Madison spent days avoiding the ocean and nights avoiding her own thoughts. She couldn’t forget her encounter with him, but began to think that perhaps there hadn’t been an encounter at all. Maybe she had felt something that wasn’t there to feel or seen something that wasn’t there to see. It was that feeling of doubt that eventually led her back out on to the balcony. There he was. Not on the beach, not clearly there, but close enough that if she waded out and threw a line she could reach him, maybe.
She grabbed a line, ran outside and was nearly in over her waist when she threw the line, but not far enough. He took her bait and inched ever so slightly closer. When she threw the line a second time it latched to a hole in the deck. Slow and steady she reeled him in, never taking her eyes off him. When he was just out of arms reach she began to back up and he began to move towards her on his on until he was completely beached in the sand next to her. There they sat, seeing one another and seeing themselves.
When Madison rose to her feet there would be no turning back. She approached him, close enough to smell the flavors on his hull and hear the whisper of his torn sails. She reached out to touch him and the world stood still as he leaned in to meet her hand. She knew every inch of him before he took her aboard, wrapped her in his shredded sails and discovered her. He was gentle and intentional with the way he moved and the way he moved her. Night would come and they’d lay quietly listening to the music played by the now peaceful waters until morning birds brought lyrics.
Madison walked the badly battered deck that had somehow seemed flawless the night before. Stopping to notice a small heart-shaped carving in the wood that encircled “Captain + Sailboat”, the breath inside her seemed lost. She kneeled and ran her fingers over the carving and he softly moaned. “Quiet now boat”, she said to him tenderly. Not sure if she was quieting his fears or her own she disembarked and began to walk back to the condo, turning back once to see him still there now looking how she felt inside, but wouldn’t dare say.