Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back Creek by Leslie Goetsch

High school wasn't of great interest to me: I was far more absorbed by the fiction I read than the fiction I lived.


Remembering my berry-picking made me realize I was always trying to make peace through gifts--drawings I made, unusual shells I found on the shore, even a heron's feather. I guess I didn't know how else to respond to the tension I felt in the house.


"Look, Grace, you're going to need to watch her--and your father."
"Watch her? Take care of Daddy? And Lillian? But I'm supposed to be leaving soon--" I stopped short. I believe it was the first time I'd ever said anything out loud about leaving the Creek. The words sounded hollow, even to me.


Then, without any warn, Cal grabbed me around the shoulders and kissed me. I mean, a real kiss--like the one I'd been waiting for--the kind I knew the kids in the cars at the York High School parking lots couldn't give--the kind of kiss Heathcliff must have given Catherine.


When Lillian wasn't around, I took time looking on one photo in particular. It was of Cal standing by the pier, reaching for something in his cooler. But he's looking for something else, something out at the end of the pier, or maybe farther out, somewhere in the Bay. Lillian focused on his face, and his eyes have this piercing quality to them. His eyes made me think of the fictional character Mr. Rochester looking and looking for someone--Jane Eyre, as it turned out . "Yearning" is the word Charlotte Bronte had for the look.


I wandered about the party, greeted by voices as familiar as the blankets on my bed.


As we followed the recipes her mother had followed and her mother before that, we talked in an abstract way. As the afternoon wore on and Mother kept talking, I was listening to preserve the stories in mind.


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