Jenna has always wanted to be a pirate. Being a nurse, doctor or teacher, or even a salesperson doesn’t seem remotely promising or pleasing. She was raised on swashbuckler films. Her dad loved high-seas adventures. Having served in the Navy for 20 years may have contributed to that, or perhaps it was that his father had been an East Coast fisherman. He’d left the Navy proudly as a decorated officer . . . with colon cancer . . . an enemy he vowed he’d defeat. He gave the battle his all.
His passion will be forever instilled in her, even if water fascinates Jenna as much as it terrifies. She’d nearly drowned when she was five and the memory of gulping pails of salt water and sand particles, and envisioning her small slim body being dragged by tenacious currents out to sea, had never completely faded.
Fortunately, that frightening recollection doesn’t deter her from embracing water. Maybe she’ll never submerge her head—that’s way too phobia-inducing to do—but she is one heckuva dog-paddler. Can’t float, mind you. Sinks when she tries, as if that childhood memory is perched on her chest or back like a 250-pound anchor.
Creative writing and theater classes have come along, which enables her to pursue her desire, if only in fantasy. And having those flights of fancy reinforced by Deppe and the Pirates franchise? Heaven!
Jenna dreams of winning the lottery (don’t we all?). When she does, she’ll have a small castle constructed on one of the islands. Nothing ostentatious. Something with a couple of turrets and a small drawbridge. And a few cannons would look nice strategically placed in a spacious garden.
An eye patch would be cool, but would probably grow wearisome after a while. On the other hand, a peg leg or parrot on the shoulder could make for a cool fashion statement; she’d have to give that some thought.
Making the career transition to a 21st-century pirate will prove challenging, but she has no doubt she’ll get there. Okay, realistically speaking, being a true pirate—not one of the scavenging scabs navigating the waters off Somalia—doesn’t seem overly probable in today’s world. But if you keep the faith, it could happen . . . couldn’t it? And she has time to make it happen. After all, Jenna’s only fourteen.