Next time she must speak
Carling clutched the rail in his agony, feeling the cold, wet metal sting his skin. Nothing made sense unless there was an answer, somewhere, somehow. She could not have left him like that without a reason. The need to know, to understand, had grown instead of lessening in the year that had passed since. It was Tove who had gone, but it was he that was the restless ghost, doomed to walk until his cry was answered. This demand, this urgency, had moved into the centre of his being, and stayed there, like a cancer, devouring all other thoughts and feelings. Once again she had not spoken, at Mrs Guire’s, but if he had waited … The lights of Dublin coalesced into a fading star. Next time, next time she must speak.
And say what?
Carling shook his head. The thought probed deep and struck, touching fear that was an open wound. He swayed to and fro. He heard a thin cry, like a gull’s call, against the sounds of wind and water, and the throb of the engines. It was his own voice, naked and involuntary.