‘Beth . . . is it really you?’
His eyes, portholes to his true self, are wide open now. He shoves his sword away from his reach, as if he cannot bear to touch it any more. Whatever happened to him, whatever spell he was under is now gone.
He remembers me, because I remember his name. Harry. A strange name for a pirate, but then so is Bethany. Now when I look at him I see my mother’s eyes. He sits in the chair, and stares at me. It is like he still doesn’t trust his own memories.
‘Harry, it is me.’
Like an abstemious diet of life, I now want to hear it all. Harry is older than me, and his memories more secure. I want to know why we were separated. I can hear the cannon fire, but it wasn’t the first time.
‘You want to know what I remember?’ he says.
‘I want to know the reason we were kept apart.’
‘I was six years old, and we were searching for something. A great treasure mother called it. There was a dark cloud, like the one following us now. It scared our dad and he wasn’t easily scared.’ Memories are flooding his mind, he needs to be able to say them out loud to make them true. ‘We hid in the lifeboat, but I saw the battle through a gap in the blanket. It wasn’t a normal battle, there were ghosts. Afterwards, when I told our parents, you were gone.’
‘It shows whatever is out there is dangerous enough to make our parent’s afraid.’
‘Then you go back, you have been away from the sea for too long.’
I shake my head, and hear the rumble of thunder from outside. ‘I stay, and we face this storm together. Whatever our parents were afraid of there isn’t anything to be scared of now. We are adults, and both strong enough to face this battle together.’
‘Are you saying what I think you’re saying?’
‘We sail into the storm,’ I say, never more sure of anything.