This is Part 2 to my story from Thursday, Hope in a Bottle
Annaliese was all packed up and ready to go, but her stomach was a jumble of nerves. She was unsure as to whether this day would ever come and the more time that passed the more she had believed that it would never come. Now here she was ready to board a ship and travel back to face a world that she had ran away from.
The ship pulled up to the dock, it was now or never. She could turn back and go home, continue her solitary existence, but was that what she really wanted? Or did she want to take this chance to make peace with her past? She took a deep breath in and tried to stand up tall as she walked onto the ship. She felt a surge of confidence, though when she reached her destination she was afraid that it might flee!
Later that evening she had woke from her nap and walked out to the top deck. Went to the rail and gazed out at the calm sea. Her mind went back to a time long ago, a time when she was on this ship before, but headed the opposite direction. She had been running away and now she was going back. Her sweet Aunt had begged her to come back. Annaliese had called her that night after getting the message in the bottle. Her Aunt was choked up and could barely talk, hearing her voice again. Annaliese had choked up as well and tears had been shed. Tears over all the time that had been lost. All because of a crazed woman that had lost her mind.
Her Aunt had always been there for her! When Annaliese’s Dad died, it had been so hard, but her Aunt was there with comfort. She helped Annaliese continue on and not lose herself in despair. Things were finally going better, Annaliese was feeling the dark cloud of grief lifting, but then Ginger, who had been dating her Dad for awhile went plumb crazy! She had never liked Annaliese and now that Richard was dead, she took out all her anger and grief on Annaliese. At first Annaliese just felt she was a nuisance, but then Ginger started really worrying her. When she made an actual death treat against Annaliese, she knew she had to leave.
It had broken her Aunt’s heart when Annaliese boarded the ship to leave town, but her Aunt had agreed that she needed to get away. She had told Annaliese about the small, isolated, island, a place where Ginger would never find her. The bad thing about the place was phone service was very erratic, so her Aunt could barely contact her. They had talked only a couple times since she had been away.
Lost in her thoughts, Annaliese watched the stars come out and admired the reflection of the moon in the water. She made a wish on a star and breathed a prayer that this new start would be a good one for her. It took a little while, but later that night Annaliese finally fell into a deep sleep. Dreaming about what tomorrow would bring.
The morning dawned clear and bright. Annaliese was a mixture of nerves and excitement. A few hours of sailing was all it would take to reach her destination. The town of Blue Bonnet Hill. She paced the deck unable to stand still. At last they were drawing near to shore. Her heart started to beat fast as she looked for her Aunt. When the ship docked, she kept looking and then her eyes spied her. A lump formed in her throat. But wait, who was the man holding her Aunt’s hand? They were both waving to Annaliese. They looked so happy. Did her Aunt have a new love? She had said she had news to tell Annaliese, when she was on the phone, but then it was cutting out again, so they said goodbye and hung up. Was this the “news”?
People were diembarking off the ship. Annaliese got in line, anticipation building. She walked off, looking again for her Aunt and then she was grabbed from the side, as her Aunt embraced her.
“Oh my precious girl, how I have missed you!”
The well of tears inside Annaliese let loose and she clung to her Aunt, wrapped in her arms of love.