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445 Days

Day 444. His message simply read, “I’m leaving with the morning tide”.

A lifetime before, it was his freedom of spirit that had called to her soul. Those deep impenetrable eyes that would always seem to hide his darkest secrets, sparkling then, as he told her of his plans to sail the world, of being brave enough to dream impossible dreams.

So how it would end, was written from the start. A cautious heart with any sense of self-preservation would have wished him well and moved on. Hers was neither, and in that moment, she fell under his spell, and the pendulum set in motion, quietly marking their days.

It had nowhere to go of course if she could not grow to love the other lady in his life. She’d stood proud and tall on the edge of the marina, patiently waiting to be introduced, and later, as the three of them glided out into the heady blue, the wind caught the mainsail, and their spirits soared as one. They anchored under the stars, and time, it seemed, stood still.

The months passed. She waited and watched in awe, while he poured over tidal maps, large swathes of blue surrounding tiny dots of paradise, and lavished his every waking hour on resolutely fettling his dream into a reality. She breathed his salty air as it seeped into her very core, and, for all the voices that told her she was crazy to give up everything she knew for his dream, she believed him when he said, “Meet me on the other side”.

The last day. He silently slipped the ropes, a morning fog wrapping its icy fingers around the bow, stealing her heart and the promise of their tomorrows. She held her breath as the pendulum caught the final whisper of the prevailing breeze, its heartbeat faltered, and stopped.

She never heard his voice again. It turned out that what they say about sailors . . . is true, and all she had left of their 445 days was to wonder how many of them were hers.


Flash Fiction by Julie Dubery
Picture: the prow by waferboard under CC BY 2.0

Published in Spring 2017