Ruth Long’s Picture Choice: One
Title: Sail Away
Taking a seat on a bench overlooking the dock, he opens his cooler and offers one of the sandwiches to the woman on the far end of the bench.
She shakes her head. “Don’t feel much like eating.”
“Been a while, hasn’t it?”
“What are you? My mother?”
He chuckles. “Nope. Just an interested party.”
“Go home, Sam. Forget about me. Live your life.”
“Well now, that’s where things get a little bumpy,” he says, taking a bite of his sandwich.
She fidgets on the bench until her patience snaps. “Did you come to eat or talk?”
“A little of both. Was hoping it would be more of a cooperative thing. Eating together. Talking together. You sure you don’t want a sandwich?”
“Fine. Give me a sandwich. Damn, you’re annoyingly persistent!”
He takes a swig of ice tea and wipes his mouth on the back of his hand. “You can’t take much more of this, Alexis. Let me help you. I talked to my brother this week. He offered to buy me out and I accepted.”
She hurls the sandwich into the water. “We agreed not to do that. That’s your family history, Sam. And now that my dad forfeited mine, it’s all we had left.”
“I know, Lexy, but I got to thinking that in order to hold into the present, I needed to let go of the past. I mean, you have to start from scratch, right, so why not do it together, on a level playing field.”
“Even with what you just gave up, it’s hardly level. My father was charged with bilking billions of dollars out of people’s investment funds and singlehandedly tanking the country’s economy. And then there’s the six figure sum you just deposited in your savings account after opting out on your family’s business.”
He looks out past the park to the inlet. “About that. I didn’t deposit the money. I bought us a little going away present.”
“I remembered how much you loved the sailing excursion we took while we were in Tahiti last year, so I bought a sailboat.”
She stares at him. “You’ve lost your mind.”
“Nope,” he says with a grin. “I got it to get you out from under all the court and media scrutiny and hate mail and death threats. The courts and investigators don’t want you. Just your worldly possessions. We can get on that boat right now and sail away. End of story far as the world is concerned.”
“Just get on the boat?”
He stands and holds his hand out to her. “That’s right. Walk to the end of the dock, jump into the water, and swim out to the boat. Last one on deck makes dinner.”
She drops his hand and races for the water.
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