There was silence and the fisherman's head felt heavy, mentally exhausted. He was not sure whether the knock was for real and he was not prepared to face more unwelcome faces from the past.
"Whoever you are, go away! I'm not opening this door. You hear me, I am not opening it!"
Still there was no sound. He slid the egg out on to a plate, grabbed a piece of bread and made his way further into the house, as far away from the door as he could. His dog followed but so did the man.
"Why are you still here?" the fisherman questioned, pointing at the man with his chin as he continued walking.
"I am here to help you."
The fisherman slumped at a table and dug a fork deeply into the egg yolk which burst into a bright oozing stain on the plate. He eyed it carefully, trying to soak up its reality.
"Help!" the fisherman snorted, "They won't leave me alone. You won't leave me alone. All I want is peace. Is that too much to ask?"
"You will only find peace when you accept all what happened. I know the truth, but they don't, and that is why I am here to help you."
The fisherman dipped a stale piece of bread in the yolk and chewed long and slow, his eyes wandering everywhere but at the man.
"The truth. What truth do you speak of? The only truth that we both know is that you're dead. There is nothing you can do to help me. Just leave me alone, all of you!"
The fisherman banged his injured fist on the table and felt a jab of pain run through him. It was bad enough having to live with the guilt, but these hallucinations were more than he could bear. He felt a hand on his shoulder again.
"You must know and believe that it was never your fault. It was our time to die..."
"If you're dead then you shouldn't be here! You're not real," the fisherman spat out in frustration. He was staring at a man whom he knew not to be real and yet he looked on and searched, hoping for a promise that his mind was mistaken. He shut his eyes tight and turned away. When he opened them again, the man was still standing before him.
"You may choose to ignore me but that will only make matters worse. And if you do, not only will Venus be your living nightmare but she will bring forth with her the others who were on the ship. You remember the others don't you?"
"Venus was my daughter! I loved her, now she's turned against me!"
"Yes, that is the face of guilt reflected in her. The love that you felt for her has now turned into spite that she shows you every opportunity you give her. Your wife, children, family and friends will show you no mercy too."
"And you do?" The fisherman was shouting at the top of his voice, pain evident, "What makes you want to help me?"
"I was not part of your family. I was not one of your friends. But I was on that ship, the day it sank. I went down along with all of them. I saw it all happen. I was the bystander, the stranger who was only there giving you a helping hand on the day, don't you remember?"
The fisherman nodded, thinking back to that fatal day when he sailed the ship out. Everyone he knew and cared for was on that ship and now they were all dead, except for him.
"I remember. I remember it well."
"Then follow my lead and listen to that which you must do to save yourself."