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The Fisherman's Daughter

where i'm bound

Memories were sprawled out in front of Thea and her mother in the form of a dusty, old photo album. Sonja browsed through pages of photos from lives neither of them had known. The pictures came from a time before them. Thea’s father received the tattered album when his father passed away. It had originally belonged to her great-grandfather.

This album had been updated and added to throughout the years. Not only did it contain photos from the time of Thea’s great-grandfather, but also pictures from her father’s life and her own childhood. The two women observed how beautiful Thea’s great-grandmother looked on her wedding day. The wedding photos were Sonja’s favorite to look at; the album was strewn with them. There were photos from weddings of grandparents, uncles, aunts, and even her parents.

“Funny; all of us women married fisherman,” Thea’s mother pointed out, smiling. “I wonder who the next will be to carry on the trend.” Sonja knowingly glanced to Thea.

“I will never marry a fisherman,” she spoke truthfully, noticing her mother’s looks. Thea had promised herself she would not. It was not worth the hurt one would have to endure.

Sonja looked to Thea, disapprovingly. “Why not?”

Thea raised an eyebrow at her mother. She knew her mother knew exactly why. She lived the grueling life of a fisherman’s wife. “You know why, mom. I’ve promised myself I will never do such a thing. You know the life; you know what it’s like. How can you blame me for not wanting that, myself?”

“You can’t really control who you fall in love with, Thea.” She hated the way her mother assumed things.

“I’ll just steer clear of anyone who works on a fishing vessel.”

Sonja laughed, a little overdramatically. “And how exactly do you expect to do that in a family like this?” She pointed to a photo that lay in front of her. It was a photo of Thea’s father when he was about 15. His two younger brothers and father accompanied him. They all stood, posing for the camera, aboard the Sea Siren.

Noticing Thea’s silence, Sonja replied, “See? It’s not going to be that easy. I know, you persistently say you will do nothing of the sort. But it’s in your destiny.” She paused. “Everyone knows it. Your father and I have a bet on how long it’ll be ‘til you find the sailor boy of your dreams.”

Thea let out an exasperated sigh. She couldn’t help but to think that her mother was right; that she was destined for that fate. Nevertheless, that didn’t mean that she couldn’t try to avoid it.

Just then, Thea’s father walked into the kitchen she and her mother inhabited. His keys jingled in his hand like miniscule wind chimes.

“Where are you headed, Art?” Sonja inquired.

“I need to go tend to a few things on the ship. I should only be a few hours,” he answered.

“By yourself?” she asked. Thea had always thought she asked too many questions.

“No. Some of the guys will be there to help out.”

“Good. You’re getting too old to be doing these things on your own,” Sonja spoke curtly. Though he wasn’t actually that old - going into his 50s - she knew what her mother meant. Her father was a weathered man, worn down to the bone after years upon years of hard work.

Unexpectedly, Thea asked, “Can I come with you, Dad? I need to get out of the house.” As well as she needed a breather from her mother and her visions of the future.

“Sure. If you think that’ll help, T. I’ll try to find something for you to do. Go get your jacket; it’s cold outside.”

The only thought that ran through Thea’s mind after deciding to accompany her father: so much for staying away from men who work on fishing vessels.
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word count: 675
total word count: 1177

Title credit to Johnny Cash's "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound."