It was early one Sunday morning. The sun was just rising above the sea as Mitch walked along the docks at the port that was only a few yards from his father’s house. A giant fishing trawler had just tied up to the dock, and dozens of fisherman were stepping off onto the dock.
He squinted as his large brown eyes looked for his father amongst the crowd. He then saw a man talking to someone inside one of the many storage sheds that lined the dock. This man wore a blue and white cap on top of his dark skinned, smoothly shaved head. His blue overalls with a white beater underneath were tucked into his black rubber boots. His rubber boots were lined with fish guts and grease from the unclean ship floor. The man turned his head towards Mitch, noticing his stare. He then looked back at the person in the shed, and nodded to him goodbye. Mitch looked to the ground as the man started to walk towards him.
“Mitch,” He said when he was a few feet in front of him. Mitch’s eyes looked up to him, but he kept his head down. They were both silent, listening to the busy fishermen all around them, shouting things to each other.
The man then crossed his arms and, in a serious tone, said, “Your mother told me.”
Mitch stuck his hands into the pockets of his tanned coloured pants and looked back to the ground without saying a word. The man stared at Mitch. A stare that seemed to burn craters into his very soul. He then shook his head, and brushed past Mitch and headed for home. He and his father have never had a good relationship.
The supper that night was fresh caught lobster and mashed potatoes, and the scent of it seemed to be consumed by the hostile atmosphere. They ate in silence as their clock struck 6 o’clock, sending a loud tune throughout the house. Mitch dared not to make any eye contact with either his mother or father. He didn’t feel hungry. He just poked the fork at the lobster meat not making a sound. After a few minutes of sitting quietly, he pushed his plate away, and stood up.
“Where are you going?” His father demanded to know.
“Out,” He mumbled as he slipped on his boots. His father stood up hearing this, and walked over to Mitch.
“Get back to the table,” His father said, towering over him. Although he was only a foot taller, he still casted an intimidating shadow over Mitch. Mitch ignored him, brushing past him to reach for his black trench coat that hung on the coat hanger. His father then ripped the coat from Mitch’s hand, and drew his other hand back ready to strike.
“Easy James,” his mom urged still sitting at the table. His father then closed his eyes, took in a deep breath, and brought down his fist. He stood there for a moment completely still, and then looked back at Mitch.
“Explain to me and your mother what you were thinking,” He glared down at his son as he said this.
Mitch shrugged, avoiding his father’s eyes.
“You think it’s cool to be smoking dope at school?” He asked, hanging Mitch’s coat back on the coat hanger.
“It’s not even that big of a deal—”
“It’s illegal,” His father shouted while cutting him off, “And now you’re suspended right when you have exams,” Mitch remained quiet and continued looking down. His father’s eyes then turned to the floor away from him, and raised his hand to his face to rub his eyes.
“I guess you won’t be graduating this year after all,” His father added. Mitch narrowed his eyebrows and made his hands into fists. He then grabbed his coat, and walked out the door before his father could say anything more. He slipped on his jacked while he walked down his driveway, and then slipped his hands into his pockets. He pulled out a pack of smokes and a lighter. He lit a cig as he turned to walk along the sidewalk down his street.
“You shouldn’t be so hard on him!” He heard his mother shout from inside his house.
“Edith, I have to. That boy isn’t going to amount to anything.” His father answered.
Hearing this, Mitch quickened his pace as he took in a large inhale of his cigarette. Anger filled his chest and he just wanted to scream. His parents didn’t understand what he was going through. He thought all of this was ironic though, because he’s done a lot worse things than just pot.
He then exhaled, and the pain seemed to go away with it. He felt a raindrop hit his wide nose, and he looked up to the sky. He sighed as more raindrops hit his face. He popped his collar up closer around his neck. There was something peaceful about the rain, as it hit the ground in an inconsistent rhythm. The air had a fresh scent, and from a distance he could hear the waves rolling against the empty port.
Everyone was at home with their families either eating a late supper or drinking hot chocolate by the fire. He remembered doing those kinds of things with his parents when he was younger, but their relationship has changed since then. The darkness of the night began to consume the city’s port, making the street lights the only source of salvation. He then looked down as his cigarette, and crunched it up in his fist, and threw it. The anger returned to him and he wanted to hit something. He focused his anger into his walk, as he quickened his pace, turning off of his street and onto another.
Mitch then saw something.
Someone with a large coat wrapped around a fragile body running across the road. It was a girl. The bottom of her blue dress was fluttering from beneath the jacket as she jogged towards the shelter of the roof hanging over a store front. Her sandals splashed in the puddles that were forming on the city street as she moved. When she got to her destination of the store front, she crossed her arms and hunched over slightly in an attempt to keep warm. Mitch couldn’t help to walk towards her. He was curious as to see what a girl was doing outside when it was so cold and rainy.
Once he was a few metres away from her he shouted “Hey,”
She looked in his direction, her blonde damp hair swishing around her face as she did. Now that he was closer, he got a better look at her. Her skin was a light ivory, and her eyes were large. It was too dark to tell what colour they were, but he could see she was wearing light pink lipstick and was shivering.
“Are you alright?” He asked. He couldn’t think of anything else to ask, but he felt obligated to say something.
“Yeah,” she said nodding her head, turning away from him, “I’m just waiting for a friend to pick me up,”
“And I’m guessing whoever you’re waiting for is late?” he asked with a smile.
“Oh yeah,” She responded with a smirk, “an hour late,” Mitch shook his head at this. He noticed that she was inching her way away from him. He then realized how weird it probably was for her; a stranger with dreads just past his shoulders, wearing a grey beanie and an inch long goatee randomly walking up to her and talking to her. He began to feel self-conscious and a bit embarrassed.
“Well I got places to be, so I hope your friend gets here soon,” He joked.
“Yeah,” she responded, rolling her eyes.
“See ya,” He said, walking past her. She didn’t respond, just nodded and waved with a little smile.