‘I definitely didn’t deserve this,’ Jack said.
Jack is always the first one to get into the dinghy. It’s just the way we do it. Jack jumps in, pulls Edna round. Then Lu gets in and then Delph and finally me with all the bags, shoes etc. It’s Quest protocol.
Friday afternoon and we were on our way to town. The amazingly lovely pharmacist next to Jordan’s Supermarket has a bumper load of stuff for us. Refills of amoxicillin, erythromycin, various lotions and potions etc. No next day Church Surgery appointment for us. In Martinique too, we’d have to pay and see a doctor before we got this stuff. We’ve scoped out the nicest pharmacist in Speightstown instead. He is awesome. Our order was waiting.
Then Jack jumped in the dinghy as normal and sploosh – jumped right out of it. We watched in shock as he tried to catch himself on Quest’s swim ladder. His little waterproof bag with the phones and money was still wrapped around his shoulder.
He nodded. ‘I’m fine.’ Even though he smacked his foot against the ladder. I knew he was trying to be brave.
Somewhere along the way Jack had taken his sunglasses and cap off – which had still remained on his head when he fell. By the time we were ready to go again, they’d completely disappeared. Like freakishly. They couldn’t have blown off without us noticing – could they? It wasn’t even that windy. Ahh, the things that fall into a disappearing hole. Gone.
Hence we had a very mournful captain. Lost his favourite sunnies. Old but useful hat.
That night White Arrow had invited us to theirs for a special meal. A special ‘thanks for the diving’ meal. They didn’t have to; it’s been Jack’s pleasure and all of ours. White Arrow though, well they are one classy operation.
It was restaurant quality. Piña coladas with ice cream for starters (starters!). Little boys sausages with ketchup. A table set for a Valentine’s meal. Frangipani flowers. Salad with paper thin oranges. Two types of chicken. Potato salad to die for. Well known fact that the Ormerods can eat their feelings.
By the time dessert arrived, even we were heavy-lidded. It was one of those puke to make room to eat again kind of moments. Don’t worry! None of us Questies did. Just sayin’.
Peach cobbler sponge and more ice cream. Then we all headed up to the cockpit to lie down under the full moon breeze.
We explained what happened earlier – how Jack had lost his hat and sunglasses. In the grief of it, we hadn’t gotten to the pharmacist. Jack had gone back to bed and I’d spent the afternoon snorkelling the anchorage in case they’d sunk down to the bottom. Slim chances with floating sunglasses! The girls had watched Girls’ Trip. Since they never sacrifice happiness.
We recounted the story to our hosts. We explained how Jack had been understandably mournful. How he’d said he hadn’t deserved it. Shona rubbed her index and thumb together. ‘You know what this is? It’s the world’s smallest violin.’
Gavin did the same with both hands. ‘And you know what this is? It’s the world’s smallest orchestra.’
Yep. Couldn’t have got better.