CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 76

CoffeeShop Blues the waterfall as a branch swings and ducks, not wanting to be seen by the family picnicking or by Derwen either. At the top of the hill, her lips widen into a smile and then a frown crosses her face, the beginnings of her mother. Touching her neck, she still remembers the salty touch. There is no reason she can give for a refusal at the altar, no secret love, no longing for anywhere else except where she has come to be. The water grows into a roar as she steps closer to the edge of the rocks. Eirwin looks down and sees the waterfall running through the grey granite. The farm’s cart and the carriage sparkle through the trees. She can just make out the bare plank of the cart’s front seat; perhaps Derwen has gone to pick the flowers on her behalf, tired of waiting. She takes off her shoes, muddy and ruined from the climb. Her mother will be furious. Placing them by a fern with their heels lined up, she dips her toes into the water. She is expecting to gasp, but the water caresses her feet as she dreams a lover would. “We’ll be late for your sister,” a voice shouts over the water. Derwen is standing at the pool by the bottom of the waterfall, scratching his head with his dirt-encrusted hands. There are no flowers drooping from inside his palms. Eirwin releases the tie holding her bonnet in place and shakes her hair loose in cascades of cola-like black. “I’ll get you down. You shouldn’t have gone climbing on your own. Your father,” Derwen calls, his throat tightening. His voice trails away to be replaced by the taps of pebbles bouncing down the path. As he climbs, she stretches her feet and the water laps at her ankles. “There is always a way. We could go together,” Derwen pleads besides her, panting from his rapid climb. Leaning forward, he is ready to catch her like an improbable leopard. Eirwin rocks on her toes, her dress billowing around her. Derwen drops his arms, but she does not come to him. He blushes scarlet and wipes a line of earth across his mouth, trying to undo his words. Then she smiles at him, edges further into the flowing water and disappears. 76