you love, but could never hurt the love away.