Monday, 24 October 2011

At The Harbour (Short Story)

The sky was turning a golden colour, reflection shimmering on the dark sea. On the beach by the harbour, couples walked together, children played and dogs barked and ran. Nearby, the city lights glowed in the darkening evening and all the bars along the beach were filled with music and laughter. The air was warm with a cool breeze and it seemed almost perfect.

The sand crunched under their feet as the young couple walked toward the harbour, hand in hand.
“It seems silly, sailing at night.” Mizzi said quietly. “You would think they would travel when it’s lighter.”
“I have to be there by noon tomorrow.” He replied. “All that matters to me is that I was able to spend one more day with you.”
Julius looked out to the horizon, a worried look coming over his face, and it was as if she knew what he was thinking.
“If the ocean is rough, if there’s a storm or something...” She said nervously. “If it’s too dark, if the captain can’t see-”
“If the ship crashes,” He finished for her, pulling her body against his own. “Then I will never see you again. But that won’t happen, because I have to.”
They continued to walk slowly, Julius still holding her close to him.
“But how do you know?” Mizzi asked. Julius smiled.
“Because I can see the future, remember? So I know that we’ll be together again.”
“Did you see anything else in our future?” Mizzi asked as she looked up at him.
“Like what?”
She shrugged slightly. “I don’t know. Where do we live? Do we get married? Do we... have kids?”
Julius laughed. “I’m sure we will, not for a long time though. That stuff can wait, right?”
“Yeah, yes of course.”

All too soon, they were standing at the dock beside the ship that would shortly separate them.
“Do you really have to go?” Mizzi asked, though she knew the answer.
“Duty calls I’m afraid.” He smiled. “Like I said, we’ll be together again soon before you know it.”
“I love you so much.” She said quietly, before he pressed a gentle kiss to her lips.
“I love you too... You know, when I first left Finland I thought that nowhere else I went would ever feel like home.” He told her. “But I was wrong. You know, if it meant I could stay here with you then I would never lay eyes on Helsinki again.”
“But you have to go.” She said sadly.
“Yes. Hey, next time you should come home with me.” He said, trying to cheer her up. “You can finally meet my family. Mother would love you.”
“That would be wonderful.” She said, her voice filled with happiness for the first time since they’d left for the harbour. The thought in her mind of spending the rest of her life with this man was the greatest thing she could imagine now. “I’ve never been to Finland.”
“You’ll love it. Especially at night, it’s so beautiful.” He smiled. “Not as beautiful as you, of course.”
Mizzi laughed. “Do you always have to come out with such cliché romantic lines?”
“I guess you just bring it out in me.” They both turned toward the ship as a call was heard. “That’s it, I have to board.”
“I’ll miss you.” Mizzi told him as he started to pull away from her. He kissed her one last time.
“I know, I’ll miss you too love. Goodbye.” Julius began walking backwards slowly toward the ship, not willing to take his eyes off of her just yet, knowing that when he did he would not see her again for another year.

Mizzi stood at the edge of the dock watching as the ship disappeared into the horizon. Her blue eyes filled with tears as the wind blew her dark hair around her face. Though she was overcome with the feeling of loss, knowing it would be too long before they were together again, if they were to be together at all. She couldn’t let go of the thought that something terrible would happen to the ship. And even if it didn’t, there was no certainty that he would return. She knew that he loved her, but she also knew that he, like many men, could change his mind about what he wanted. After all, they hadn’t been together for that long, maybe he would not consider their relationship worth returning for, though that did not seem to be the case. He had dearly missed Finland though, and it was possible that once he got there he would not want to return again. There must be some beautiful women in Finland. She wanted to believe in everything he had said, she wanted nothing more than to be with him and raise a family with him, but until he returned she knew she would always worry. She didn’t know whether or not she could believe him when he said he had seen their future, but she knew that, at least right now, he wanted to stay with her. And that knowledge would have to be enough. Without realising it, her hand slowly lifted to rest on her abdomen, where a bump would soon begin to show. She had been going to tell him, she could just never seem to find the words. She asked herself why she hadn’t told him before he left, it might have been enough to make him stay or come back even sooner. But in her heart, she knew the reason. She wanted to know that he would return for no reason other than because he loved her, not because of any responsibility he would feel when he found out. And if he never returned, at least she would always have the memory of him in her child.

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