Once we pulled up to the marina and parked not too far from the water’s edge where boats were docked, flanking a long wooden boardwalk, I could really feel my pulse begin to race and the rest of me begin to feel self-conscious in a way I seldom was.
After we exited the vehicle, I gave the place a once-over and asked where the boat was. Irene pointed it out, but it was really hard to make out much from where I was because the sun was in my eyes.
We began pulling suitcases out of the trunk and then I noticed Adele waving. I followed the direction of her gaze with my eyes and there Frieda was. Tall… slender… light golden-brown hair blowing gently in the wind as she leaned against the boat’s metal railing waving back.
Suddenly, I found myself feeling impatient. I couldn’t wait to get on the boat and see how Frieda would act up close and personal. Supposedly she was supposed to give me the silent treatment and I was to return the favor.
It seemed to take us forever but finally, we gathered our stuff and began pulling it over to the doc.
Clunk-clunk-clunk went our suitcases as they were wheeled over the planks of wood.
Hans stepped onto the boat first so he could help with the suitcases and make sure we ladies got on board without slipping through any gaps and into the water below.
Once everyone was on board, I heard Frieda speaking to Irene several yards away. Her voice sounded exactly as I imagined it to sound and as it sounded when I listened to her do a Turkish language lesson exercise online. It had a deep almost husky ring to it, and she spoke with confidence and in a firm tone.
Then, as I was asking Hans where to go with my stuff, Adele moved towards where the others were.
The boat was able to sleep six people. There were three bedrooms only they weren’t literally bedrooms in the very sense of the word. More liked sectioned-off spaces with built-in shelves big enough to hold mattresses.
Hans glanced further down the deck toward the women and said, “They’re happily chatting and catching up so come on, I will take you there.”
Down we went to a lower level where I was guided to an area in which Hans pushed the door open that was actually a panel that folded like an accordion. The built-in bunk beds were directly across from the door. It was only one step from the door to the beds, if even that. To the side of the head of the beds was a small built-in dresser. Only about three slender or two large people could stand in the room at once.
“After you get settled, feel free to come up and join us,” Hans told me.
Oh, I sure would. I couldn’t wait to get a better look at Frieda.
So, I quickly stuffed a few things into one of the drawers and then headed back up the spiral stairs.
I found Hans busy in a small dining area and the three women still chatting on the deck.
Frieda was slowly walking backward in my direction just as I was walking over to where they were. The areas you walked by along the sides of the boat weren’t very wide so it would be hard not to brush against each other at least a little.
My heart sped up as Frieda got closer. Then closer still as her head turned in my direction and for a split second, I gazed right into her blue eyes.
Eyes that shone bright with hate and animosity.