The Week Before…

I left to join the M/V Anastasis on October 2, 1998. I was 20 years old, and I was petrified.

The week before I left for the ship I went on a walk along those Eglon roads, those T-boned crossroads I grew up on. I walked to the beach. I always went to the beach, it’s where I found peace. That place I’d sit alone, throw rocks into the water, and LISTEN. And pray.

And I did.

And I also cried.
I cried out of fear.
When I was ready to leave, I started walking home…away from the beach, up the hill, on a roadway surrounded by sixty to seventy foot tall Douglas Firs, when Chuck came out of his driveway. I knew his driveway. Heidi was my childhood best friend, I rode bikes, walked and jogged too and from that driveway more times than I know how to count.

He approached me, “Is that Emma?” He said, walking down the hill.

I froze.

He stood in front of me, he hugged me “Wow, you’ve grown up.” He said.

My jaw clenched, and my insides screamed.

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