This is Part II of Siren’s Song. Part I of Siren’s Song is here.
hat do you think they’re thinking? You’re off to Boston and you’re not going to see them in several years. You’ll miss your daughter learning how to walk. At least you got to hear her first words. But what’s more important, first words or learning how to walk?
Will Eliza be faithful? Of course she will! Why did that ever enter into your head? She’s good people, hard-working, honest woman. And loyal and caring. You bite down on your lip for even uttering that thought in your head.
You’ll be sending her money in your letters. And she’ll be shipping out to Boston once you get enough saved up.
What about little Biddy’s friends? She’ll meet some wonderful kids, then suddenly she’s off on a ship to America and will never see them again. Once again, you bite your lip because you couldn’t make it work. You’re a failure. Can’t feed your family so you have to go overseas. Can’t do anything right now, can you?
You’ll make it right
No. Shut up! Why the bloody hell are you on the ship in the first place? You’re about to make things right. You’re about to make a better life for Eliza and Biddy. After all, you’re fairing better than most of your brothers and sisters.
Irishmen are supposed to have good luck. Apparently, that luck never reached your family.
Come on, lad. Don’t beat yourself up so much. You’re on a ship to America and you’re not throwing up overboard. Wait. You’re on a ship to America and you’re not throwing up overboard!
A smile comes back on your face. You thought for sure you’d spend the entire trip leaning over the rail. You’re stronger than you thought.
The sun had been down for several hours and you should be in bed but you’re on deck. Is that the Captain? Is he going to get mad you’re out here?
“Good evening, Captain.”
“Yes, Sir. Just got a lot on my mind.”
“First time on a ship?”
“Yes, Sir. First time even a few leagues from me home.”
The Captain paused and didn’t say anything else. Instead, he put his forearms on the rails and stared out into the sea.
“When I’m on my ship, all I can think of is being at home. When I’m at home, all I can think of is being back on my ship. It’s not an easy life, but the pay is good. You learn to love the sea and fear her at the same time. You better get down below. We’re expecting some real waves tonight.”
The Captain turned his back and walked to the bow. Or the front. Or whatever it’s called. Port. Bow. Starboard. All those words. You don’t know what any of them mean.
However, you do what he says and head down. You tried to clear your head but instead, you got even more going on in there. On top of that, you wonder what he means by real waves.