Chapter 10

Written by: Rosemary Wakelin

Something nagged Felicity as she watched the splintered wood, bearing Skylark’s name, wash ashore several times. Finally, the wood settled on the waterlogged sand. 

It looked vulnerable. 

It looked menacing; as if acting as a belligerent reminder of nature, of its harsh realities and of its equally chilling consequences.

That reality plagued Felicity.

The ‘nagging thing’ more so. 

She furiously fought off both. 

Instincts told her that Kurt was a trained and experienced sailor. She decidedly dumped reality and went with her instincts instead. 

Once the waters receded, she scoured the coastline calling out Luke’s name. If the wood had washed ashore then perhaps Kurt had also.

She didn’t know for how long she searched. Eventually her tired, aching body stumbled, her dry, scratchy throat stopped yelling and she took breath.

That was when the 'nagging thing' overtook her weak, exhausted mind. 

It reminded her how she’d constantly radioed warnings to Kurt.

How Kurt had failed to respond to every one of them. 

Reality became a racehorse, fast outrunning any instincts she held. She panicked, felt breathing almost impossible. Arms, strong and caring circled her.

Hope, perhaps momentary insanity, brought with it a renewed energy. Felicity lifted her head, ran her desperate fingers along the person’s cheek. “Kurt?” she said, “my sweet, darling Kurt.”

“It’s me Fliss, your husband.”

Reality was cruel that day. 

Instincts instructed Felicity to release the largest, most primordial scream she could.

***

The memorial for the victims of the tsunami was held almost three weeks later at the Auckland Domain, the oldest park in Auckland and at 75 hectares, one of the largest. 

A newly constructed wall of black, polished granite centred the ceremony. Engraved in gold-lettering were the names of those who had died and those still missing. Among those names, were the crew of Skylark.

Except for Jasmine. She had incredibly survived. 

Pain was a heavy, humid cloud that engulfed those present. Speech after agonising speech merely worsened the crowd’s sombre mood until its mournful cries and wails suffocated the speakers silent. 

Felicity and Richard stood at the back of the ceremony. The last three weeks had been harrowing. Not just from the loss of their son, but from hungry reporters, feeding off any controversial topics that guaranteed sales. According to them, Kurt had acted irresponsibly, causing the death of three young people

“We will survive this,” Richard had said.

But Felicity failed to agree.

“I don’t mean to interrupt …” a small voice said. 

Felicity noticed Jasmine standing close by. Her face lacked its usual rosy colour, pale it was, withdrawn and sharp. Felicity concluded she had lost weight.

 “I just want you to know….” Her voice cracked. “Your son was so brave. He saved us.” 

Felicity was at a loss for words. What was Jasmine talking about? And who were ‘us’?

She asked Jasmine.

Jasmine smiled the most warming of smiles, collected Felicity’s hand and laid it flat on her tummy. 

Felicity immediately understood.

Instincts told her so and she smiled back.

Comments

What can I say except that this was worth waiting for. This is intelligent, sensitive and mature writing and a fitting ending to this story. Well done Rosemary.
I found myself welling up at the end. What a poignant, touching, wonderful ending...well worth the wait. Rosemary, that is a beautifully crafted chapter...There's so much I could say but the chapter speaks for itself. I am so pleased you were the writer booked to finish this serial. You did it proud. Thank you.
OMG! Donna and Suraya, you both had me welling up. Thank you so much for your wonderful praise.