Port of Seattle, WA, September 1912,
Footsteps clamored on the wooden panels as I waited. The sun was setting over the harbor cascading orange and gold light across the faces of silhouettes who strolled the boardwalk. Local men and women dressed in their finest attire catching the last of the summer night air that now had a chill as wind gusts came in over the sea.
I sat watching as I have for months now. The port had only been built last year and it was now set up to bring in more expansive ships than when I sailed into this harbor. I glanced around as new dining establishments and even a dance hall is in place. Much different than the small saloon where sailors such as I came only to drink whiskey or wine. The streets of Seattle now filled with noise and laughter were once barren.
I watched as the last of the folk in fine linens leave the streets. I watched until I saw her. She came from alley behind the pub where we used to drink. I could see her dress had been sewn with patches. Her long red hair was loose and flowed wildly in the ocean breeze. Strands now colored with gray brushed her face as she walked down the pier. I watched as she whispered to herself. I tried to lean in to catch her words and a glimpse of her face. Her laced boots now run down the wooden planks as she yelled,
“You promised! You promised!”
I could see she was not well. Whomever has hurt her has left immeasurable harm. She has reached the end of the dock. She has never ventured this far. She has usually turned back. She stands at the edge. Her hands are waiving. I can now see her face. Eyes swollen from tears that streamed down her face. She was again yelling,
“I trusted you!”
She turned towards where I sat. She did not see me, but I could see her now. I remembered the girl from the pub. The girl now a woman with gray hair and ripped clothes. She stared in my direction but her eyes looked beyond me. She pulled a locket from around her neck with my name. A braided chain. This woman whom I once knew as a girl thrashed herself. She pulled and ripped the chain which she throws with what little might she had into the ocean. The circular rips followed to hide what once was.
I then heard a scream “Momma please come back!” I turned to see a young girl running from the same alley my old love had come from!”
I looked closer at this girl. She has features similar of her mother, but I can see my eyes.
The girl rushed to hold her mother and pulled her back from the docks.
She turned her mother around leading her back home. I know them. I left them for my other love. This woman, this child whom I know is mine. I yell, “Brandelina!”
There was no response instead the waves took force rising as they did the night my ship left. I am carried into the wind and back to the sea. Screaming again for the love who has waited for me. Only for waves of water to fill my lungs and bury me back under the current. My descent into the bliss of what will never be. As I reach the bottom my mind now aware that I did forsake my soul for the sea that would only be my grave. It was not a love to be fulfilled. I then saw the light of something shining and reached for the chain once given to a girl who loved my stories. The chain moved away from my reach, and I am swallowed by the waves of obscurity. I gasped as I cannot breathe as the sea washed over me. I prayed that I will be liberated from the waters that took my life. May my soul see no more of the suffering I have left. With one more pull of the wave I was set free. The water has evaporated around me. Left in this dune of nothingness. I looked to see the world that has disappeared.
I left my love for the love of the sea which left me here in the middle of nowhere cast in the sand. I called out and there was not a sound. The soul of me has been left alone. A wish I once made on a tavern stool has now become my hell. Engulfed in the desert’s parched silence, I was nothing but another grain of sand in the wind.