Little Book of Comfort Day 1

Writing to, Little Eva – “Locomotion” and song “Born to be Alive”

Natalie waved goodbye to the Cafe, and decided to go shopping. A little retail therapy never hurts anyone, now does it?

If life opens up new doors on a daily basis, sometimes a person just has to walk on through. She was staying in a hotel room, because Leo had moved Priscilla into their old homeplace. That’s how mean he was. The more Natalie thought about it, the angrier she got. But it was anger that was going to move her forward.

She doubted that she would ever marry again. She was free, but what does freedom actually mean. There is no freedom when you live in a small town like she did. Why the whole Outer Banks was just a gossip realm, if you understand things like that. The Blue Ribbon Sisters had even ejected her, so baking was going to out of the picture. Besides, without a kitchen how was she going to?

The Jolly Pirate was just up the road.

I think I’ll go in, she thought. Why not?

The bar was packed with people, body to body, and all of them were quaffing the cocktails so quickly that one by one, they managed to get the liquid courage up to climb up on the stage and sing a song karaoke style.

Some of Natalie’s oldest friends were in there. Including the handsome guy on the stage. In fact, he was singing to old Rod Stewart songs, as she ordered her drink from the bartender. The little tables were almost all taken but she found one in the corner, letting her eyes slide around the room slowly, to see who was there. It wasn’t long before a man asked her to dance.

“Want to?” he asked, extending his hand.

“Maybe later”

“Okay”

It was not going to be possible to think about men yet, Natalie had been so burned by what Leo had done. Even dancing with another man was not something she cared to do. But the Jolly Pirate was full of warmth and enough loudness to drown out whatever feelings she had been holding. She’d gone for the biggest tiki cocktail ever.

Benjamin

Benjamin snuggled into the covers as the early dawn light swept over the sea, the winds had made him wake time and time again in the night, but he was warm, even with the storm like a gale. Coffee sounded good. He looked at the pretty flowers he had gotten at Super Tigers. Just coffee, half and half and sugar, he thought. Then a really long hot bath. The wooden walls of the cottage gleamed in Autumnal hues. The bathtub was a giant claw foot, so old fashioned and large, two people could have fit in it. Pearly pink light over the Sound.

Speck was outside waiting.

Benjamin sighed, a long sigh, a sigh that was releasing everything trapped inside.

For the first time in a long time he felt better. He didn’t have to do anything. Just be in the silence.

Do you know what it’s like to finally find a totally comfortable atmosphere? That’s what Benjamin had found. No rules, no phones, no constancy. He was adrift with nothing but a fishing pole. Life sets people on courses and we never know where those will lead or take us.

“I can’t believe we were here, Dad,” he whispered. “I wish you could have met Beth.”

Natalie awoke in the giant lonely King sized bed she had in the hotel. A little fire glimmered in the corner of her room. She sighed.

Her world had cracked apart, but she felt stronger.

Okracoke Island seemed like she could live there. Get away from Kitty Hawk and all the people she had always known. The thoughts began to jell in her mind, moving around slowly like wisps of thought. She had picked the hotel that was closest to the wild ponies. They reminded her of childhood, and herself as a little girl with her own parents, the pony she had had then. Winky had the best mane, riding bareback along the dunes.

I think I’ll get a horse, she thought. Leo never gave a damn about anything I wanted exactly, it was always about him.

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