I stood, leaning on the cold, metal railing of the ship, looking out to sea, feeling uneasy. It had been a whole day since Annie had come to see me and it was worrying me something awful. Multiple scenarios played through my head, always involving two concepts: she was caught and not allowed to see me anymore or she discovered what a huge mistake she was making and was never going to speak to me again. I couldn't decide which was worse. Both made my heart hurt in a way I've never experienced. I'd never felt this way towards a woman - never have I felt like I needed one woman in my life so badly. Of course, back home I'd had many lasses through out my adolescent years, but Annie… gah, she was different. I wanted to marry her. Putting my head in my hands, I shook my head at the insanity of this thought. We had only met each other days ago, after all! And how could I ever ask her to give up her life and the safety that came with it to simply be with me?
Suddenly, I felt a hand lightly lay on my shoulder and my heart jumped with hope. Spinning quickly, I said, "Annie?" But my heart quickly sank as I saw, not Annie, but Jack standing before me, a sympathetic smile on his face. "Oh. Mornin', Jack."
"Sorry to disappoint you, buddy."
"Nah, don't worry about it, boyo. What do ya be needin'?"
I turned to face the water again and Jack walked to stand beside me. "I actually was hoping to get some advice. Smitten man to smitten man." I looked over at him, one eyebrow raised. "You are smitten with the girl, aren't you? Every time you looked at her, you were smiling."
I chuckled and replied, "Smitten I am."
"What did ya need advice on?"
Jack sighed and ran his hands through his hair and said, "I've got a bit of dilemma on my hands, you see. I went to talk to Rose this morning and she told me that we couldn't see each other again. I knew this wasn't Rose talking, but her mother - the lady hates me. Looks at me like a bug that needs to be squashed. But God, if Rose doesn't get out of there… she's gonna die, Tommy."
"We all die, Jack. At one point or another."
"I don't mean her body. I mean her spirit, that thing inside her that I… I love so much."
"Did ya tell her that?"
"Yeah, but she told me to go away and I don't know what I should do now. Every instinct in my body is telling me to go after her, persue her until she listens to me, but… I don't know, Tommy. What should I do?"
I paused, thinking about it. Then I went on to say, "Go away for awhile."
"Yeah. Just let it all settle. You said you love her, right?"
"And she loves you?" I asked, looking at him.
He was quiet for a second. "Yeah… yeah, I think she does."
"Then if she loves ya, she'll come back to ya."
He nodded his head, thinking it over and asked, "You sure?"
I chuckled, shaking my head, "I'm not really sure of anything at this point."
"What do you mean?"
I sighed and said, "Annie… I haven't seen her in a whole day. She hasn't talked to me or tried to contact me and uh,… it's scaring me a little."
"Yeah. Jack," I looked him in the eye. "I love this girl to the moon and back." I then continued to voice all my fears about Annie to Jack and he listened attentively, taking it all in. "What do ya think?"
"I think… this is example two of how you don't listen to your own advice."
"What did you just tell me, Tommy?"
I thought about it. "If she loves you, she'll come back."
"Right!" He said with a laughing smile on his face. "Now, I don't know about you, but I know that that Callaghan girl loves you back. So don't worry. She'll find a way back to you no matter what happened."
I smiled, comforted by the words. "Alright. Thanks, Jack."
"No problem." He motioned over his shoulder in the opposite direction and started walking backwards as he said, "I'm gonna take a walk, kay? I'll talk to you later."
"Kay, boyo. Have a nice one. Don't worry about the girl!" I yelled
And laughing, he said over his shoulder, "Don't you worry about the girl either!"
It's not much, but it's something after a long time. I just thought about it last night and wrote it up. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.