“When you to drop me in the nowhere?” Kolfifa asked one night as we were digging into a stir-fry made by Dominique. The whole crew looked up a bit shocked.
“ma?” What? I asked, not really processing that he spoke English. He stood up and jumped onto the table in front of me, squatting down and staring sharply.
“I say, when you to drop me in the nowhere. That your job, no?” He asked slower. I exchanged glances with Marlow who was sitting right next to me, pulling off his green hat. I looked back up at Kolfifa.
“Ani rotzah l’echol lifnei anachnu l’daber” I want to eat before we are to speak. I said in choppy Hebrew. He slammed his foot and grabbed my bowl of stir fry.
"Veh ani rotzei l’daber al zeh achshav,” and I want to speak about it now. He said between clenched teeth. That asshole stole my stir fry. The answer to his question would have probably been in his favor. Well, I didn’t know that for sure but the captain had wanted to do the right thing for some reason but now I wanted to throw him overboard. I pushed my chair back and stood up, drawing a knife.
“I haven’t had a decent meal like this in three days and you just grabbed my stir fry.” I hissed. Now he stood and drew a knife. Fucking pirates.
"I want answer” he replied. “ani rotzeh aleh achshav” I want them now.
“yoter me-uchar” later. I raised the knife. It was as if the ceiling, walls, and floor all held their breath and the crew stared silent. We stared at eachother, stubborn, unwilling. I wanted to eat. I was really hungry. He then dropped his knife, so I did too. Then it happened. There was a clatter as my metal bowl clanged to the floor, the food spilling everywhere. No leftovers were in the pot back on the stove. I stared at the mess, the delicious mess. No more food. I looked up at Kolfifa who stared at me cold and hard. Fuck that guy.
My body jumped forward and I tackled him to the floor, holding his goddamn monkey ears and I left crossed him in the cheek. “BEN ZONA!” I yelled but then my sight blurred as my back was slammed against the floor, strong hands wrapped around my neck. I managed my hands up on his head and on the first feel of dirty black hair, I pulled. I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time but once his face was close to mine, I just bit at whatever was there and a huge yell busted into my ears mixed with background laughter from the crew. Fighting tactics, guys, fighting tactics. What was that? His nose? Yes, it was definitely his nose. I bit harder because his hands were still around my neck. I started to feel dizzy and my head was throbbing but I kept biting. Why? Because I only got two bites of that stir fry and it was delicious. He just had to ruin them, didn’t he? Pfft. Asshole. I then felt a hard hand slam across my cheek and my mouth let go. Fuck. My sight dulled and numbed, I kicked around and punched randomly unsure of where to go with it. My knife, it was across the floor. Wait, my gun. I jammed my knee up and my hand down to get at the gun in my boot when suddenly, I felt Kolfifa’s gaunt figure roll off me. My sight regained as my finger rested on the trigger. I’d had enough of this bullshit. He was cupping his balls….did I accidentally knee him? Been doing that a lot lately. I thought about Johannes for a second, looking at the man in pain.
“sharmulta” He cursed, I straddled him and jammed the cold barrel into his forehead.
“matai ani omeret-“
“Ara wait, the captain’s here.”Someone said and I snapped my head to the left as moonlight streamed into the galley from the open doorway. There stood the dark silhouette of the captain, only dimly illuminated by the gas light in the kitchen at the far end. The young girl walked forward and the surrounding circle of men parted. There were snickers from within the group. The sixteen year old captain stared at us for a long few moments. She didn’t need to ask her question. I knew what she was asking.
“He pissed me off. I haven’t eaten in two to three days and he gets pissy ‘cause he doesn’t get what he wants so he trashed my food. There isn’t any left over.” I explained. “We’re supposed to finish him anyways, why are we wait-“
“Shut your mouth, Arabella, I’m thinking” She interrupted me and I went silent, my gun pressing harder into his head. Was I really the one in trouble for this?
“You serious?” I asked,
“No, are you mental?”
“Bells shut it.”
“No, seriously, are you bloody mad”
Silence. “Kolfifa, you’ll make my first mate dinner after this childishness. Ara you’re going to translate that and then-“
“I speak English” Kolfifa said,
“WILL YOU LET ME TALK?” silence. “Ara, buy him a whore when we land.”
“Fuck that, captain,” I scoffed.
“If he doesn’t want a whore then give him whatever. Just repay him in some way. This is no way to welcome your new crewmate.” She ordered.
“Crew mate?” about five of us said all at once. Dominique stepped forward.
“Il ne parle pas anglais.”She said. I looked back at her.
“Toi aussi mais ce n’est pas un problème » I reminded her. She shrugged. I looked back at the captain.
« I’ll repay him by teaching English. How does that sound?”