Better Late – 20

“There it is,” David said, and pointed the way for Shaynah to look. The small island appeared to rise out of the water as they approached. Shaynah stood with her hands on the cabin rail to steady herself and stared ahead, mindless of the wind and rain lashing at her face. As David watched the lonely middle-aged woman, still vigorous and attractive setting out on a new life alone, he wondered if she could actually manage it. He mused that she must have been terribly restricted and unhappy for almost all of her life. Certainly she had suffered severe limitations for all of her adult life. Her profile, glistening with rain that pelted at her face, was that of a classic, Semitic beauty and David thought she’d be quite lovely in contemporary cosmetics and clothing.

They approached the island on the lee side, protected from the howling storm by the tree-covered hill in the middle of the island. Suddenly they motored out of the lashing wind-driven rain and into an area of calm, peaceful water. The rain hissed onto the smooth surface turning into sparkling silver. The sudden transition filled Shaynah with an undeniable feeling of security, as if Sequester Island was to become her sanctuary from the hasty, confining life she’d known.

“We’ll dock here, Ms. Levy,” David said. He pointed to a large wooden deck in faded green paint. “There’s another docking deck in front of the main house, but today it’s directly in the path of the weather. The guest cabin is on this side of the island.” David pointed to a picturesque cottage that looked like something out of a fairy tale. It sat amid a stand of tall Tamarack trees that provided the shield from the wind. “We’ll get in out of the rain in there and we can walk over the hill to the main house after the rain lets up.”

David guided the long sailboat up to a perfect parallel landing at the wooden deck. He cut the engine before the boat drifted smoothly up to the deck and was standing on the catwalk with the lines in his hands. At the perfect moment he again leapt like a cat and had the boat securely moored in seconds. Shaynah sat transfixed by the beauty that surrounded her. The treetops waved and struggled high above, while down where she stood in the boat’s cockpit the air was still. The wind was loud in the treetops and the waves out beyond the protection of Sequester Island still heaved and rushed toward the distant mainland shore.

David reached down from the dock and Shaynah shoved her soaked wig into her bag before she reached up to put her hand in his. In one strong, smooth, gentle motion he almost lifted Shaynah up onto the dock. She placed a wet shoe on the upholstered seat and the other on the catwalk and stepped up beside David.

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