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Sunday Sayings – “Home, Ship, Home”

If you want to live on the edge of life, you need to be flexible.”
~ Kim Novak
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I just can’t do it! I can’t,” he implored. Manfred was clearly beside himself.

Holly paused to let the tension digest before replying, “Can’t you negotiate with them, Mannie?

Manfred looked sad, then stubbornly fixed his jaw, explaining, “No, I just can’t go back. It won’t work.

Holly decided Manfred wasn’t going to budge. It was hard to understand why he was fixated on quitting the job he’d started just a day or two before. After all, working in a food truck was good experience for an unskilled youth, even if the Manager had abused him and rostered him to work long hours at weekends.

Holly quietly suspected that if Manfred quit this job, he’d find it difficult to survive and worse still, he’d lose the routine and direction he sorely needed in his life. Teenage boys with time on their hands tended to create trouble; something Holly had witnessed when her own brothers were growing up.

So, ah – what’s your plan now?” she ventured, after letting the silence hang for a minute.

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Well, I’ve been thinking about doing street entertainment, so I can start my own business,” Manfred began enthusiastically. “I have this idea to remodel shipping containers as cheap accommodation.” “They’re portable, readily available and everyone wants one.”

A business, hey? You could call it, Home, ship, Home,” Holly joked.

Manfred’s face lit up, which gave Holly a warm feeling inside. Since meeting Manfred on the park bench some months before, she’d grown to like his confidence and enthusiasm. He’d charmed her with easy conversation and a good dose of charisma, but she knew he was dangerously impulsive. And that she thought was worrisome.

After promises to meet again the following week, they parted ways. Holly back to her family in the suburbs, and Manfred to who knows where. Holly wondered where he’d sleep that night. He had explained several time that it was often safer to walk the streets at night and ‘crash’ in the park, once daylight came. On those nights, he’d confessed to using to cope with his inner demons. Holly decided she’d have to convince him to get help when they met up again.

While idly washing the dishes from Mum’s casserole dinner, with the 6 o’clock news droning in the background, Holly’s legs suddenly collapsed under her.

The unidentified man fell from the City Bridge in a daring stunt gone wrong,” the TV droned.

Her head hit the floor hard and when Holly came to again, it was easy to forget the news story. Surely, she’d see Manfred’s smiling face again, at the end of the week.

Holly’s week dragged by ever so slowly. When 5 o’clock came she rushed to the City Bridge and anxiously looked for Manfred’s slouching figure on the bench seat where they always met. She was sure he would be waiting for her, as he always did, in their usual spot.

But the bench seat was empty. Holly sat down and waited. 5.15pm passed, then 5.30. By 6pm, she could no longer ignore the sense of despair mixed with utter hopelessness that blinded her thoughts. Was Manfred really gone?

With trepidation, Holly peered over the Police tape cordoning the City Bridge’s narrow railing and absently reached for a gum wrapper someone had twisted around a wire in the fence. Her heart broke as she read the words scrawled thereon:“Home, ship Home.”

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Something different for Sunday Sayings this week

Appreciate and treasure the moments with others.

There isn’t always a second chance.

“The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest” – Bob Hawke

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54 thoughts on “Sunday Sayings – “Home, Ship, Home””

          1. You certainly do! Sheree and you are my favourite travel bloggers at WordPress 🙂
            Do you write for magazines as well? Your writing seems so professional and the pictures are fascinating as well.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I would not or never consider myself a gifted, or even a good writer, N.D. If I get the message across in my bumbling muddle of words, then I am truly thankful. Comments like yours mean a lot! Right now, I am watching the wheel of destiny unroll in Hong Kong. It is unravelling by the minute. Am I right to be so concerned? I hope they will have a second chance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. China has shown remarkable restraint with Hong Kong already; certainly far more than they would likely have done with any other city within their dominion.
        As I find it quite difficult to believe that they restrain from acting out of the goodness of their hearts, I am led to believe that it is important for them to keep Hong Kong autonomous for other reasons. The most obvious of those is economical: Hong Kong is a powerhouse of trade and innovation, especially within high-tech and finance. It is not unreasonable to assume that the mainland government would like to keep it that way, and thus feels that a certain restraint is prudent.
        If the local government can reach some kind of accommodation with the opposition, then I will assume that Beijing will let that stand. If not, then they will have to move in at some point…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. They have 20 odd years left to enjoy their special economic status before things radically change, don’t they? Not so long, so China is preparing them mentally for an authoritarian style of government. While this and the future of their own lives and freedom, is clearly playing on the minds of the young millenials protesting, I think that perhaps China might continue to exert pressure to slowly change attitudes and subjugate society, without losing Hong Kong’s economic status, and their extradition law is the first example of that. In the meantime, if things don’t change, the protest action will continue to devalue the economics that Hong Kong offers. Could that push Bejing over the edge to military intervention in order to what they might see as a move to protect the economy?

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      2. To some extent it seems that Beijing has shot itself in the foot there, though. Due to the extreme level of surveillance and control, the opposition has been forced to decentralise itself to the point where they appear not to have any effective leadership at all. Which means there is really no-one to actually negotiate with. Achieving any kind of settlement or agreement is thus going to be tricky, difficult, and likely to fail…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Amanda, you know – this is one of those stories which will never, ever let you go! Because it winds itself into your heart so deeply, that it cannot be unwound. One of the most – maybe the most – gripping story I remember reading.
    And it made me think how often we do the same kind of thing with the people we love. Because they are always here, for us, and they always kind of understand and forgive us. So they can wait – while we are busy, doing all those things which we feel that we need to do first…
    Until, one day… they aren’t.
    And we – we were not there for them, then, when it really counted.

    And even if we are lucky and everything is fine and we are together for many years to come, still we will never be able to earn back those moments we have lost…
    There are very few things as important as those we love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Elena, for that lengthy and eloquent comment. You have highlighted the importance of treasuring and being present for all those special and routine moments in our lives with those near and dear to us. It is often so easy to look forward to next week, next month and next year when for that other person, that moment was their world for that one instant. We feel empty and hollow if something dire happens, (as happened in this story), if we are not trying to absorb and mentally remember the details of each meeting. Life may be the richer for it and our relationships and mental health better for it. And then we have Holly’s guilt – that is another layer she must deal with for the rest of her days.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Ineke!! Great to hear from you again. When I wrote the story, I wondered if anyone would be interested enough to read it til the end. So I am happy that it is relatable.
      As a published writer, I value your opinion and appreciate immensely your comment. Thank you so much.
      How is the everyone? Give Trompie a pat for me!

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      1. We are both good but my time is just not enough to do what I want to do. I’m tired after the after school care and just want to sit and relax. I would rather stay home and write and enjoy my retirement. I’m still reading all your posts and keep up to date with your house building too.
        Do you mind if I share your story with my friends?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t wrote a lot of fiction, Chris. But I was compelled to write this one! Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it especially knowing that WiFi is difficult for you atm.

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