Yesterfang (14) 

Yesterfang (14)

Continued from: HERE.

I had to leave the place called Lewis sooner than I expected. I renewed acquaintance with Sarah. Julie was mysteriously no longer on the scene. And Sarah’s skin appeared thicker, perceptibly wrinklier, as if she had been through a lot of heartache. She maintained a youthful beauty, including the sleek charms of her race and colour, and at my then age of 22, I radiated an admiration towards her, one that I now wore like a badge of reciprocity, as I had learnt to be more confident about my own attractiveness as a human being. This was despite my earlier disaster with the young teacher of fiction.

Indeed, it had been a one-night stand with the teacher in her place near the pier. And I threw sickies thereafter as I could not bear her near me any more. It was the beginning of my downfall in the city. I slouched most days around the backwaters eyeing houseboats to see if any were habitable, when I should have been in the classroom. I stopped writing altogether. But I always returned to the foster home, where I now stood out like a sore thumb amongst delicate fingers. My sexual act with the teacher was barely describable, even within the realms of fiction. It was neither erotic nor romantic. It was because I had never done anything like that before, I suppose. I was confused. And she expected the pungent soul of my fiction also to be apparent in my own body. She must have been bitterly disappointed at my clumsy pre-maturity. She, I guess, must have aged over night, and became again the humourless authority figure I had originally assumed her to be. Prior to that night, she, too, had been innocent. I never learned her real name. Or which bits were true, and which not so true.

Sarah, on the other hand, found me down by the pier (why was I there that day so close to the teacher’s house – through guilt? hopes of meeting her again?). It was off-season. No day-trippers or saucy hats or laughing children with candy floss. Just a wind off the turgid creeks. Wind? When had the weather returned? I must have been so beached upon my own emotional breakwater, such matters had passed straight over my head. It was symbolic of deeper things. The return of weather along with a sense of reality. A sense of futility.

As I say, I suddenly spotted the dark face of Sarah as it glistened like mangled eels between two piles of fishermen’s netting.

“Hi,” I shouted.

This was not the first time we had experienced such a chance encounter in recent months. I never mentioned Julie. Nor did she.

“Hi, Jawn. You look sad.”

“There are no happy endings.” I laughed as if this statement was just that – a happy ending.

“Had enough?” Her face smiled, the teeth standing out with the striking whiteness of our earlier times together - against the skin that framed them.

“I don’t think this place was what it once was,” I said. “Or it never was what I thought it was. You see, I dreamed last night of a wardrobe and a lion…”

Sarah looked knowingly. She must now be in her thirties, I guessed. And I yearned for her arms to enfold me. Not as a mother, but as a lover. Instead, she quickly got up, took my hand (as of old) and we walked down the windy pier together as if there was an expanse of sea at its other end instead of creeks.



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