photo credit: globeattractions.com
He woke up with his face in the sand and a bone- cold chill running through his veins. He was completely disoriented as he sat up to look around him. The beach was encased in a thick fog. He felt like a castaway who had washed up on the shore after a shipwreck. She was a ghost once more. Forgetting his nakedness, he walked to the lean- to just to be sure . Yep. Just his bike and his pack. She was considerate enough to bring his clothes up from the beach before she left. He dressed quickly and pulled out his cycling jacket from the pack for extra warmth.
The fog made it difficult to follow the roads and anticipate the curves and hills that were easily mastered yesterday. He hoped that he was going in the right direction to the ferry. He didn’t have any idea of the schedule nor did he know what time it was- he left his phone back in the room. He was trying not to panic as he carefully negotiated the route back.
He arrived at the town’s landing damp and still cold. Luckily, there was a general store that was open. He tried not to look too relieved when he found out they also served coffee and snacks. As he sat at the tiny service bar, he noticed that the ferry schedule was posted on the wall. None going out for four more hours because of the fog. Even Earl’s mail boat was hung up. “Don’t worry honey. Fog will lift soon. Earl was just asking about some biker over the two-way. He’ll be happy to bring you back once I get the mail sacks from ‘im.”
While he waited, he drank more coffee and read yesterday’s news. He tried not to think about her and the sense of abandonment that he felt. He only wanted to feel warm again.
“Good gosh you old son-of-a-gun. You look like a lost puppy.” It was Earl. “Time to get you back to the mainland, my friend.”
The ride back was quiet as the fog cleared completely. When they reached the pier, Tom noticed that the vessel that had been undergoing repairs was gone. “Word is they left just after dawn. Needed to get ahead of those ocean storms.” Earl talked as if he were to trying to explain the situation. Well, what did he expect? They treated one another like friendly strangers at best. No more. No less.
When he finally got back to his room, it was nearly 2pm. His phone was noisily vibrating with messages from home. He listened to his children sing their “Daddy I Miss You” song. Then there was a message from his wife. Her tone was serious. “Tom, call me when you are not too busy with those endless meetings. The kids and I are headed to Karen and Joe’s until you get back. But we NEED to talk.”