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Better Late – 10

Shaynah Levy returned to the computer’s media player and watched the video ad again, looking intently at the images of the property and trying to evaluate the trustworthiness of David Goodman. She sat back and drank in the colourful images, as if her spirit was dried to a crisp and the fantasy of life in that place was an oasis of quenching potential. Shaynah could almost feel herself changing. Throughout her life, she had felt as though a second Shaynah was moving through life with her, on a parallel course through a different society… the society that had surrounded her as she lived within the cold cocoon of the religious cult. Now as she sat before her computer monitor, Shaynah gave herself permission to dream.

In this newly liberated state of mind, Shaynah succeeded in breaking down the emotional and intellectual barriers against contemplation of life in nature, facing the adversities of weather and climate rather than costs and profits. She could not see herself living on an island totally alone, and she wondered if any of her sons would consider life in that environment.

David was on his sailboat checking the rigging when Shaynah’s e-mail arrived on his computer. His interest was in preparing the boat for a friendly race with Leo Schwartz, who had an island directly opposite David’s, on the far side of the large lake. While he worked, humming to himself, he squinted across the sparkling surface to see the dark silhouette of a powerboat against the glare of the sun on the water.

The sleek speedboat approached, slowed to an idle and sidled up to the dock behind the sailboat. David did nothing to acknowledge the arrival. When the engine was stopped, silence again filled the serene environment. A young woman scrambled out of the boat and hurried to catch the ropes at the bow and stern and hitch them skilfully to the chocks on the dock.

“You son-of-a-bitch, David,” she shouted up at him. “I agreed to crew for you on this childish race of yours. The least you could do is be courteous and help me moor the boat.” David didn’t respond, and kept his attention on the coils of rope that he was arranging in precise order, to avoid lost time during the race.

“Christ!” she cried, “Will you ever grow up?”

“Oh shut up!” David said without stopping his work. He spoke with his back to her. “Imagine it had been me having an affair with your sister,” he said. “Would you feel good in my presence, do you think?”

“Well then why in hell did you ask me to sail with you?” she said.

“You might be a stinking lesbian cheat,” David snarled, “but you handle the sheets like a man… and I want to beat Leo again this year. He spent a bundle on his boat, just to beat me. I haven’t done a thing to Sabatical, and we can beat him if we work together.”

“Why in Hell should I help you?” she demanded

“Because you like to win, you like to sail, and you know we can win if we do it together.” He said. David stepped from the boat onto the dock and walked toward the boathouse to climb the stairs to the quarters above.

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