‘Beyond the sea’ is such a wonderful song, and nowadays it reminds me of Finding Nemo and watching it with K that I was inspired to write for one of my favourite Mother-Son relationships. Rachel started in other stories but then found her own and it grew and she is another of my most beloved voices. Maybe because she does, in fact, remind me of myself. It’s the blushing. I’m quite sure of it.

Enjoy today’s little tale.

She’s There Watching For Me

“Somewhere beyond the sea. She’s there watching for me. And maybe I’ll see her again when the waves carry me home.”

Rachel closed the book and leant down to kiss Shaun’s forehead. “Time for sleep, sweetheart.”

“Read it one more time?”

Rachel laughed. She’d been the same with this book, asking her mother to read it again and again. There was something about this book, about the sailor who sails away on an adventure and wishes to see his lost love again. It was a tragic romance, but Rachel had been all about the tragic romances. Her other favourite tale had been The Little Mermaid, the original, not the happy ending Disney movie.

There was something about love enduring after death, as well as the sacrifice for love, that had fascinated her since she was little.

“Please, Mum!”

“Not tonight, Shaun, Mummy needs to pack.”

“I don’t want you to go.”

“But I have to, sweetheart. We need the money and Uncle Gerard will take good care of you.”

“You promise you won’t forget about me?”

“Oh, Sweetie.” Rachel slid onto the bed and cuddled Shaun into her chest. “I could never forget about you. I’ll call and Skype every single day. And I’ll miss you so much. And I’ll come home and visit every single time I get a break.”

Rachel was trying not to cry. She hated leaving Shaun but she could not take him with her for this job. She was going to be helping out at a dig site and it just wasn’t the place for children and he had school. The money was too good for her to pass up and with the medical bills to pay off from her mum, and taking over the mortgage now that she had passed, they just needed the money too much. And Rachel was not going to take charity from her brother, no matter how much Gerard pleaded.

Rachel shifted Shaun to lean against her as she rested against the headboard of the bed and she picked up the book.

“The seas were calm the day he sailed away from his home. He was off on a grand adventure to find a new home in a new land. And on the shores of his hometown, standing on the sand was the ghost of the woman he loved waving her handkerchief to say goodbye….”

The storm had come for the ship when Rachel realised that Shaun had fallen asleep. She set the book aside beside the bed and wiggled out from beneath her son without waking him. The book had been her father’s. One of the only things she had of his, it was old. Originally it had belonged to someone called Eva, her name written in faded ink inside with a loving note that was so faded Rachel had never been able to make out most of it. She often wondered if this Eva had enjoyed the tragic tale as well. Rachel had even created a whole life for Eva, making her the flapper girl of a mobster.

Rachel tucked Shaun in and kissed his cheek before switching off his lamp and closing his door.

“He’s asleep?” Gerard asked when Rachel came into the small living room.

“He is. You sure it’s okay to watch him? You won’t be called into work?”

“No, I’m off on medical leave. Until the doc gives me the all clear I’m all yours, Big Ears.”

Rachel rolled her eyes as she sat down. “You’d think you would have grown out of that nickname by now.”

“Never!” Gerard winked at his sister. “You sure you’re okay about going, you seem reluctant.”

“Not reluctant, just nervous. Whenever I think about it all the butterflies in my stomach explode.”

“Sounds painful.”

“You have no idea. I’m going to pack and get to bed. We’ve got an early start for you to drop me at the airport. I finally get to meet my boss.”

“Maybe he’s an ogre who causes butterflies to explode as his super power.”

“Wow, you’re a dork.”

The two siblings bantered and then hugged before heading to their rooms.

They left the house just before four in the morning to head to the airport, and Rachel still had a sore stomach with all her nerves. It was too late to back out but she was feeling so anxious that she was thinking about it.

She checked in and waited with Shaun and Gerard and couldn’t help but cry when she was called to go through to the next area, where they could not follow. She was still wiping her tears when she approached the rest of her group she would be travelling with. She knew two of the grad students that would be on the dig, she had been working at the university prior to this. It was how she had gotten this job as a research assistant.

But it was the tall man laughing heartily that made her nearly trip over her own feet. The girls were all mooning over him and Rachel stopped and stared as well.

He looked like she had always imagined her sailor in her books. Incredible. Impossible.

“You’re going to get something stuck in the mouth if you don’t shut it.”

“Matthew John Smith!” Rachel turned bright red at the teasing and covered her face.

“Not exactly how you should be calling out my name,” Matt teased.

“You’re incorrigible.” She shook her head at the young man. He was so cheeky. “Is that our new boss?”

“That is indeed the mysterious Herger Thorssen. Let me guess, you’re as smitten as the rest.”

“Give me some credit, Matt,” Rachel replied. She was lying, though, her butterflies in her stomach had gone even crazier. But she was completely professional as she approached the professor who would be leading this dig. The professor she would be assistant too.

She had to be professional. She needed this job. Besides, a man who looked like that and who exuded charisma like he did would be married already.

“Hi, Professor Thorssen, I’m assistant, your new Rachel.” Her cheeks turned bright pink as he took her hand. She was off to a great start. “I mean, that is.”

“Nice to meet you finally, Rachel.”

His smile was so charming, his eyes so full of life. She was tongue-tied. But at least she had not called him her sailor. So, that was something. Given they had months of work ahead, she might still yet.


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