Instinctively he slowed as he came to the crest of the road. Charles looked out over a body of water – Back Cove, there is was. He trembled. He eased off the brake and allowed the car to coast down a slight decline that led to the cove. He came to a fork in the road; one led to the east of the cove and the other bordered the north.
He stopped at the fork. “I’ve been here,” he murmured. “It is not my imagination. I’ve been here,” he repeated firmly.
He turned right and slowly moved along the cove. Three small fishing boats were anchored in the middle of the cove. He drove to a small gravel parking spot overlooking the cove. He parked and eased out of the car.
He walked down hill along the road. He stopped before it declined further.
“At the bottom of this hill is a dock and a shanty is on the dock,” Charles said quietly.
He walked to the bottom of the hill and looked to his left. There was a yellow shanty attached to a dock. He walked on to the grass and to the water’s edge.
“I’ve sat on that dock,” Charles said. “I’ve been on a boat at that dock.”
He turned around. Houses dotted the roadways and were tucked into the hillsides. He walked across the road to the nearest house. It was a single story well kept home. There was a bicycle in the driveway. ‘A young family,’ he thought.
He walked up the steps and onto the porch. He knocked.
A slender woman in her late 40s came to the door. Her skin was dark and leather-like as if she worked in the sun. Her eyes opened widely as if surprised when she looked at him. She held her hand to her chest and took a step back.
“I’m sorry,” Charles said. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
“I, I just w… was expecting someone else,” she said.
“I’m sorry to intrude unannounced,” Charles said, “but I was hoping you might be able to help me.”
“I’ll try,” she said. “How can I help?”
“Are you aware of a boy disappearing from here many years ago?” Charles said, “probably before you were born.”
Her face seemed as if frozen. “No,” she said suddenly at ease. “No, I don’t”
“Is there a neighbor perhaps older than you that has lived her a long time and might be able to recall something like that.”
“I don’t think there is anyone that can help you,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
Charles smiled politely. “Thanks for the trouble, ma’am.” Charles turned away as the lady shut the door.
Charles reached the road.
“Sir, sir.” the woman came down the porch steps. “Can I ask why you are interested.”
“It’s a long story, ma’am,” Charles said, “and a very improbable story. I’m too tired and weary to tell it.” Charles walked away.
He walked further and turned back to look to the east. Tucked into a slope on the east side of the cove stood a home. “I know that house,” he said. He scanned the landscape trying to capture long lost memories.
“Excuse me, excuse me,” a woman’s voice from behind him said. Another woman slightly older but very similar in looks walked curiously toward him. She forced a smile. “Can I help you?”
“Sure,” Charles said. He pointed to the house across the cove. “Who used to live in that house?”
“Why do you want to know?” she said.
“It’s difficult to explain,” Charles said, “but I’ve come a long way. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia and I think I’ve been here before. If you could just tell me who lived in that house it may help me.”
“Is your name Andre?” she said curiously.