View from an Island

By Greg Doolan

“I hate my bum,” Jane thought, as she sat on the deck of the Dunk Island jetty café, looking back to the mainland where Mission Beach should have been visible had the monsoonal rains not been obscuring it in a grey veil.

“And I hate this place. I should have stayed at Mission Beach where at least I could have had some peace and quiet. But no.”

Instead of the Island paradise she’d hopped for, Jane found herself rubbing elbows with beer-swilling idiots with names like Davo and Bazza, and groups of predatory, skinny girls.

There had been one nice boy at the night before at an icebreaking party. He’d been working on the water taxi helping to ferry Jane and the other backpacking lemmings from Mission Beach across to Dunk. He was young and fit and must have stayed on for the party after the last ferry run of the day.

He had stood at the bar scanning the party with his eyes and Jane waited for his gaze to fall on her, but they always passed by without pause. Later, as Jane sat alone nursing a brightly coloured cocktail, she spotted ferry boy heading off to the beach with two scrawny drunk girls – “the cows”.

“I wish my tits were smaller too,” she sighed at the memory, draining the last of her pink Bacardi Breezer as the first drop of rain began to fall. “I should have listened to Bridgette”.

Across the water, Mission Beach was again visible as the storm cell eased and started to move quickly south and east towards Dunk Island.

**********

Bridgette was back in the pool as soon as the downpour cleared and quickly set up shop again on the sundeck, ordering a champagne from the poolside bar.

Other guests were also finding their way to the pool and to Bridgette. People gravitated to her. She wasn’t particularly tall or glamorous or thin. She was 42, French and carried her body with the same confidence. She liked people and had a way of making otherwise complete strangers think within minutes that they were old friends. Jane had been no different. Bridgette had found her a sweet girl, but shy and self-conscious.

Dunk’s party atmosphere had suited Bridgette, but she’d warned Jane against going there. It was a nice enough a place, but a single, introverted girl like Jane would be on a hiding to nothing . Dunk Island would never suit Jane until she stopped worrying about what everyone else thought of her and found comfort and confidence within her own skin.

A polite cough caught Bridgette’s attention. She’d been staring out across to where Dunk Island would have been had the rain from the tropical storm not been masking it.

“Your champagne, Bridgette?” the barman said.

“Oui, yes. Merci. I forgot where I was for a moment, sorry” Bridgette said with a warm laugh.

“Just thinking about a friend who needs to make peace with her bum”.

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