A man fights his way through the sweat stained crowds on a creaky wooden dock at a London port. It is 1887. He is on his guard, his back is up, and he makes a point not to meet the gaze of any of the individuals in the noisy and malodorous swarm that surrounds him. He is past the prime of his life, but incapable of behaving in a way that would suggest he was. A strong man, as it were, all of his life, and with the full intention of carrying on that way he hauls his well travelled pack over his shoulders and shoves the lingering and lost pedestrians out of his way. There is a look in his eye of abject determination, but not a soul could tell you the reason for the fire that burns behind his lids.
Yet within the layers of clothing balled up inside his pack, there lies the secret to this man’s purpose. The years that lay behind him are held close to his calloused heart, and a detailed record of events that shaped his future are tightly bound within those layers of fabric upon his shoulders.
About to embark on a long and tedious journey into his past, he is to save what he has left of himself from the darkness that is eternal loneliness. There is always a lingering fear that it is already too late, but there being nothing left for him in London town, only one choice is clear.
Finally the sight of his vessel brings him a small wave of relief coupled with the madness of anticipation. He steps onto the slippery landing board and clamours onto the ship. Not being the most grand or sizeable piece of transport, she is nonetheless, not an amateur. Our hero offloads his pack to the deck with a quick sigh and a prickle of what feels like electricity runs the length of his spine. He gently lifts what he has left of his life, cradles it in his arms and descends into the belly of the ship to begin his final preparations for departure.
What seems like a lifetime away, a marooned lover stares into the face of a traitor and coward. The traitors fair and fine features conceal the depravity of the crime of passion he has committed, but he has eyes that betray his real feelings. What turned out to be a classic case of misunderstanding and sacrifice in the face of love has left our gentle and innocent lover, only half of a whole. The two faces stare down one another in frustration and anger until tears begin to well in the corners of the lover’s eyes, eventually spilling in shame onto the white wooden dressing table. The traitor hangs his head for a brief moment and then reaches out to wipe the tears from the lover’s eyes. As his arm extends towards the adjacent face, and it encounters the truth of our reality. A reflective pane of glass meets his fingertips and reveals the barrier between the forgotten eyes of our marooned lover and the hateful treacheries of the coward who, in the same instance, both saved a life and condemned that same life to the gallows of emotional abandonment.
-Miss Hailey Jane