Chapter Twenty One

It was dawn when he recognised the familiar beaches of his village. In the distance, he could make out the fishing fleet going about their business.

He beamed when he caught sight of a burly man moving about one of the larger boats conducting his crew with the utmost efficiency. Joma headed toward the chief.

The fishermen noticed Joma’s craft. At first, there was confusion – his boat looked foreign compared to the skiffs of his village. Though, upon recognising the young man on board, cheers rung out on the open waters.

Men blew their signal horns, usually reserved for a sighting – like a pod of dolphins. Boats closed in and shepherded Joma toward his father’s larger craft.

“Good to see you lad! It hasn’t been the same without you,” Manny called excitedly.

“Good to see you too Manny!” Joma replied, adjusting his sails one last time.

His father, recognising the commotion, called a stop to proceedings on his boat. The crew threw a rope to Joma, allowing him to secure his boat. Joma clambered across and was met with a barrage of handshakes and slaps on the back.

“My boy!” his father exclaimed, wiping away tears.

“Father…” Joma said as he was swept up in a bear hug. He tried to say more but the chief squeezed the remaining air from his lungs.

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