Today was the day! Larry would be back at the Writer’s Café, and they needed to get there to meet him.
Raissa and Pauline had been exploring their newfound sisterhood. They spent many a day talking to their mother about their family history. Having a sister for the first time for both had been a shock, but then again, they sensed a connection all along. Their eyes were like mood rings, changing in colors and tones. Their introverted personalities rooted in deep thoughts, rarely shared, also seemed to have been passed down.
The beautiful Raissa Maritain was born in Russia and met her true love in Paris at the Sorbonne.
Raissa always held on to her secrets, rarely sharing, but now she believed that they remain secrets until they are ready to be revealed. They had learned of the pain their mother experienced in giving up Pauline for adoption. She had found her faith while waiting for Pauline’s arrival into the world while staying at the convent. Still, the commitment to let Pauline go had been a part of the agreement, one that she had regretted from the moment they took Pauline away on her day of birth. The story would only repeat itself years later when she once again would be expecting the arrival of Raissa. She would never forget the discussion with Theodore that she would not give this baby up for adoption. Theodore agreeing yet she always knew he was a drifter and free-spirit and would ultimately bring up Raissa alone. Her name would be of a poet that she had studied in school. The beautiful Raissa Maritain was born in Russia and met her true love in Paris at the Sorbonne. Certainly, with a name like that, she would be setting her up to be unique. She told Raissa of the story many times, leaving out the part about her father, being a writer, that somehow, she had always thought that she would again meet, fall in love, marry, and be a family. Alas, that would never now happen, but to see her two daughters become friends forever joined was something that brought special happiness that was immeasurable.
It was six a.m. when I arrived at the village. It had been a year since I met everyone at The Writers Café to lay Theodore to rest. Just like then the weather was harsh, and a cold rain was blowing up Mallory Street from the bay between Saint Simon and Jekyll Island. You could barely see the pier at the end of the street. The wipers could not keep up with the torrential rains. The winds thrashed with a fury and limited what you could see. I parked my old 49 Ford in front of The Writers Café and sat staring at the darkened building. Pauline had started the remodeling and restoration of the café and I was not quite ready to see the changes.
It was built in 1949 and Theodore had worked there as a waiter as soon as he was old enough to bus tables. He saved enough money to buy the café in 1962, shortly after that when his book got published his story really hit with a brute force. His friendship with Waldo Sexton and their escapades was in all the newspapers in the late 60s. The Bourbon flowed, the music was loud, and love was always a dance away. Then like the sail on his boat the wind failed, and the boat was adrift, lost, and then gone.
I was waiting in the truck for the rain to calm when Jimmy Buffett’s song A Pirate Looks At Forty came on the radio and that song always reached deep within me, so I turn the engine off grabbing my slicker, and out into the night I went. I hesitated a moment before I unlocked the door to the café. I stood there in the foyer, a pause before this new chapter in my life started.
They had accomplished some inspiring work on the café with more windows to lighten it up. The café was in the back facing the water with a large outdoor seating area. There was an area with books catering more to local writers, poets, and storytellers. It had an area off to the side for writing classes and for Authors to do book signings. The Art Gallery was breathtaking. Raissa already had many paintings on display along with some local art. There was a studio upstairs where Raissa could give classes. It was filled with easels, canvas, and art supplies that were for sale. I could not help being inspired as we were making our dreams come true. Near the back wall was a stage where Ricky’s guitars were waiting for him to come and play all those incredible songs he had written since we had come back from Cat Island.
As I walked toward the table where Theodore always sat, I noticed they had kept it as it was. The old oak table was dark with age and the area was like a shrine. Pauline had put some of his books and handwritten stories in frames along the wall. She had taken his letters and had them bound in leather. She had many plank shelves to display his eclectic collection of unopened Bourbon, all small batch and many years old.
I made coffee and sat there for a while. I still remember what he said to me so many year ago as I said goodbye before heading out on the road to play music. He looked up at me and said, “Kid did I ever tell you about the time I sat at a café with Hemingway drinking tequila in Cuba?” I knew that day would be the last time I would ever see him. It truly did turn out to be the last time that I saw Theodore. He would be happy with what we had done to ensure a safe place for future writers, poets, artists, and musicians. We had set up Grant programs and scholarships for the next generations.
I heard a car door slam, and I knew that Raissa and Pauline had pulled up out front and Ricky rolled up on his Harley. After many hugs, smiles, and stories we had an amazing breakfast and sat at Theodore’s table. Finally, Ricky picked up his guitar and played some beautiful music. He walked over to Pauline and they both were smiling. Then Pauline said we have a surprise for all of you. We have something incredibly special we want to tell you, and we hope that you will be as happy as we are. We are getting married here in The Writers Café.
- Part 1 – Writer’s Cafe
- Part 2 – Friends, Color of Sadness
- Part 3 – Long Journey Home
- Part 4 – Bourbon and Barbwire
- Part 5 – The Writer’s Cafe, Lost Manuscript
- Part 6 – The Writer’s Cafe, Pirates, Poets, and Goodbyes
- Part 7 – Sailor’s Sails and The Hermitage
- Part 8 – The Reckoning, Awakening, and Redemption
- Part 9 – Secrets Revealed