It was around 8 hundred hours Japooli had been awake for ages. He was sick and tired of being stuck inside. The rain had stopped, so he went out for a walk. The island was beautiful very lush and green. The trees were in full leaf and the smell of damp woodland made him feel peaceful.
He walked down a small muddy path into the woods taking in the fresh air. He could hear the sea in the distance. Fishermen were singing as they mended their nets. His mind was full of what happened to everyone on the shalapoon. Why had he survived? Japooli just wanted to die! He wanted to be with his family again. He missed them greatly.
As his mind filled with thoughts of his wife and child he started singing a song they used to sing. His eyes filled with tears.
Just then he bumped into a man looking for something. “Hello,” said Japooli. ” Hello.” “Have you lost something?” “I’ve lost someone!” said the man. “Have you seen a woman she’s my servant and has been missing for a few days now?” Japooli looked at him “she can’t have gone far, this island isn’t that big!” “Am sure she’ll turn up! if you see her, come to find me at my clinic.” said the man. “will do!” Japooli said as he walks off. Hmmm, thought Japooli, that must be the Doctor everyone’s been going on about.
Japooli shrugged his shoulders and carried on walking. He was enjoying thoughts of his family. It had been a long time since he permitted himself to think of them. He’d walked through the woods to the other side. Standing on a cliff edge. The view was breathtaking. He longed to share this with his family. Sitting there on the damp ground just letting himself be filled with the memories. He laughed at some, then cried and felt full of rage at what happened. “Why, God Why? Why them and not me! I hate my life. Why didn’t you just let me drown in the sea? Am I such a bad person you allow me to suffer like this?” He then looked to the ground and sobbed.
There was a breeze that passed and in the breeze, Japooli could hear a child’s voice singing. He stopped sobbing and listened. I know that song! he stood up and listened, he could only hear it faintly as the breeze carried it. It was a song he sang to his Daughter! Where was it coming from? He looked and looked. to no avail. Which direction was the wind blowing? He turned and looked in that direction. He could see another small Island cut off by the sea.
It looked like someone lived there. He could make out a small house. Then it was gone, he couldn’t hear the small voice anymore. He just shrugged his shoulders and walked back down through the woods back to the captain’s house. He decided it was just his imagination running wild.
That evening while having food, Japooli asked the captains wife all about the small Island. “why do you wish to know?” she asked. “Well, today I thought I could hear a child singing and it seemed to come from that direction!” She looked at him. “There is a woman and her daughter who live over there. They don’t have much to do with the main Island. You see they arrived as slaves. The man who lived there bought them. They cared for him until he died last year. He left the Island to them in his will.”
Japooli’s mind was racing. ” How long ago did they arrive here?” Oh let me think? Around 5 years ago.” “Really!”Japooli was trying not to sound too excited. His mind was racing. Could it be? It was my song! He decided The next day he’d go look on the Island.
He could see the captain’s wife looking at him. “Is everything alright?” “yes, everything is fine. I’m tired from my walk today that’s all. Just one more small thing?” “Yes?” she replied, hoping to get some juicy gossip. “what are the tide times?” “You’ll find them down by the dockside” she replied. “Thank you,” he said “Goodnight” and With that, he retired to bed.
He went over and over it in his mind. I know that’s my song, but how? How could that little child know it? He didn’t dare think what he wanted to! Tossing and turning all night! Praying Lord. please don’t build my hopes up to just disappoint me! please, please let it be! I know what I saw? could I have been wrong? Was it my family I saw hanging there?.”
By the time the sun came up. Japooli was dressed and down by the docks. The tides were out at 9 hundred hours. He paced back and forth. Praying Lord, please let it be! I can’t take any more! I need to know!
The fishermen had started looking at him. He needed to distract them so he started acting like the fool again. They all laughed and went about their business. Once all the boats had left for the day. The tide started to recede. Japooli, watched as a path slowly appeared over to the Island. He wanted to run, yet didn’t want to look suspicious, So he walked.
No one was around, he walked up to the small but beautiful house and knocked on the door! “who is it?” said a woman’s voice. “Excuse me. I’m from the island and looking for work! Do you need any help?”
The door opened slightly. A woman’s face appeared. ” Your Majesty?” – “Japooli?”
Quickly grabbing his arm she pulled him into the house. “what are you doing here?” They both asked at the same time.
They hugged one another happy to see a familiar face. The queen explained what had happened to her. She told him all about the doctor and how this little girl and her mother had helped her.
Japooli’s mind was in bits, he’d come over expecting to find his family and found the queen. it just throw him!
“You say a little girl and her mother helped you?” “Yes, Japooli, they have just gone out for water, they’ll be back soon.” He fell to the floor sobbing. “what’s wrong Japooli?” “Oh! your majesty he cried, I’m so happy to see you, but?” He then explained everything that had happened. How his family was slain. How he became Japooli. How he’d been washed up here in a barrel from the shalapoon. The queen hugged him. “I’m sorry for your loss Japooli.” “No.” He cried, “I’m sorry for your loss your majesty.”
“My family aren’t gone Japooli, I can feel them alive. God has sent you here for a reason.” “I wished I knew what that reason was.” Just then the door opened and in walked the little girl. Looking at each other he recognised her. Leaping to his feet with shouts of joy! “My dear baby girl, Gracie!” He picked her up and hugged her so tight.! Never wanting to let her go again. “Daddy!” She shouted, “You’re here, you’re alive.”
The door opens once more and in walks his wife carrying water. dropping it on the floor, she runs to him. He scoops her up in his arms. “Am I dreaming?” she cries. “Is that really you!” He shouts with joy “Yes! Yes! my love, it is!” They hugged and cried for what seemed like an age. How could this be? He’d grieved for so long. How could he have been so wrong!