Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Autumn of the Heart-chapter 5

Kit had been very content here at the cottage but it was time she headed back to the city.

She missed little bono so much and still couldn't shake the guilt of forgetting him.

Is that how it was anyway, we forget the ones closest to us, always thinking they will be there. No Kit knew better than that, she had lost so many people in her relatively short life.

She took one long silent walk along the cold shore. Kit loved it here, this time of year. She was never the sun bathing type, no she preferred the cold Autumn trips her family would take when her father could manage the time away from work.

Kit's dad was a doctor. His family practice was quite large. These times at the cottage were the longest stretch of time, she would ever get to spend with her father. She adored her father and when he left, it destroyed her, in more than one way. Kit's mother blamed her husband for Kit's early promiscuity and she was most likely right.

Kit looked over the bay and let her mind wonder to the kiss. The first one, the first real one. Bradley was the most handsome older boy at the shore. Every girl hoped she would get to make-out or at least hold his hand on one of those famous, dance nights, the bay community would throw. Each Friday night dozens of preteens and teens would gather on the sand, roasting hot-dogs and marshmallows. There would be tapes playing over a loud speaker and sometimes, Bradley himself would serenade them all with his rock and roll voice, singing the heart sinking ballads of the day.

How Kit wished she could relive some of those days. Only some of them. Not the ones where she cried herself to sleep each night, when Bradley ended up marrying a girl that had become pregnant. He had done the right thing. Why couldn't he have been her baby's father, then she would have never made that horrible choice. She knew she had better stop this crazy lamenting. Life was as it was now and the sooner she let go of all the past, the better off she would be, deep inside she knew this.

Coming here always did this to Kit, maybe she shouldn't have come after all.

Kit threw out the last of the spoiled things in the frig, fluffed the last pillow, on the comfy sofa before covering it. She felt bad she had not even visited the "Captain" since their encounter the first morning. She would take him over the milk and cookies and other various things from the frig.

The "Captain's" place still looked the same. Even as a child it looked as though it needed painting. His green thumb was well known, she reached down to smell the last of the roses. He would always win first prize for his elegant roses. Kit's mother always tried but never could quite compete.

Kit knocked gently on the old weathered screen door. No answer. She could see the wooden door was cracked, so she called out "oh Captain, my Captain, where art there my Captain" as they would often do as children. Still no answer. Kit's arms full, she gingerly pulled the screen door open and pushed the other one with her foot. Milk dropped, spilling out of the cap she had too loosely replaced, evidently. She let go of the other things in the bags. She hurried forward, tripping over the ruined groceries. "Captain, Captain, Captain". Tears filled her unbelieving eyes, she cried. She cried just like she did that first day, when he told her he had cancer. She touched him, he was cold cold and rigid and gray. How long had he been there. Why hadn't she come to check on him. She didn't know, she guessed she had seriously thought he would come by, her place before she left. There was no time for anymore of these self indulgent thoughts.

The rescue squad said he had probably been dead for three or four days. Kit lightly kissed his forehead, before they removed him from his home, not his summer place not his weekend get-away, but his beloved home. As she left, she saw on the counter, a mixing bowl, and a bag of pecans. Was he actually making her the famous sandy pecan cookies, all of the kids remembered.

She walked down the shore once more. She stepped on the old rotten boat, still there after all this time. She removed her sweater, wrapping it around her shoulders, like a cape. "Captain oh my dear dear Captain, you will be remembered, remembered for your roses, remembered for your sandy pecan cookies, but mostly for being the Captain of your bay kids crew" she tossed one of his roses out into the vast waters and watched as it drifted so gently away.