Month: September 2017
By Ursula Wong
Teresa sat on the dock, stretching her toes into the water, trying to imagine herself as a teacher, a politician, a wife, a businesswoman, a . She had just graduated college, and the indecision of what to do next felt like a curse. She hadn’t been happy in weeks.
Gulls flew up singing their cul-cul-cul song as a woman came down the dock, looking scruffy in old sneakers, jeans, and a faded denim shirt. Her gray hair was loosely piled on top of her head. “Hello,” she said.
Teresa smiled and nodded, hoping the woman would keep on walking and let her get back to worrying about the rest of her life.
“I’ve lived in Gloucester for a long time,” said the woman.
Teresa suppressed a moan. This is going to take forever.
“My husband died a few months ago.” The woman brushed away a tear.
Teresa shifted uncomfortably, but motioned the woman to sit down.
She said her name was Mary, and she talked about running barefoot through the village in Sicily where she was born, taking the first steps of love with a man who would become her companion for the next 60 years, and then settling in Gloucester, where her husband had relatives. She spoke of the little darlings who were her children, for she had been a teacher.
“You knew you wanted to be all those things?”
“It was an arranged marriage. I didn’t have a say. As for teaching, it was the only job I could get up here at the time.” Mary looked out over the sea. “I had to learn to love many things in my life. You’re lucky to have choices. I always wanted to be an artist, but never had the chance.”
Teresa smiled. Maybe she was lucky.