It Calls to Me: The Sea 2
Dawn’s Early Light ...
Sunshine pierces through a slightly pulled back curtain while a gentle breeze from an unfastened window bushes Ava on the brow. She shifts over in bed and glances at the clock. It is almost ten o’clock! Ava is hungry and she remembers that the brochure says the cutoff for breakfast is at ten. After showering, she puts on her earth tones and hurries down to the elevator.
“Sorry, hun—” the cook says while scraping the last of the eggs into the bus pan. “but the kitchen is closed. Why don’t you try the Outer Banks Omelet. That bistro serves breakfast clean up until twelve thirty. Just go ‘bout six blocks down on Martin’s Marina.”
After thanking the cook for the information, Ava rushes out the door. When she starts the car, a flock of seagulls clear a path, gliding into the deep blue sky. During the drive, Ava opens the windows in order to allow the wonderful sea breeze to enrapture her. And again, she hears the ocean whispering, even beckoning her. However, the complaints submitted by her stomach are louder. Therefore, Ava continues driving. A young couple is jogging down the shoreline. About a mile in the distance, Ava can see the figure of the lighthouse she’d seen on the brochure.
“I would never want to leave this place.” Ava thinks to herself aloud.
Finally, Ava pulls into the marina, parks the car, and walks along the pier. The Outer Banks Omelet is at the center of a U shaped wharf which is lined with little boats. The port goes straight out to sea. Along the quay, Ava sees a boat supply store, Starbucks Coffee Shop, an antique outlet store and a deep sea fishing supply house. Next door is the Tea Moods International Tea Emporium and Dividing the Waters Yacht Center. This is where you can rent a yacht for the entire 8-hour day for twelve hundred dollars or one hundred fifty an hour!
During breakfast, you have a choice of selecting every kind of omelet imaginable. There is even a Sea Bass and Mushroom Omelet! Ava decides to stick with a more traditional Southwestern Omelet, her favorite. People are coming in and going out of the café smiling, speaking to one another and everyone seems to be adorned with only one thing in mind—the sea! Ava takes her time eating the delicious and richly made omelet while gazing out of the window. A few of the younger children are playing tag, while some of the older ones are tossing pennies off the wharf into the water. Thus far, her stay on the island is to a certain degree uneventful—nothing out of the ordinary is happening until ...
Jared Taylor walks into the Outer Banks Omelet! Jared is the owner of the Dividing the Waters Yacht Center next door. He is also thirty-nine years old and retired as a naval officer after fifteen years of service. Afterwards, he served five years with the National Coast Guard. With eyes that seem to always be searching the horizon and absolutely no hint of gray hair, you could say that Jared Taylor is quite an attractive young man! With two decade of military experience, Jared presents a polish and commanding presence, even when walking into a room.
Ava quietly lays her fork beside her plate and gently wipes her mouth. She fingers out her blonde tresses and takes a deep breath. As Jared takes a seat facing a window, Ava can’t help noticing that he isn’t wearing a wedding band. Her interest heightened further by the fact that he seems to be alone!
Jared sits down and takes a glance across the port. It is then that he can feel someone’s eyes observing him. He shifts positions and their eyes lock. He mouths a quiet “hi” and returns to gazing out of the window. Jared thinks to himself that he knows everyone on the island, but this attractive woman doesn’t at all seem familiar. Plus, circumstances would appear she’s unescorted. Jared decides to see if a male companion returns. In the meantime, he opens a Bible on the table and begins to read from the Book of Psalms.
Jared is hesitant with regards to approaching Ava, considering he is still grieving over quite a few things in his life. Five years earlier, he lost the love of his life Olivia and his two children to a boating incident. His wife had gone sailing with a few others when the weather turned nasty. The vessel sinks much like the ill-fated Andrea Gail without the recovery of any aboard her. Jared keeps his wedding band on a chain around his neck tucked under his shirt as a hidden reminder of the wonderful life he shared with Olivia. To fill the void, he emerges himself in his business, which at times provide little solace.
In retrospect, Jared had married Olivia right after high school graduation and before entering military service. He is able to complete is college education and acquire officer rank. Due to his military commitment, Jared and his family live in three major cities. However, it is in Virginia Beach where they finally settle. The Taylors live there happily for quite a few years until Olivia’s death. Then, Jared moves further down the east coastline and subsequently buys a beach house in North Carolina where he now resides.
Decisively, Jared approaches Ava with a shyness he hasn’t felt in years.
“So what brings you to this island?” Jared starts the conversation.
“To tell you the truth— I really don’t know.” Ava answers blushingly. “I just had a pressing need to get away from my corporate job of putting out other people’s fires and decided to see if I could light one up in my own life. Have you ever felt like the need to take a vacation from your familiar daily routine for a while?”
“Ye-ah” is the drawn out response Ava receives from Jared and he begins to relax. “A vacation from the status quo is what brought me to these islands.”
Ava can tell that this is a man who adversity has taught valuable lessons. As he leans over against the counter near her, Ava catches a whiff of his clothes, a smell of ocean, driftwood and sweet spices, enchanting!
Ava intreats silently “Oh please, don’t let this man be a serial killer!”
The two exchange names, and continue to engage in superficial conversation for about ten minutes additional minutes. Then, Ava’s negative memories start talking to her.
“You have been down this road before, girl. You meet a fairly handsome man. The two of you go out to see a movie. It seems as if you have a lot in common. Then bam—he turns out to be another wolf in sheep’s clothing. How many times do you have to be hurt in meaningless relationships? At what point do you apply the brakes and decide that it’s just not in the cards? Get real, girl!”
A mask of professionalism captures Ava’s sweet face. She will sometimes even displayed a rich, hard to get, and “holier than thou” persona. Ava wears these masks during the day just as many women adorn themselves with makeup. Whereas in the late hours of the night, Ava is awaken to the sound of the second hand on the clock and the sight of the street light beaming down through her drawn curtains. Ava will never admit to being a truly lonely person. Nevertheless, in the wee hours of the morning, at dawn’s early light—a tear will find its way across the bridge of her nose and down one cheek. As the thirty-ninth year of her life approaches, she realizes how empty those masquerades really are.
To Be Continued ...
It Calls to Me: The Sea 3
- It Calls to Me: The Sea 3
Not only is Ava discovering new things about herself—she is learning more about Jared. He is a very deep individual who has once experienced great love and great tragedy. How easy will it be for Ava to discard her old demons and embrace a new life!
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© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS