Arlene stood in restless anticipation as she stared out at the rolling waves of the ocean; her love will come. She had promised her love that she would be on the shore waiting for his return, that there was no such force on Earth that could stop her from being with him once more. Arlene’s skin prickled with goose bumps, not from the chill in the air but her anticipation of their reunion, the warmth of the memory of that last night together before he had set sail blazed brightly. It had been perfect, the wine, the crackling fire, the shy silences between the two of them that any words spoken would have shattered their connection to the other, the promise of a life filled with days upon days of the same bliss, the same contentment – after this last run.
“Aw...god damn it...Jesus Christ....bloody girl.”
Arlene could she her love’s ship off in the distance, her flesh tingled with excitement. The days, the lonely nights, the months of waiting was to be worth it. Her love would see Arlene in her flowing cotton white dress billowing in the coast line breeze and stumble into her arms, vowing never to leave her side ever again. Arlene could taste the sea salted lips of her love as he took her in his arms and they -
“ARELENE ASHLEY GIRTHBOTTOM, GET YOUR ASS DOWN FROM THERE THIS INSTANT!!!”
A deep voice boomed, shattering Arlene’s attempt to keep the rest of the world from encroaching upon her. Her love will never come with all this ruckus about she decided. She curled her hands into fists of resolve and with regret she swung away from the unobstructed view of her lover’s route.
“DO YOU MIND, DADDY! I’M WAITING FOR MY LOVE TO COME BACK TO ME HERE!”
“ARLENE, IT’S TWO IN THE DAMN MORNING!”
“BUT DADDYYYYYY,” Arlene said with a whine, “MY LOVE’S SHIP IS JUST IN YONDER HORIZON!”
“FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, IT’S JUST A BLOODY BILLBOARD, ARLENE -YOU’RE FIVE THOUSAND KILOMETERS AWAY FROM THE NEAREST GOD DAMN OCEAN!”
“GO AWAY, MY LOVE IS COMING FOR ME!”
Arlene’s father kicked at the dirt in frustration. He turned to the woman who was standing beside him, “This is all your fault, you just couldn’t leave it alone could you. It was bad enough when she was going through that damn “Twilight” thing, bringing home those pasty faced sickly looking manic depressives, yabbering on about forever...this is too much, and it’s all your fault.”
“How do you figure that?” the woman asked, looking up at her sixteen year old daughter standing with her arms cross with a pout so ferocious that a murder of crows could roost on her bottom lip. She watched as her husband slammed his foot into the ground and half screamed, half growled at their daughter.
“ARLENE GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE NOW!”
“Dear, maybe you should try to be more understanding, she’s just a growing girl,” Arlene’s mother said attempting to affect the purple patches of discolouration from taking over entirely her husband’s facial surface.
“NO DADDY! YOU CAN’T STOP US FROM BEING HAPPY!”
“We should encourage Arlene to read, we should show Arlene that books open up worlds better than television does, we need to foster Arlene’s imagination and creativity, we should go pick her up some of those Harlequin books,” the man answered in a falsetto voice, then switched back to his regular. “Well, mother, you happy now? “
“She’s just expressing herself, dear,” Arlene’s mother said soothingly, “It’s good that she feels confident enough in herself...and us...that she can realize in roleplay what her dreams are.”
Arlene’s father’s eyebrow arched up.
“Is that so, mother?” he said.
“This is a good thing, dear,” was the reply.
“You taking a good look at our daughter expressing her confidence, then,” he stated with a slight hint of a smile to his face. Arlene’s mother self assurance of her statements began to back pedal; Father never smiled unless he knew that there was going to be something she wasn’t going to like about to happen.
“Yes, I am,” Arlene’s mother stated, though the sharp edge of certainty had been dulled by the change in her mate’s demeanor.
“So the fact that your daughter is ‘expressing her creavity’ wearing your good table cloth is perfectly acceptable for you?”
“My good table cloth?”
Arlene’s mother peered upwards at her daughter...and saw the tell tale lifted pleat vine design that had only seen the light of day once a year for the past twenty years, a design that had been pressed smooth after that one annual use and put away wrapped in a heavy plastic to insure that mould, moths, the world could not take away any of its eloquence. It was the one thing that let her shed the reality of mucked boots tracking through her living room, runny noses, bloody noses, peanut butter smears and leaky liquid soap dripping all over the bathroom cabinets. Arlene’s mother could see the evil faces of dirt, wind and the moistness of the night laughing maniacally feasting upon the table cloth’s fragile seams.
“ARELENE ASHLEY GIRTHBOTTOM, GET YOUR ASS DOWN FROM THERE THIS INSTANT!!!” she screamed at the top of her voice.