I sit quietly on my log beside the fire as Rena gathers the ingredients for our breakfast. Normally I’m the one to do this–crack and roast the snails, wash the sea greens, brew the coffee. Normally, she can’t be bothered. Not unless it’s sewing she’s asked to do, and even then she shuts herself into her room and takes twice the time she should. But today, Rena insisted it was her turn to prepare the food.
“Sit down and relax, Gram,” she said. “Let me do it for once.”
Took me by surprise, that did. Even though Rena never knew her mam, she’d been like her since birth. Taunting the lighthouse ghosts with the boys who ain’t learned fishing yet, sleeping in the woods just to prove she didn’t need the sea, disappearing for days at a time. But looking into her black eyes, her mam’s eyes, I still see heart.
Not that Rena’d ever admit it. She’s also got her mam’s way of not wanting to seem weak, of not wanting to care about anything at all.
As Rena rinses the sea greens in a bowl of fresh water, I push my toes into the warm sand and start the telling.