>NEVER A FRONTWARD STEP, PART THREE

>I looked at her face underneath her hat and she was predictably sea-worn, lines driven into creases with salt spray air. I don’t know why, but I was expecting a hidden beauty, as I thought befitted a fisherwoman-out-of-water such as she. But she was no hidden witness, no glamouress who had turned her back on life—here was a woman that had fished for as long as she could thread a hook.

“Beautiful night,” I offered.

“And how on earth do you know that?” said the fisherwoman. “You can’t even see it.”

“I suppose that’s right,” I answered.

I spent time with her there for just over half an hour, neither of us really talking, but somehow not letting silence fall too far between us. Her name was Yvette, I discovered, and Yvette’s line did not twitch even once for the entire time I sat next to her. I told her as much about myself as I felt comfortable doing, and then I got up to go. Just as I was leaving, she turned to me and said I had a flower in my shoe. It was then I foolishly gave it to her. She smiled, and it changed her face, in the way the sun can change a horizon. This is how I drowned in love with Yvette Henry.

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