From Chapter Five:
Laura didn’t think she’d miss Gibson so much, but knowing what she knew, how quickly they fell into each other, she could only wait for his return. After he packed that last day at the Spring House, Laura drove him to Old Harbor. She felt a lump in her throat and her heart ached. She held onto him, not letting go. “Can’t you stay?” she whispered in his ear. Tears fell from her eyes dampening Gibson’s shirt. Still surprised by the intense feelings for each other, Laura turned away already knowing the answer.
“Two months,” he said, extracting himself from her embrace. “I’ll be back for good in two months.” He reached down grabbing his roll-on suitcase and walked up the dock his luggage clanking behind him. Looking back, he blew her a kiss and mouthed, “Love you.” Then he vanished inside the ferry.
Laura knew he wouldn’t return for another couple of weeks, but she sat here watching the same ferries travel back and forth every day. Some days Teagan joined her. Some days complete strangers sat beside her. Tourists out for one final Block Island fling before autumn really set in. Everyone asked the same thing. Who are you waiting for?
As she sat and watched the 11a.m. ferry coast into the harbor, Sean and Heather sat down beside her. “Still waiting for him?” Sean patted her shoulder. “You’re like a heart sick dog waiting for his master to return.”
Heather grimaced. Then squeezed his leg. “That wasn’t nice.”
“He’s right,” Laura replied, shaking her away, her red hair flapping in the wind. She sighed, knowing sitting here wouldn’t bring October any closer, but not being able to break the habit. She brushed her hair aside. Attempting to change the subject, Laura turned to Sean. “How’s the wedding plans coming? I hear it will be at the Spring House?”
Heather grinned. “Yeah, and Tom attempted to wiggle out of his agreement to cut that mangy hair.” She laughed out loud. “It’s all a game we play. He knows I couldn’t not invite him regardless of where we held the ceremony.” She glanced at Sean as if considering a thought. “Ahhh, what the heck,” she said, shifting her feet. “When Gibson gets back, Sean and I would love your help sending our wedding invitations.”
From Chapter Seven:
One of the seagulls that had been on the shore earlier, came strolling up to the girls. The bird sat on the sand and stared at Heather, wouldn’t take its eyes off her. It stood up and walked closer. In another minute, the gull nudged Heather’s hand.
Having a distinct grey line down its head, Amanda, dumbstruck by its brazen approach, watched the bird as it watched them. She finally found her voice and turned to Heather. Whispering, so as not to startle the gull, she said, “It’s almost as if he knows something is wrong. Look at that mark on its head. Maybe we call him Headliner.”
Continuing to stare at her, the seagull squawked once, nudged Heather again, then waddled back to its friend at the shore. Almost as if checking on the girls, the bird cocked its head in their direction occasionally. After several minutes, both seagulls took fight and left the girls alone.
“One more example of Block Island magic,” Amanda pushed her glasses back. “Where else will you find wild animals with a sense of caring? Where else will you find spirits seeking redemption?”
Heather watched her friend troubled by her glasses for the final time. She held her hand out. “Let me see those.”
Amanda handed her shades over.
“How old are these?” Heather asked, turning them over. She looked through the lenses. “It’s a wonder you can see anything.” Having something else to focus on seemed to draw her out of her funk.
“Ha-ha.” Amanda took the glasses back.
“Seriously, Amanda. You need a new pair. Before we head home today, we should stop at B-Eyes. They’ll find a pair that won’t need all your attention.” Heather stretched her legs out. “Oooh. Had a little kink.” She sat up a bit straighter. Looking toward the sky, she rubbed her chin. Then gazed in Amanda’s direction. A cloud passed by the sun cloaking everything in gray momentarily. Both girls shivered as the sun reappeared. “That was a bit strange with the seagull. You’re right. It did seem to understand I felt distressed.” Heather moved her legs again. “Don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like it.” Drawing in a breath and smiling, she returned the focus of the conversation back to the two of them, as she said, “It’s so good to see you. I hope you know how much you mean to me.”
Blushing now and turning away, Amanda swept her hair out of her eyes. “Ditto. I don’t think I’d still be here if not for you. That time I stayed at your place, and I woke up unable to catch my breath? You literally saved my life that night.”
“How could I forget?” Heather asked. “You were on the floor gasping for air.”
“Yeah. And to think I considered going home that night. I wouldn’t be here.”
They both watched the surf pound the shoreline for several minutes. Still stinging from the news, Heather drew in a breath. Attempting to change the subject to happier times, she grabbed her best friend’s hand and looked her directly in the eyes.
“I’m so happy you’re photographing the wedding. You’re the only person I trust enough to get the pictures right.
Amanda turned to face Heather. Emotion, breaking through her voice and smiling. “Uhhhh. I’m flattered you think so.”
And they hugged again.