Being Tony, Chapter 10, Part 4


When I told Ruby about Alistair leaving with the money she didn’t scream and shout. That was the reaction I had half expected, the reaction the old Ruby would have had, the Ruby that came from the North End and swore as much as any of the fishermen. Instead, she was calm and reasonable, asking how much I’d lost, and if there were any assets we could sell. Even when she heard the full extent of the loss and the fact that debtors were after us for the bus, she just took the news in a calm way and said she was sure God would find us a way through.

I suggested we walk to the pub and have a couple of drinks to cheer us up, but Ruby said no, and that she had some studying to do, so I went alone. The pub was full of groups and couples, and I didn’t find anyone to talk to, so I headed back, but at the last moment veered off, found a bench on the waterfront, and sat staring at the inky black waters of the Firth of Forth.

I sat for a long time without really thinking of anything, just feeling a strange sensation in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t want to admit it, but I was homesick. This place had become a kind of home, and it was where Ruby was, but my heart yearned for the rolling Norfolk countryside. This stretch of water was very nice, but my soul wanted to feel the sand dunes and east winds coming to shore at Hunstanton. These street were very historic it was true, but it was someone else’s history. The paths and alleys of Lynn might not be as grand, but along them ran my own person memories. These people were friendly enough, but they were strangers and spoke in strange dialects. I wanted to hear Norfolk accents, I wanted to meet people I’d been to school with and that I shared common memories with.

I don’t really know how long I sat there, but eventually, I sighed, got up and headed back to the house. I noticed that the light was still on in Ruby’s study, and decided that I’d leave her to her own devices. She seemed totally at home in this City, and was, I knew, in the process of putting down even more roots. I felt homeless, and more alone than I had for many years.


About Derek Knight

Transplanted Brit, now in the US Mid West | Writer, blogger & author | passionate about life | Traveler and home body | | | |
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