He walked to the harbour that night instead of ordering a carriage. Breathing in the air of the town he was born in, he sorted out all his emotions and decisions. He would come back, as often as he could. But Catalina was the most important now. He quickened his pace. And then he was upon the harbour, an endless stretch of water shimmering beneath the starry night sky. Catalina stood beneath a willow by the far bank, where construction hadn’t dominated over nature. He walked briskly over to her, and they exchanged the standard greetings. He didn’t mention that she said she wouldn’t come.
“So, what is this something that you have for me?” she eyed his briefcase, as if the gift was in there.
“Come over with me and you shall see.”
“Come over to where?”
“To the other side, where the quay is.”
He took hold of her hand, and pulled her along with him. She knew she should pull away, yet his hand was so warm and comforting she couldn’t resist the temptation. The moon was shining brightly, and the millions stars seemed to be singing. She no longer felt lonely, because her sweetheart was by her side. She floated, giddy with happiness, and then a ship suddenly loomed over them.
“Here we are. The ‘Catalina’.” Jonathan said, gesturing towards the ship. Then he bowed to her, took her hand, and led the way up into the deck. She jerked her hand out of his grip, gathered up her skirts, and ran down the harbour.
“Catalina! Wait!” Jonathan shouted after her.
“Catalina…Wait…Catalina…Wait…Ca…ta...li…na…..” his voice echoed back, surrounding them both.
“You bastard! Don’t ever come near me again!”
“But … Wait! I need to explain.”
“You have nothing to explain to me! Go home back to your family!”
He grabbed her arm. “Just listen, ok?”
She struggled, but he was stronger. “Fine, what is it?”
“She agreed; you hear me? I’m not running away, I’m going legally. Well, I haven’t divorced her yet, but it’s not required.” He stopped, out of breath.
“Does it matter? You left her to fend for herself, you idiot! That is no way to treat a woman! That is no way to treat a human being!”
“I left her the property, and three hundred gold crowns. And she has all the parental rights to Emma now.” Almost as an afterthought, he added, “And I’ll come back as much as I can.”
“Doctor, we’re setting off shortly. Please board. And you too, milady,” a sailor called out, leaning over the side of the ship.
“Oh. May we halt the journey till tomorrow?”
“Of course, Doctor,” the sailor replied politely, and then disappeared onto the deck, calling out instructions. The sails were let down, and the anchor thrown overboard.
“If you think that I’m going to change my mind by tomorrow, then think again!” Catalina shouted, and ran down the moon-lit alleyway, skirts hitched up.
He was unfamiliar to this way of women, and was impatient. But he loved her, and, proud as he was, he was prepared to return back to Evelyn’s house to ask for instruction on how to win back Catalina’s heart. Meanwhile, she was curling up in a street corner, trying to sleep.