Sail Forth – Bronwyn Hughes

I was enraged with myself for acting so perky after it happened again yesterday. My father-in-law left us alone together in his conference room while he prepared a check for the unveiling celebration. Coach Kent grabbed me between my legs, pinning me against the heavy, wooden law office doors. When Dwight Sr. returned, I laughed nervously like nothing had happened. I took the check and slipped out as he and Coach Kent sat down to discuss the order of events for the ceremony.

If I blew the whistle, would my daughter believe I hadn’t invited the coach’s attention? She hero-worshiped him and, I suspected, also had a huge crush. I told myself to forget about it. Today was his last day in Mobjack. 

As the sailing team’s communications mom, I often composed my text blasts in the early hours when I couldn’t sleep—but I never allowed myself to press “send” before seven o’clock. 

 

Good morning, everyone! 

Join us today at 10:00 

for the unveiling of our sailing champions’ mural

and to wish Coach Kent farewell

Cookies and punch to follow on the Village Green!

 

I forgot my rule and, bwoop, sent it to everyone at 3:37 a.m. Realizing it a second too late, I threw my phone across the room into the couch. After fishing it out of the crack in the cushions, I buried my face in a throw pillow and drifted off. 

Summer solstice rays jolted me awake. I would be late for work if I didn’t hurry. Passing Amber’s bedroom at the top of the stairs, I caught sight of her America’s Cup poster signed by Coach Kent, surrounded by sailing trophies and colorful burgees from the yacht clubs where she and her teammates had competed. 

Before Amber’s senior year, she had been a quiet loner without many friends or interests. At sixteen, she spent her free time in our neighbor’s yard, playing with their neglected farm animals. When my ex-husband, Dwight, would try to talk to her about colleges, Amber would remind us, “College isn’t for everyone, ya know.” 

Amber’s life changed overnight when Coach Kent recognized the skipper in her. Her confidence snapped open like a billowing spinnaker. After winning her first regatta, she burst into our bedroom with the news, “Coach Kent thinks I might be a good candidate for a sailing scholarship to college.” Elated by our daughter’s new spirit, Dwight and I had sex that night for the first time in forever. But it wasn’t enough to save our marriage. 

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