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The Fisherman's Daughter


It was days like these in which memories were made. The sun shone bright and the crisp air nipped at the exposed skin of everyone outside. The attitudes of those who attended the small barbeque were pleasant, contrary to what was normal as of late. However, there was a small air of sadness slightly muffling the cheeriness. Regardless, everyone was enjoying their last bit of freedom for a while. Laughs were had, stories were told, drinks were consumed, and food was eaten. Needless to say, everyone was feeling good that early evening.

Thea sat quietly at a small table on the deck that overlooked the dark blue water. Reflecting upon the evening so far, she knew her mother’s idea had been a success and she was glad that she had agreed to help. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Thea watched as her mother, father, and some of the guys stood around the small bonfire they had lit, just across the yard. The grey smoke drifted up into the sky and danced with the wind. She wished she could be as free as the wind, as the smoke. However, at the moment, she was feeling everything but free. A constricting feeling overwhelmed her as she stared out to the depths of the sea, realizing that her father and brother’s departure was coming within a matter of hours. She tried to shake the feeling, seeing as spending the last few hours together in a bad mood wouldn’t make things any better nor make them stay any longer.

She was distracted from her consuming thoughts as a loud outburst of laughter came from the men around the bonfire. Thea smiled warmly and wished that this moment in time would last an eternity. Just then, the wind picked up, blowing her long and wavy hair in front of her eyes and obscuring her vision, reminding her that nothing lasts forever.

As Thea brushed the hair from her face and tucked it behind her ears, someone took up residence in the empty seat beside her. To her left sat Jake, grinning and looking to the party around the fire where he had just come from.

“I don’t know why we don’t do this stuff more often,” he mentioned. Thea couldn’t tell whether he was talking to her or whether he was simply just stating it to himself.

She smiled and answered anyway. “I don‘t know why either. I’ve missed this. I’m so glad my mom brought it up.”

“It really was a great idea,” he said, nodding. “Are you enjoying yourself?”

“I am,” she smiled faintly. “I only wish the night wouldn’t end.”

He smiled and gave a small nod. “I agree. But just because it has to end doesn’t mean it’ll never happen again.”

A woeful smile spread across her face. “You’re very right, Jake.” However, she was actually thinking about how this time could very well be the last time. You just never knew.

They were silent for a few moments. Thea had begun twirling the straw from her drink between her fingers just as Jake spoke up.

“You know, I’ve really missed you and your family, Thea. When I’m around you guys, I feel like part of the family.” A bit of color began to show in his cheeks as he started to blush at his small, but meaningful, statement. He looked from her back to those around the fire.

“We’ve missed you too, Jake. You are part of the family. Things have just been crazy lately. Everyone seems so… distant. I think it’s turning around now, though. I can’t say I’m mad about that,” Thea said with a small laugh, looking to him - the boy that she had known for so long. It really had been a shame that so much distance had been put between them lately.

He smiled, that infamous grin that he had sported throughout the years. “Maybe we can hang out some more when I get back, like the old days,” he spoke, his statement sounding more like a question. “My family would really love to see you again, too.”

“I’d really like that,” Thea said, remembering the happy times when they would go on adventures together as children. She had really cherished those times and she wasn’t sure why and how she had let them slip away.

At that moment, a faint ringing sound came from Jake’s pocket. He politely excused himself, got up, and walked only a few feet away. At first, the conversation had sounded pleasant and happy. Thea guessed he was probably talking to someone of his family. However, as the conversation progressed, it seemed as though the tone of the dialogue became a bit gloomier. A look overtook Jake’s face, one that Thea had never seen him display. He looked pained, truly worried. His speaking became more terse and full of anxiety. Thea couldn’t help but wonder what in the world he was talking about. In a matter of moments, he hung up the phone, shoved it in his pocket and walked off, towards the hill that was just beyond the fire pit.

Worried, Thea gave him a few minutes and then followed after him. She sat down next to him, not saying a word. He was full of tension as he stared off into the distance. He didn’t show much emotion upon his face. His clenched jaw and anxious aura were the only reminders of any emotion whatsoever.

Thea didn’t exactly know what to do. She wasn’t sure if she should try to speak to him or if she should just leave him be and keep him company when he was so obviously in pain.

Before she could make a decision as to what to do, Jake spoke up. His eyes were shockingly blue as he seemed to fight back tears. “My dad - he’s in the hospital again. And he’s doing worse than ever before.”

Thea gently put a hand upon his back in effort to comfort him. A matter of words was all it took for her to remember again why she had always believed in keeping her family close. It hurt her so much to see a friend so dear mourn the declining health of his hero.

An instant was all it took for her to vow to herself to never put anything before the people she cared about the most. Because in an instant, everything you know could change.
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word count: 1105
total word count: 4244