She leaned against the railing and stared out at the darkness of the ocean, the waves whipping against the side of the ship, foaming the water so that she could almost make out stripes of white, turquoise and deep, deep blue. She watched the foam disappear from view as the ship slipped through the water and couldn’t help but compare this passing with her own passing years.
She thought about Jake, about how she had met him on a cruise ship so many years ago. And how they had made a point of revisiting that special time together each year. She loved him, she really did. They fit together perfectly. They saw the world the same way. They wanted the same things for themselves, for each other, for the world.
She was wistfully lost in her thoughts and didn’t notice him until he ran his arm around her waist and leaned in to kiss her temple. “Mmmn,” he whispered, his lips pressed to her ear. “You smell good”.
She turned into him and his arms wrapped around her and she looked up at him, smiling. He leaned down to kiss her again and she rose up to meet his lips, the feeling so warm and familiar. And yet…
He hugged her to his chest and rocked them both from side to side as he looked over her head to contemplate the ocean. “This was a great idea, wasn’t it? I’m so glad we did this,” he said as he moved his head back so that he could look at her. “What would you do without me, dear wife?”
She looked up at him and smiled. “Dear husband, I have no idea,” she said, as she always did when he asked this question. It had become a kind of ritual between them. But tonight, she felt sick about it. Matthew was such a wonderful husband and a kind and generous father. They’d been high school sweethearts, he knew almost everything about her… almost. He was sweet and attentive, everything she could ever want.
But her heart belonged to Jake. She longed for Jake whenever they were apart and she felt like she was betraying him by coming on this cruise. Betraying her lover by being with her husband. She needed to tell him. She had to tell both of them. She wished that things could be different. She wished that she was a different person. This secret was destroying her.
And she knew that it would destroy all three of them.
Andy – Dark Side Thursday is my favourite day of the week. When I travel, I usually come home on Thursday night so that I have Friday at home to catch up on the week that was. Now, I can’t wait until I switch to Flight Mode, put on my headphones and start writing. Thank you for introducing this feature – I’m loving reading your serial and I’m loving bringing out the darkness.
This story was loosely inspired by a conversation with a wonderful friend, someone who I am blessed to know. Yes of course this was written on the plane. I was surprised that I was able to write The Light a few days ago in a hotel room. I was beginning to think that I was incapable of writing without being on an airplane.
There is no death in this piece! I’ll bet you thought she was going to jump over the railing or be pushed! I thought it might be too predictable to do another story ending in a sad death, so tonight I’ve gone with betrayal as my dark theme and her suffering as she sees the consequences of her actions laid out before her. What do you think?
I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine (maybe that’s the trick to this writing caper!!) so I will happily say this – I love you guys, I am so honoured with the responses that my little stories have received, it’s wonderful to read your comments and hear your thoughts.
Take care dearest people,
PS This Dark Side Thursday post is posted on Friday!! But only just…