The Memory Of Kerry O’Donnell
We find ourselves with Kerry a bored a ferry from Ireland to the welsh port of Fishguard. Kerry twenty years of age muscular build sharp brown eyes to match his long brown hair. Looking rather weathered in his dark black coat along with his standard army issue steel toe cap boots quite usually a cheery chap but with troubles a plenty. It’s late in the month of October getting colder everyday and the ferry crossing is a rough one. Kerry walks the decks thinking to himself why did it come to this, You see the story started the previous Christmas it started the usual way all the family coming round presents and cheer It had been snowing in the eve and turned to a white Christmas day his brother and two sisters where playing in the snow out back and he went to join them building snowmen and snow forts for snowball fights and as always the girls won every round. Unknown to everyone it would be the last Christmas they would all spend together, It went the usual way presents in the morning then just waiting for dinner with all the trimmings you can not beat home cooking they all say. Time for photographs around the fireplace with a roaring log fire for the night they placed the camera on a tripod so they could all get in with a ten second delay that was just about achieved with a few laughs a happy time for everyone. That night Kerry’s father suffered a massive heart attack and passed away he was always the backbone of the family a proud man who had given forty years to the building trade.
He started out cleaning and sweeping floors and by the time he retired was head foreman for a major building company. So sadly the family drifted apart from here Kerry’s mother started suffering depression and fell into cycles of mental illness he did his best to support her through the rough times putting his own life on hold to see his two sisters and brother grow up in a way taking the place of his father as he was the eldest of the children. It’s very much a cold dark and rainy night, Kerry is slumped on the deck chair soaking wet the rain dripping off his green corduroy hat. His farther becoming a fast distant memory and at this thought Kerry’s muscles tense in his face as the tears start to fall for his father he stands and begins pacing five steps forward five steps back his whole body starting to seize with the cold, rain and wind what is at the end of this ferry crossing, no one to meet no one to see him safe just looking for a new life away from his demons who haunt his every step as his tears are hidden in the rain. When his farther passed on he promised he would take care of the family and being no work in the small village in Ireland seeks forth to the mainland for better prospects. So here we have Kerry twenty five pounds in his pocket two days of clothes in his backpack and four cheese and onion sandwiches, As he rummages for the sandwiches he finds a parcel from his mother and opens it he discovers his fathers note book worn brown leather bound with a green ribbon. As Kerry reads a new light falls on his fathers past, The similarities are uncanny his farther passed away when he was fourteen John, Kerry’s father took the same ferry to the mainland but John did not find any work so enlisted in the navy ending up on H.M.S Belfast just before world war two broke out.
Kerry reads on in the shelter of the ferry café having queued twenty minutes for a less then hot coffee he was greatly annoyed and grimaced at every mouthful. So he reads how his father escorted merchant ships across the Atlantic always on the lookout for U boats, A picture falls out a photograph of the crew rescuing a sailing ship that had capsized a memory never told as John was not particularly proud of his service in the war. Kerry reads on in the dim light of the battered ferry, The year nineteen forty three a merchant ship was just hit by a torpedo and was ablaze lighting up the night sky H.M.S Belfast pulls up along side to rescue the survivors John writes how he witnessed charcoaled body’s on the decks some still afire and screaming men running towards him in desperation. What he seen will never leave him there were only five men out of twenty five rescued and it would take years for John to forget the smell of the body’s. Then the hunt was on for the U Boat depth charges were sent over the side in the trail of the torpedo that was seen and it’s not long till oil and debris is floating by as the U boat was hit. Kerry reading this with some disbelief finds a new admiration for his departed father to say Kerry thinking to himself if my farther can survive like this he should not worry and a peace falls upon Kerry the tears no more. Something catches Kerry’s eye glancing up from reading the journal in the dim light two bright hazel eyes meet him, a woman with flowing red hair, She says, hello there. Kerry is transfixed on these beautiful eyes staring back at him. She says my name is Louise what’s yours. Kerry chokes slightly he had never seen an angel but I have now he thinks to himself, What brings you a bored this ferry Kerry asks. Louise replies, Down on my luck looking for work on the mainland.
Same here were two peas in a pod so to say, A light smile his answer maybe we could team up Kerry splutters out, Louise now with a wide grin, she replies maybe, I have been watching you as you seem engrossed in that journal, you wish to share with me. Kerry, It’s my fathers memory’s and some nightmares he lived with for years without telling anyone. The dim light begins to flicker they both glance out of the window a faint light through the rain clouds moving away the sun is coming up on the new day. Louise, I think we could have something special me and you Kerry, we will be docking soon and a start of a new life. Kerry one day at a time we should take this, we will be a good team you are the most beautiful angel I have ever seen. Louise slightly laughs looks Kerry in the eye and says, Love at first sight is never easy we take things steady and everything will work out. The both of them huddle in the corner of the café away from everything the past let go, looking forward to a new life as coincidence brings them together we were never born to walk this life alone.
This night will never fade as two lovers find each other and take chances for only the brave. The tannoy crackles into life “we will be docking at Fishguard in roughly thirty minutes we hope you have had a pleasant journey and will travel with us again”. Lets go out to the deck, Kerry leads Louise out a cold wind sharp and brisk but the rain has stopped and the sun is rising as to promise a warm day. Kerry I can see land not long now as he points out to the hazy horizon, Louise take my hand, they become closer Kerry faces Louise with a slight smile kiss me he says. A full embrace like holding on to life they kiss for the first time. A overwhelming air of contentment surrounds them as a ray of light dances over them across the open waters as time slips away into the moment of love. Kerry, were docking do you have any plans Louise, Yes was going to make my way to Cardiff I have friends at university there, They have a shared house close to town. A smile from Kerry, I tag along then. Louise’s eyes light up and kisses Kerry’s cheek, Yes of course silly but we both need to find work and pay our way. So here we find ourselves a chance meeting of fate maybe Karma correcting the downs as they say you can not appreciate what you have if you have never been without. The ferry docking at Fishguard in the bright sunshine of a crisp autumn day the sky a bright with golden glare of a new sun, the bows of the ship opened and the gang planks lowered as we see two new young lovers take there first steps into a new life of optimism knowing there life will be difficult but brave enough to take chances this ferry crossing will never be forgotten.
To Be Continued…………
© Nicholas Leslie 2012