Levi watched the woman walk away with a sigh. He’d enjoy watching her rounded hips climb the path, but what was the use? Clearly, she wanted nothing to do with him. Turning to stare at the water, he watched the early morning light slide across the lake. Shoving both hands in his pockets, he pondered his gentle rejection. He’d never earned a reputation as a charmer, which he just amply demonstrated.
Squatting near the edge of the dock, he grabbed the rope tethering the rowboat to the dock and pulled it closer. He might as well go for a row, not as if anything else was going to happen this morning. He awkwardly lowered himself to the dock keeping his left leg out straight. His mysterious woman didn’t even know that combat turned him into a cripple, but she still passed on him. Putting all his weight on his real leg, he eased himself into the boat. Some of the amputees at the rehab assured him that his new leg would be easier to use than his remaining one, but he doubted it.
What was he thinking, flirting with a woman? It would only last until she got a glance at the straps attaching his new leg to his stump. Then, she’d disappear with some mumbled excuse that she had to look for her dog or something. The thought surprised a harsh bark of laughter. Well, no matter, the woman already used that excuse.
The rope came loose from the pier after he flicked the rope a couple times, releasing it from its hook. His left hand steadied his balance as he reached for an oar. Slick cool wood rested under his fingers. The slats he and his uncle bent together to shape the vessel. He never appreciated what he had then. Wisdom always came too late.