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Live, Love, Lose - 2. Chapter 2

Hello everyone!

So I hope you liked the first chapter :)

Before I forget, for your information it won't be a 'love at first sight story', it'll be a slow burn story, so it will take time before anything happens (I don't like it when it goes too fast).

Here you go with the second chapter :)

Please don't hesitate to comment to let me know what you think of the story so far. Comments always make my day 🥰

Stay safe and take care ❤️

Night soon began to fall. Ever since they set sail, Karl had been leaning on the railing of the boat, staring at the horizon, a pensive look plastered on his face.

There were other men beside himself, including the boatman who had talked to his father, but they were on the other side of the boat, chatting, even laughing from time to time, probably telling funny stories.

At some point, the boatman came to join him. Karl watched him in silence as he heard his footsteps, too distracted by his own thoughts to pay much attention.

“I guess it mustn’t be easy to be separated from your family in such circumstances.”

The man’s words interrupted the brooding silence. Karl regarded him closely for the first time. He looked as if he was in his late thirties, he had sandy hair and grey eyes.

He wanted to try to comfort the boy in his own way, but Karl didn’t feel like talking to another human being right now, especially not about that.

It was easy for the boatman to figure that out.

“You know, you’ll really have to toughen up if you want to survive on your own in a foreign country. I’m not saying that you are too weak or anything, so no offense. But I know for a fact that we tend to be very easily overwhelmed by our emotions, and this can be a real problem sometimes. I just want you to be aware that we won’t help you once we land in England. I mean we won’t stay with you to watch you.”

“I know,” Karl replied stoically after a few seconds of silence.

Slowly, laboriously, Karl drew himself up, removing his arms from the railing. He turned around fully facing the other man.

“How long will it take us to get to England?” He asked.

He had never travelled so far in his life before. He had only once visited his eldest sister who was living in Copenhagen with her husband and children. His elder brother had left home to move there but later than their sister. He supposed, living in a big city was much better than staying on the farm in the countryside. A place no one knew about, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

“It will depend on the weather. But I can already tell you that it won’t just take one day. So I hope you’re not seasick.”

“I’ve already been on a boat before. So I should be fine.”

“Good to hear.”

They stood together in silence once more, the only sound the wind and the waves.

“There is a cabin that was prepared for you if you want to get some sleep. I think you’ll need it,’ the boatman said.

“Thank you. But I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight,” Karl answered, in a low voice.

“Well, it’s up to you. I just wanted to let you know that you can go there anytime.”

Karl nodded, “Thanks.”

“Have you had something to eat?”

Karl shook his head. “I’m not really hungry either…”

“You won’t make it if you starve yourself.”

Karl glanced at the sea.

“I’m not hungry tonight, but I’ll eat something tomorrow.”

“Up to you. I won’t force you to eat if you don’t feel like it.”

Karl fell silent.

“Well, enjoy your night then,” the boatman added.

Karl nodded before the man returned to join the others. Alone, he resumed his contemplation, watching the horizon. He looked up, peering into the sky. A sky full of stars with the moon shining brightly, so much so that it was reflecting itself on the dark water. It was very peaceful.

For a brief moment Karl could almost forget what was happening to him.

He couldn’t believe it. What was he going to do in a foreign land without his parents? He had always depended on them since his birth. And that goodbye with his father… His mother had been too upset to even bid him goodbye…

His hands tightened on the railing as he bit the inside of his lower lip. He couldn’t leave like that. What about his brother and sister? Yeah, that was it. He had to go back and see them. He couldn’t leave without bidding them goodbye. He couldn’t leave without knowing how they were. He was sure they could find a solution together. They could put him up for as long as he would need.

He made his way towards the boatman.

“Hey! Bring me back on shore. I’ve gotta go to Copenhagen.”

The men surrounding him all stared at him as if he were crazed, silence filling the air.

The boatman frowned.

“What are you saying now? There’s no way I can do such a thing. Go back to contemplating the sky.”

He had accepted to go only because he hadn’t wanted to confront his father after the way he had spoken to his mother, but his place wasn’t on this boat with these men.

“No! I won’t stand here uselessly to go to a country I don’t even know! I need to go to see my siblings. I’m sure they can help me.”

“We’re not going back. And I don’t want to get into an argument right now. So calm down, please.”

Karl clenched his jaw. Now for the first time he was getting tired of always being told what to do without being asked for his opinion beforehand. He wasn’t a dummy anyone could drag here and there as they pleased.

“How could you accept to do this in the first place anyway? Did my father pay you to take me away?”

Nothing happened for a while and Karl was feeling hot. The boatman approached him until he was close enough to feel his breath on his skin, but Karl didn’t flinch.

“Listen son, I was charged to go to England with this boat, so we’re going to England, whether you like it or not. It’s no time for rebellion. How do you think your father would react if he saw you back on shore? And how would you get to Copenhagen? It would take you days. So think before speaking and you won’t get into trouble.”

Karl’s fist curled into a ball. What could he do now? If he made any more trouble, they would probably end up tying him up to make him calm down…

He looked down as his jaw unclenched. The boatman was right. He couldn’t do anything alone.

He sighed as he murmured an apology and went back to his previous spot.

He was no intelligent young man. He was still a child who needed his parents to live his life.

They had always provided him with everything, so how could his father think he could manage on his own?

He sighed. He could only wait now.

****

The crossing lasted two and a half days. Karl was under the impression it was much longer. Maybe because he was impatient to discover England.

As they were nearing land, Karl went to see the boatman who was actually the captain of the ship and whose name was Artur.

“When are we going to get there?” He inquired.

“Don’t be so impatient. We’ll get there in an hour or so. We’ll land in Hull.”

“Hull?”

Karl had never heard this name before.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And what am I supposed to do there?” Karl asked him.

“I don’t know. Remember that I told you we wouldn’t stay with you. We can’t. Your father was the one to decide to send you there after all. He didn’t tell me anything precise about what you should do once you got there.”

“Is it big? Is it a city or a town?”

“It’s a port city. It’s not the biggest one but it’s not the smallest one either.”

This piece of information didn’t help Karl… He started thinking seriously about what he should do once he set foot on English soil.

“Your father should have planned your departure much more carefully. I don’t mean to criticize him or anything, but it was really decided in a rush, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, I guess so…” he replied thoughtfully.

“Can’t blame him though. We live on an isolated island and it’s not as if he could have planned what just happened. And he just wanted to protect you. It’s something that any good father would do.”

Karl didn’t say anything. He guessed the man was right. Still, that wasn’t helping him any better…

“Do you know why they did that?”

That was the real disadvantage of living in an isolated place where you did nothing but farm; not knowing what was happening in the outside world. He had been living in a bubble for the last seventeen years of his life. And because of that, Karl had never had the chance to get a proper education.

He was just a poor farm boy.

“Because Hitler is a crazy madman, and a tyrant that wants to take over the whole world to impose his bloody ideology.”

Of course, his father and mother at least knew who the Nazis were, they weren’t completely ignorant; he should have known. But they kept their son in the dark, certainly deeming he didn’t need to trouble his head with such things, at least that’s what he presumed.

“What ideology?”

Artur could clearly see the boy had no clue what he was talking about.

“He wants to eliminate every person he doesn’t consider as “pure”.”

“Pure?”

“Yes, “pure”, it means people who are a part of the Aryan race. Basically, the Aryans are people just like you. Tall, physically fit, pale skin, not disabled, and blond with blue eyes.”

Karl was left speechless by the man’s answer.

“I guess you understand better now why your father sent you away so hurriedly,” he added after a few moments of silence.

Of course, it all made sense to the boy now.

He just wished his parents could have left with him.

Copyright © 2021 LittleCherryBlossom26; All Rights Reserved.
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A nicely written brief description of what would be a tense journey for Karl, I hope he fares well on reaching England.

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I am glad that this trip is quickly over.  I do agree with the boat captain that Karl's father should have taken the time to better plan and explain things to Karl.

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