It Calls to Me: The Sea 3

Updated on May 19, 2020
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Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!

Why does the sea beckon?
Why does the sea beckon?

A Kindred Spirit ...

Jared recognizes a sudden change in Ava’s demeanor and decides to approach the issue straightforward.

“This may seems a bit unorthodox to you—it certainly is to me. I am not in the habit of picking up women who seem to be on their own. To the contrary, I have been isolating myself from private involvement. I must admit though, there is just something about you that is different. Besides, you are the one staring me down, right?” With that comment, both Ava and Jared laugh.

Ava shares with Jared the fact that something has changed in her when she drops the grocery bags back at her home in Woodcliff Lake, New York. As she drops the bags—she also drops the masks that she, like so many other hurt women, wear.

“I feel like I can talk to you like an old friend. I don’t know why but I do. That day when I arrived home from work and my shopping—something just snapped. I became no longer willing to live my day-to-day existence. You know—I think that I’m finally able now to let the mask slip.” Jared patiently waits while Ava takes a sip of water and another bite of her omelet. Then she continues.

“I’ve also decided to drop some of those little personality shifts I’ve been hiding behind. No more the need to compete with my ex over the affections of my daughter. I’m feeling I can now end those afternoon dates with the TV. The years of silent frustration may finally be coming to an end!” Ava acknowledges more to herself than to Jared.

“Let’s go over to the booth where I was sitting, Ava. Then you can really speak to all those negative imps in your mind. Tell them what you know to be real— to be true.” Jared can’t believe that he is telling a complete stranger to face her inner demons!

“Take heed of my warnings—you demons of depression!” Ava begins. “This is Ava Fairchild speaking. I no longer desire you as company. I no longer need you to give me reasons to accept my solitary existence. I have found a new love—me!”

Jared clasps his hands in complete approval and Ava blushes profusely.

“And, now I think it’s my turn.” Jared announces much to the pleasure of Ava.

Jared and Ava continue to talk as old friends would for a couple of hours more on the subjects of happiness, hope, hardships, love loss, and loneliness. Jared knows that he has to get back to the yacht center because he is expecting some reservations to come in. They stroll out of the bistro together— both he and Ava feeling a little lighter with each step.

“What are your plans for the rest of the day?” Jared inquires on the spur of the moment.

“I have none,” Ava answers.

“Tell you what, I have to take one of my boats out that I’ve just had overhauled before renting it again. Would you like to come with me for the test run?” Jared is hoping that Ava will say yes.

Ava doesn’t respond, but the look in her eyes say volumes.

“Look, I know this all seems a little sudden, but I can assure you that I am no serial killer.” Jared smiles. Ava burst into nervous laughter. Moment later, she is able to compose herself.

“Go ahead, girl; he’s no serial killer!” Encourages Connie one of the morning cooks at the Outer Banks Omelet as she is leaving because it’s the end of her shift. She displays a wide grin.

When Ava realizes that parts of their conversation has been overheard, she becomes overwhelmed with embarrassment. Then, she can’t stop giggling as she replies, “Ok, ok but if anything happens, I’m coming after you with a burnt omelet!”

A wonderful day to be on the open sea!
A wonderful day to be on the open sea!

Jared and Ava board the yacht Day Dreamer and go soaring across the North Atlantic. Ava now understands why Jared’s company is called Dividing the Waters. The yacht slices through the waters like a knife and Jared seems so in control as he maneuvers the boat.

“My, oh my, the ocean is beautiful!” Ava thinks while trying to navigate the wind blowing through her medium-length golden tresses.

“She’s purring like a kitten,” Jared tells Ava of the yacht. They head out for about twelve miles before turning around to return to the island.

There are speed and sail boats everywhere which succeed in pacifying the last remnants of doubt that a vivid imagination would conjure. As a matter of fact, Ava feels the test drive is concluding much too soon so she decides to slow things down by asking questions.

“Were you reading from the Bible this morning?” Ava inquires.

“Don’t seem so surprised, Ms. Fairchild. I am a personal friend of the owner of the Outer Banks Omelet and he has strong spiritual beliefs. I don’t mind telling you that it’s helped me quite a bit when Olivia was first reported lost at sea.” Jared explains to Ava.

“Hearing that news regarding your dear wife and children must have ripped your soul apart.” Ava could really empathize with those emotions.

“It did. For the longest of times, I would search the horizons. Hoping that it had been just a bad dream and she would pop up in that sailboat of hers laughing and saying—fooled ya.” There is such a sad look in Jared’s eyes that Ava has to momentarily turn away.

Jared slows the boat to a coasting speed about four miles from the island, reaches for a compartment under the wheel and brings out a very small Bible, New King James version. He then opens it to Psalm 107 and begins to read a small portion of it.

Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. For he commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.—” Jared stops, unable to go any further. He closes the book and returns it to its place under the wheel.

Ava eyes well with tears. Never has she heard anything read with such passion. Never has she heard a scripture that is so applicable to the moment. And never has she felt that she’d shared something so special, so unique that it could be compared to a tender embrace. The stormy waves of her life. The personal disappointments and the shallow need to bury herself in her work. All because her husband has continued to make her feel like a failure as a wife.

“Are you alright?” Jared quizzes, questioning the wisdom of reading that particular passage.

“I think so, Jared. I guess I’m experiencing a slight chill.” Ava answers, not revealing the true depths of his reading.

Jared grabs his Navy pea coat and puts it around Ava’s shoulders. He tells her that this scripture has the same effect on him and that whenever he reads it, it reminds him of how strong the sea can be and that we are all subjective to a higher power who governs both us and the seas.

Jared and Ava make it back to the marina at about 3:15 in the afternoon.

“How about having dinner with me tonight around seven, Ava? I promise to be on my best behavior. And this time—no sad readings.” Jared promises, trying to lighten up the mood.

“I will be more than happy to, Jared. I really need to get back to the motel, though. I left town in rather a hurry, so I’ll be checking in on my daughter and a couple of friends. It’s been such a wonderful afternoon—I may even treat myself to a nap.” Ava replies.

“Ok Ava. then it’s a date.” Jared squeezes Ava’s hand and departs.

He usually leaves Dividing the Waters Yacht Center for his mainland beach-house about seven thirty each night, but this night he is obliged to stay on the island for their date.

To Be Continued ...

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    © 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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      • Jacqueline4390 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS 

        2 weeks ago from Memphis

        We learn a lot about ourselves when we observe ourselves with others!

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