I've never gotten sea sickness in my life, thank the stars. The boat was mammoth. The L.G.Grace rocked gently as I sat on deck, watching the shore slip away. The sweet sea air wafted up to me and the kind voices of people surrounding me settled my nerves for once these past few days. Beside me, a chair scooted in. Tintin appeared in my peripheral vision.
"Having fun?"He asked.
"Yes, the calm atmosphere is a bit strange to me, though."
For a while we sat in a comfortable silence.
Then he asked, "Can-will you tell me about yourself."
I thought for a moment. This boy has been shot at, kidnapped and put many things on the line for me...a backstory is well deserved. "I'm 18 and have been a writer for a few years. I began having my work printed when I was sixteen. A novel I was working on is sitting at home unfinished because I couldn't think of an ending. Ummmnn...I was ten when mom died in a accident. Out boat crashed into some rocks and father pulled me to safety first. Mother never recovered from the water in her lungs. I practically raised myself from then on. Dad was always at work and any workers we had didn't speak our language. That's how I became multi-lingual. I learned cooking recipes from all the maids, dance from our cook and fencing lessons from Finn the gardener. Also, he threw in a few boxing lessons." I paused.
"Sounds like a good bunch. Do you still know them?" He asked.
"No. Father fired them when I was fourteen. He was in a drunken rage. It was stupid of me to argue but I far surpassed him on the anger meter. Around that time was when I began to work with him in his lab. One experiment rendered him near mute and he was working with a near deaf man."
"Is he a scientist?" Asked Tintin.
I nodded. "Was. Died last year. Put too much boom in the charge and not enough fuse."
Tintin nodded solumly. "Did his friend take you in?"
"Yes. That's the friend I have in danger. His experiments always lead to trouble," I smiled. "Tell me about yourself."
He ponder this for a moment. "Alright. Let's see if you can keep up." He challenged. I nodded. "I have been a reporter for a while. I actually started as a campaign writer, then a photojournalist. To tell you truly, I've become more of a detective. "
"Very nice. How old are you?"
"Only 19." He grinned. "Why? Do I look old?"
"Oh no! I was just curious."
"I'm sure that was it."
I drummed my finger against my knee. "How like you describe yourself?"
This question seamed to pull at something inside the young man. "Honestly?"
He sighed. "Excessively virtuous, chivalrous, brave, a defender of the weak and oppressed, never looks for trouble but it always finds me;" he paused. "I am also resourceful, take chances, discreet, and a nonsmoker."
"Maybe a bit to angry sometimes. Self-motivated. Harsh on failures. Mostly innocent, politically crusading, escapist, and finally cynical." He frowned.
"I tend to be demanding. Foolish and slow to think in tight situations. Untrusting, rude, easily angered, loud, and even childish. But that doesn't diminish the good characteristics ." My hand grasp his cold one.
The warm smile greater my display of affection. "Thank you."
"What are you trying to tune out...uh, escape?" I asked slowly.
A scowl played at his eyebrows but never fully made it. Pondering filled the gap of conversation as I sat watching the children race after a small ball. "Maybe from my past. I've run from it so hard I don't remember much about it. My mothers gone but I'm not sure where my dad is. I have one brother and a sister who died falling through the ice."
"Do you blame yourself?"
Again he took his time answering. "No. I blamed my brother. He was the last person with her. Perhaps, I felt bad about accusing him. I don't remember much else. On one of my adventure I got my head so hard I had amnesia. After that my memories began to fade. Sometimes I'll see one in a dream but it too faded as I awaken."
"Sounds awful difficult to deal with. Not knowing."
We set for a moment in a small amount of understanding. Understanding our similarities and differences and excepting them. I felt compassion toward the young man. The past of his life reminded me a bit of mine. Though, not as parallel, it still pieced together somewhere.
"I love your stories."
"Pardon?" I inquired about his whisper.
He cleared his throat. "I love the short stories you write."
I blushed a tad. "Thank you. I've always been envious of your adventures."
"Really?" He chuckled. "All those times I was inches from death?!"
"Especially those!" I replied standing from me spot. I began to twirl in a fighting style. "The adrenaline rushes and the hero acts. I'd love a life like that! Think of the stories I could tell and the places I'd go. Oh oh! The people of encounter."
"That's my favorite part." He smiled as he walked over, slightly looking down at me. "The people I get to meet."
His eyes looked different than the fist time I saw them. They were a happier blue. A more open blue. A more genuine blue. His smile made me want to take a picture. So it would never vanish. His mouth curved in a way of pure joy and amusement. I looked back in his eyes and noticed him studying me. Almost like a decision in his head didn't play out quite like he wanted it.
"Hallo land lubbers!" I turned to the voice behind me.
I silently cursed the drinker as the Captain broke the moment. When I turned back to Tintin he was already preoccupied with Haddox and Snowy.
" Captain Barthall has invited us to done with him this evening. I took the liberty to except his offer."
"A formal dinner?" Asked Tintin.
"Of course. Why?"
I smacked my palm to my forehead. "We have no formal clothes."
Captain Haddox bellowed a laugh at my response. "I forgot. The other man dining with us is a merchant. Very famous. He has a few dresses and suits he's willing to let you have as long as you wear them as often as possible and tell others who you got them from. He seamed pretty star struck when o told him who I was traveling with."
"When do we try these clothes on?" Asked Tintin.
"Oh. Right now! He's waiting."
I followed in the rear. Not noticing the one listening in.