Dappa and the Sea

This prompt was from yesterday, but I didn't have time to do it yesterday, so here I am now. Leah and Julie also wrote.

The blue of his eyes was my favorite part.
But I would enjoy visiting Dappa whether he had blue eyes or not.
He sat on a barrel, one leg tossed over the other, leaning on his hand. His knit cap pulled down over his grey hair was brown like the wharf he sat on. I smiled as I came over the hill and saw him sitting there, hand smooshing up the multitude of wrinkles lining his face. He was staring out to see like it was talking to him. Sometimes, I thought it did.
He didn't hear me until I was standing next to him. His wise blue eyes turned up at me when he realized I was there.
"Hi, Dappa."
"Ahh, my sweet Meira," he lilted, his accent so thick anyone who didn't know him wouldn't recognize his words. "Comin' on the boat?"
"Of, course, Dappa."
"Oh good. The sea is sleepy. Company is good." He stood up pulling his waterproof jacket tighter. He leaned and picked up his lunch, his heavy coat and scarf. His lunch would be ham and cheese on homemade bread with an apple. He had eaten the same thing every day for forty three years.
"What will we catch today, Dappa?" I ask as I climb in the boat with my own coat and lunch.
Dappa smiles his missing-tooth smile. "Perhaps some dab, perhaps some cod. Maybe a treasure for you to take home."
"Mum would like that." She asked me to bring some of our catch home for supper.
I unwrap the rope from the dock and Dappa pushes off with the oars. Soon we are far enough out in the bay that the dock is almost out of sight. The enormity of the ocean always awes me.
Dappa and I spend the rest of the morning mostly concentrating on casting the nets and pulling them in. He was right as always, the sea was sleepy—we didn't catch much.
When the sun was arcing back down toward the sea, Dappa decided to call it a day. I took the oars and started rowing toward home.
"No more fishing soon for you," he says.
I nod. I will be getting married soon and moving away from the sea. It is strange to me that my heart can be so light and so heavy at the same time.
"You will be missed."
"I will miss you, too, Dappa," I say.
When we arrive back at the dock, Dappa starts cleaning the fish, his knife strokes quick and sure. After a dozen or so, he pulls out a dab and holds it up between us. "Aha," he says. He slices the belly and pulls it open, sticking his fingers inside.
His bright blue eyes light up as he sticks his hand out toward me, palm up. Shining there in the evening sun is a gold ring. "A gift from the sea."
I gasp and take it seeing the beautiful swirls carved along it's side.
He shakes his head, taking the ring from me. Picking up my hand he slips it onto my ring finger. It fits perfectly.
He pats my hand, looking supremely happy. The sun-darkened skin feels leathery on my own. Then he stands and kisses my forehead and turns back toward the sea.

No comments:

Post a Comment