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The wind was like fire. Burning at their cheeks. The noise it made also scared the people on the highest deck of the ship as it sailed further out into the Atlantic. There was water being pushed away from ship as they watched the seagulls fly overhead, reminding them that land was still near. The water was cold and they knew this, the water was dark and held answers to century old mysteries like the ones we have read in books or witnessed on the nightly news, planes crashing and ships vanishing without a trace, the problem wasn’t as much in the north, where they were, but more so down south, just below their course.
The ship moaned and there was a whistle up ahead as the land became more and more faint behind the massive Cynthia. The ship was of Icelandic origin, and was built in a naval yard only the Icelandic could pronounce.
Mildred Oliver stood next to her husband of forty years as they looked out, into the world beyond in awe, wonder, and deep utter thought. Thought of their lives (it was indeed a time to reflect), a thought of their dreadful plane ride to the ship’s Canadian port (a bumpy, horrid thing) and a thought of their daughter whom of which was living in Hawaii with her own husband, Johnson, an Air Force pilot who had no choice but to move thousands of miles away from his wife’s parents home in New York City.
Mildred grasped her husband’s hand, and he gave her a gentle look, the look he was famous for and the one in which made Mildred fall in love with him all over again like she had originally that night in Bombay. They both were studying and also working at the university there, they had met at a local bar, they instantly hit it off, this was partially because they were the only ones whom of which understood one another, and partially because of his look that he gave her from the very beginning, reminding her of her being there in that room in the summer of July, 1972. They were married three months later in the United States.
“I’m worried about her James,” Mildred persisted with urgency. “We’re even farther.”
James relaxed, exhaled and looked deeper into his wife’s eyes. “They’ve been living alone for five years, hon, they know how to take care of themselves.”
“But she’s all alone, I just have one of my feelings, hon, you know the ones that I get sometimes?”
“Yes I know the ones you get sometimes,” James said in utter disgust. Why should he believe something silly like this? He was better than that and so we she.
“No,” Mildred pressed on, and she knew she shouldn’t continue pressing not on a night like this, with a man like James.
“Honey, please, they will be fine, every time that I tell you this you believe except for now and you know why? Because we’re on a ship headed for the middle of the Atlantic, and there is really nothing we could do if something happened to them, which it won’t but…”James could hear himself rambling on and on like he did when we taught at New York University. The creative writing classes there loved him, but then again didn’t because he was so famous for his rambling, and he could hear himself doing just that right then. He knew he really wasn’t helping matters.
“But, James, I…”
“Enough, baby, I know how hard these last few days gave been on you all the stress at the hospital but, that’s all over now and there is no need for arguing. No need for worrying. We are on the biggest ship in the world in the midst of the beautiful Atlantic ocean heading for paradise and here we are, babbling our time together away with worry,” he finished with a sigh. “I love you and our child, trust me, nothing with happen and they are fine.”
“You’re right,” Mildred said in the way she always did following this type of commotion.
James kissed her on the forehead and looked into her eyes. She melted. Her heart, that is.
“You ready to go back to the room?” he asked her after glancing at his watch.
Mildred sighed but looked down at her hand, still grasping her husband’s.
“Yes. You lead the way, darling,” she said in her best Marilyn Monroe impression. She forced a smile and her husband bought it. Thank God.
“I will indeed my little angel,” he retorted in his best Humphery Bogart impersonation.
They walked down the surprisingly spaciously hallways within the bowls of the 2,500 feet long Cynthia. The carpet spread across the vast, countless square footage was mixture of flowers that one would find intertwined together within a Caribbean meadow of heavenly tropical styles.
The walls were painted a lush peach with ocean blue stripes running horizontally with the floor.
Room 967 stood at the front of the massive ship. There was little noise even though the grandest parties to withstand and take in if you will were taking place just a few stories above.
The plastic card was scanned by the computer within the door, after of which a green light burst into appearance and the couple were gone. Into their room like royalty living amongst the best offerings a cruise ship could offer.
James looked at his wife, with passion and love screaming from within his widened pupils. His wife looked back at him with the same emotions scarring his soul.
And then the door was shut.
Inside, the room was painted a yellowish, gold, a color neither of them (the couple) would have chosen for their own room resting quietly among the chaos of New York City, chaos only meaning the never sleeping, always up and wide awake city that it was famous for, a factor of which always dazzled and enlightened the couple’s lives.
Mildred laid her lips upon her husband just as something beeped from within the room.
“We have service here? Cell phone reception?”
“I’m assuming so?”
James said nothing else, only hid within the bathroom to get ready for bed, he slipped off his fancy clothes consisting of a tuxedo among others, and slipped on his comfortable pajamas with images of clouds printed about them.
In the other room, Mildred picked up her cell phone. It beeped once more, three four more times, text messages coming through like crazy.
It beeped for once last time and she opened her phone.
Nine new messages!
Mildred clicked opened and they were all from her….all from her, all from her…
James came out of the bathroom and danced over to his wife, his hair gel still stinging his own nostrils.
“What is it?” he exclaimed with wonder. “Nine messages?”
Mildred said nothing, she could only read the messages because they were from her, something was wrong, something was very wrong, something was wrong….
“Who they from?” James asked.
“Our daughter,” her throat was barely wet and barely functioning correctly. “She wants us to come home. There’s something wrong. VERY WRONG.”