The Dividing Tide – Episode 40

“You’re leaving? I’m sorry to hear that, lad. Just when I’d got used to having you about the place!”

Garren and Annie were sitting in the kitchen with its imposing black-leaded range and stone floor.

The morning light had not yet cut across the window sill, and the glow of the fire gave the room a cosy air.

“Had enough of mine work, I suppose,” Annie continued. “Ah, well, it doesn’t suit every man.”

Garren pushed away his breakfast plate and leaned forwards to place his elbows on the well-scrubbed table.

He glanced at the small carriage clock that stood on the dresser. He had another five minutes before he’d need to be off to work.

“It’s not that, Annie,” he said, “well, not exactly. The work’s right enough and I can’t complain at the pay. It’s more than I was earning catching fish, at any rate.”


He ran his fingers through his hair. There was no getting anything past Annie, so he might as well tell her the truth.

“It’s not home. And, well, there’s this girl,” he added ruefully.

“Ah.” He felt Annie’s gaze settle more intently on him.

“Back in September I was on the point of asking her to wed me, but then her relatives sent for her to come and live with them in St Austell.

“They’re gentry, way above the likes o’ me, and now she’s become one of them. The truth is, I’ve lost her,” he finished.

Sadness swept over him, but within it was a knot of anger. She’d gone without even saying goodbye!

He pictured Jenna as she’d been the last time he’d seen her. She’d hardly seemed the same girl he’d known and loved for so many years.

When she’d first left, Garren had thought the locket she’d left behind for him was a token of her constancy.

He lifted his fingers to feel its hard round shape beneath his shirt.

Now it only served to inflame him, for it seemed to represent the gap that now yawned between them. They couldn’t be further apart if she were a princess and he a pauper.

“It’s not worked out with this girl?” Annie’s eyes were keen in her wrinkled face.

He shook his head.

“Ah, lad, I’m right sorry to hear it. Life can be hard indeed at times.” She paused.

“What’ll you do when you get back to Bidreath if the fishing troubles are still going on?”

He thought how much he’d missed the feel of the wind in his hair and the taste of salt spray on his lips.

“I’ll just have to swallow my pride and go to work for the seiners, Annie. What’s pride, after all, to a hungry man?”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.