Ginger reached over to the pillow and found it empty.
Her eyes opened to view the light pouring in from the torn window covering. The sunshine spotlight lit an empty room of pillows, bottles, and half burnt candles.
She sat up and held her head.
Gazing through the haze she spied Newton sitting in the corner. He was slumped over in a pillow chair, a half filled glass of wine in his hand. His eyes were closed, but there was a smile on his face as if he had been watching Ginger all night.
Rolling off the pillow, Ginger stumbled to her feet. Newton grumbled but did not wake. West was nowhere to be found.
Staggering to the window, she saw two silhouette figures on the beach. Taking a long breath and looking back at Newton slumbering quietly, she moved the window covering and slid the glass door to the sun.
She walked up to the couple on the beach and listened to their conversation.
“The water, water seems to be the forgiveness.”
“But what of the land?”
“We stand here and the sun rises and falls and we breathe the air.”
“Life goes on.”
“Exactly… and what will you do?”
“Ike?” Ginger interrupted the conversation.
The two men turned toward the lady slowly pacing toward them in the sand. They both smiled.
Ike turned and gave out an extended arm to welcome her to the conversation.
“You OK?” he quietly asked Ginger with a smile from Dexter.
“Yeah, just a little foggy.”
“So what now?” Dexter asked the couple staring at the rising sun over the concrete barriers lining the beach.
“I’ve got to go.” Ike said, holding Ginger around the waist and looking toward the beach.
“Let me take you home.”
The three walked to the walkways and gathered their packs. Dexter picked up a book from the sandy steps and led the group to the beach.
The sun rained heat upon the heads of the three, as they walked pass empty shops and sidewalks. Turning right on the beach they headed back through their tracks from the previous day.
Walking pass empty towers of personal pleasure the group watch the pier grow closer. To the right they saw the Neptune statue approach. To the left, bobbing in the wave was the Dusty Rose.
“This is where I leave you” Dexter announced and sat down in the sand with his book.
Ike looked at Dexter, then Ginger and took his pack off. He left the group and slugged through the sand to the boardwalk. Disappearing for a moment, he appeared with a floatation devise.
“Let’s make this easy.” Ike smiled. Dexter smiled in return.
Ike placed both Ike’s and Ginger’s packs on the floatation tube and dragged it to the water.
“Ready to go?” Ike asked Ginger as she paused noticing Dexter quiet demeanor.
Ginger turned and walked to the water’s edge.
“Thank you for your hospitality” she said to Dexter, who gently smiled.
The pair pushed the floating packing into the water and kicked out into the waves.
A short time later the pair were on board and drying off from the salty water. They lifted the packs and spread out their bounty upon the shifting deck.
“So where to now?” Ginger asked shaking off her hair and pulling through her pack of t-shirts and lotions
“Maine!” Ike quickly responded.
“Maine? Why Maine?”
“You will see.” Ike smiled.
Ike raised the anchor and lowered the sail. The Dusty Rose responded and turned to the north.