It was that time of the year where people get sticky and bolsted with festive cheer. The colours of the day were red and white, not my favourite ones but they'd do. People were drumming themselves into a joyous mood, but it wasn't for all of us. I liked the spirit of the holidays, they give so much cheer to the young ones. The older ones, including me, checked out of the year weeks ahead and were just on auto pilot doing stuff that we ought to do, but really if you had something good to plan it would be a few months prior. The only things I knew were not ones for the season, but it could always be a better tomorrow. :)
We kept in touch, and from a distance sometimes I monitored her progress. She was happy to let it be, our friendship was set and it was a time for unwinding for the mercurial woman. The person within always chased for something, a goal, a person, an objective, an item, and it was not difficult to apply that to other things judiciously. It is improbable that I would stand still, and would rather row backwards for that sort of experience if need be. It was not certain though that either of us were the lesser, and the other the gift. I was trained in intellect, and she had a knack of people. In a world of chaos, those two were distinct traits, and not one was lesser until proven, and even so, it must be done over and over again, just like a day's routine. :)
It was the calm of the inevitable that took us the distance for that journey to land. We were hungry, though not too much. It was tough, and yet the shoreline for our minds was always within reach. But it took its toll, and perhaps that was fatal to any couple. The cruise always took its payment, not in money, but in your time, your love, your soul. That was the beauty of it. People always fixated on the material things, and yet they give up the most obvious of treasures in the pursuit, the chase. However I always made sure there was a string cast out that bound her tiny feet to me. So she would know the way back if she wanted to.
Parched.. That was the mood of that escapade. The thought of morning was supposed to be redemption, a relief from darkness but after baking in the sun for immeasurable amounts of time, it was really absolution. She was coughing, and had most of the covers to insulate herself, and I was miserable, knowing that it was my helm that navigated us to a sorrowful schtick. Sure, we had each other, but the red sun burns were more prominent than anything else. I asked her about regret, and to my surprise it wasn't a bad conversation. She adored the idea of us, more than I ever could muster with that hot blooded stride out of a theater, or the same from our flat eons ago. This was making the vision reality. And it was impossible.
At some point of time you got to deal with things that aren't documented, and I forgot about it. It was in the mind that we were on the shores in a foreign land, with the backdrop of the Alps and the baby blue. It was the city center of Lausanne and I took her to every detail of the parks and piers. We dabbed feet in the lake and felt the coolness of the autumn, and the bright colours of the center really spoke to her inner child. She wanted pictures as much as our phones could store, and we ran and stopped randomly, sitting whenever needed and suffered no fools. Bliss... finally.
It was a silent thought, not because I was weak but she never had the appetite for adventure and hardly hid that trait, but it was always something that intrigued our hearts. We, well me, continued rowing into the unknown, going where the seas would take us, and soon enough there were vague signs of life. We heard in a distance sounds of quite possible a horn, and then in another blind corner a rustling of leaves in a distance. However, we knew not to chase the rabbit. We stayed put, hope for a sign. The fear of the night was not kind. It felt miserable, and then painful, and finally it was morning.
At least it felt like it. It wasn't long before we had the realisation that things weren't getting easier on the boat, stranded in a billowing abyss of a black night and clouds. Thank goodness it wasn't choppy seas or stormy weather, a drifter's nightmare averted. Then the skies cleared a little, and there were stars. Millions of stars. Something we never saw on the shimmering cruise. She gasped in wonder, and smiled as she paced around the boat looking for a moon. And it was rising behind us, a full one in fact. I felt her hand in mine, and I grasped it firmly, almost apologetically. Its my fault we are here, Sparrow, now that we have seen the other side, can we even go back?
It didn't matter to them, and it meant all the world to me. I told her, Sparrow, we can do this. She sounded really tired when she said the same things, always nitpicking the details of the journey. She slept at the port side, and I rowed for our lives. When she awoke, I talked to her incessantly, hoping to lift her attention from the dire circumstances we were in. It didn't work, soon she was lamenting the departure from the cruise. "I am worthless," she said, "at least the cruise didn't mind that." Yet in a whisper it was me who replied that, "You are all that matters." For once she didn't fight back and stared ahead silently as we rowed deep into the pitch black waters of a dreaded night.
Could it be? That a woman aged by life still had something left to bring? That she wasn't filled with bitterness and married to the ship. The skeptic in me was screaming fallacy! But if there was even a small chance of getting her with me, it was worth all the risk. I reached out to her, and grabbed her hand. She said nothing, resigned in fate. It was of hers and mine as we reclined to the boat, with absolutely nothing but broken dreams and lost youth. That was love, and it doomed everyone else who chose the same. We rowed towards the sunset, with not a care in the world as the cruise pass us by, without skipping a beat.
She was satiated by the theater, but that makes only the one of us. It was time to leave the haunting cruise ship, and it was opportune without alarm. I got together my things, and I heard the voice of an angel in the theater one last time. I couldn't bare to see it. It was too much, the memory of her would have captivated me even if she was wilted by time. I got to the side and started moving the fingers around the rope and levers tying each rescue vessel. It was not long before I got one lowered into the ocean and I could just go. Before I did the rappel down to the hull, I looked back at the monstrosity one more time. And there she was, smiling back at me.