The old, brick lighthouse was no longer taller than the trees. They had dwarfed the lighthouse for years, eventually hindering its usefulness to boaters. The lighthouse was on a small island that was only accessible via a concrete bridge with red, iron handrails.
The crooked, leafless trees encouraged the local teenagers to come up with ghost stories about the lighthouse. Crossing the bridge and touching the lighthouse became a rite of passage for them. The most courageous of them even tried to venture inside. But upon hearing about the vandalism they performed inside, the city council quickly put a stop to that by barricading the door.
So now, the only person who ventured to the island was a young woman and her journal. She often sought refuge at the lighthouse, using it as her escape from the real world for a few minutes.
The woman thought she was alone, not that it mattered if she wasn’t, when she opened up her blanket and set it on the dead leaves. She placed her bag on the blanket and sat down next to it. And then she leaned against the cool yellow brick. She took out her journal and began to write.
The leaves crunched under his boots. He had spent all afternoon on the small island, photographing every inch of it for the realtor. The final thing he had to photograph was the lighthouse; inside and out.
He set up his tripod and positioned the camera to capture the lighthouse, the bridge, and several of the trees. Once he was happy with the photo, he moved a few steps closer to the lighthouse to emphasize it more. That’s when he saw her sitting next to the lighthouse.
Fantastic. He thought when he saw her. Now I’ll have to take that one again. He grabbed his camera and tripod and walked over to her. He tried to make as much noise as he could so he wouldn’t startle her, but her focus was impressive and she didn’t look up until he was right in front of her.
“Excuse me, miss,” he began. “ I don’t mean to bother you, but I’m photographing the lighthouse and I was wondering if you could please move for five minutes.”
She looked up at him and he looked down at her. He held out his hand to help her up, but she ignored it.
“Why are you photographing the lighthouse?” She asked while she stood up. She picked up her bag and slung it over her shoulder.
“It’s going up for sale,” he answered as he watched her.
She turned to face him abruptly. “Excuse me?”
“Yeah, the whole island is on the market. The city is tired of maintaining the property.”
“They can’t do that.”
“Apparently they can, and they will,” he answered. “Why don’t you buy it?”
“If you love it so much, why don’t you buy it?” He repeated.
“I can barely make rent, and you want me to buy an island with a lighthouse? Where would I sleep?”
“Relax, it was just a thought,” he said. “I didn’t mean anything by the suggestion.” They stood and looked at each other for a few seconds.
“Well, get on with it then,” she said. She followed him away from the lighthouse so she wouldn’t be in the way while he photographed it.
“I’m all finished outside,” he said. “Thank you for being patient.”
“You’re welcome,” she replied as she set up her blanket on the ground again.
He walked up to the lighthouse to unlock the padlock on the barricade. He looked at her again, as she was just getting settled on the blanket.
“Um, would you like to come inside with me?” He asked.
She looked up at him again. “No thank you,” she said. “I’ve got some work to do here.”
“If you’re sure,” he said. “It was nice to meet you.” He opened the door and went inside.