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Setting Sail to A Brighter Future

by Jessica C. 8 months ago in Short Story
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Stubborn Pride Sinks Ships

She’d been eager for the trip. The prospect of travel had always been alluring. Paired with voyaging with her partner had made the idea irresistible. Heart racing in utter joy, she had jumped blindly at the chance without any second thoughts. Angela packed her bags, no hesitation, and eagerly awaited the fateful day.

Marco’s proposal to embark on a sea cruise aboard the majestic ship instilled grand fantasies in her mind; Angela had often found herself lost in daydreams. The trip would be a dream, that much she was certain. She merrily skipped throughout her day, feeling as if she was floating on air.

Marco had been so sweet to plan the excursion, and she could hardly wait. She recalled when she first met him on the first day of her job, releasing a dreamy sigh; he had been so sweet and shy. She felt drawn to him instantly. They had bonded seamlessly, enjoying each other’s company and looking forward to the next time they’d meet.

The trip started out fine, but once aboard the ship Angela began noticing hiccups. Marco began acting differently. He started snapping at others or blatantly ignoring them. He was practically acting cold. Angela was flabbergasted; who was this stranger on the trip with her? Each time she began to doubt how well she knew him, he’d revert to the same Marco she had first met, leaving her to second-guess if she had imagined it in the first place.

Angela tried to bury her uncertainty, convincing herself that Marco must be feeling stressed from the recent changes at work and family drama or even uneasiness from sea sickness. She wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt; she knew that everyone had off days. Reluctant to judge him unfairly, Angela held her tongue and gave Marco the chance to redeem himself.

It all changed that fateful night. Marco confidently led Angela to her surprise. He swore up and down that it would be worthwhile, insisting that she trust him. Angela wanted to trust him, but a small anxiety began worming itself way into her gut, twisting and turning. She mentally waved it away, asserting that the worry was unfounded. There was no reason to be so apprehensive; none of his previous surprises warranted such a response—heck, he had surprised her with this trip full of stunning ocean views!

“You’ll love this! Just watch!” Marco assured as he opened an unfamiliar cabin door, leading Angela inside.

Noticing what lie ahead, Angela stopped dead in her tracks. “We shouldn’t be in here,” she whispered, heart full of dismay.

Convinced that he was invincible and infallible, Marco approached the steering wheel. He was certain he knew exactly how to lead the way. He declared triumphantly, “Just trust me—I know what I’m doing!”

“Don’t, let’s just go back to the cabin,” Angela urged. “This is a horrible idea.”

Marco was insistent, stubborn, and proud; he was convinced he knew best. Despite all of Angela’s concerns and words of caution, he plowed forward without a care. He was a man with a plan, and he refused to stray from his narrow path.

Angela became uneasy. She desired to be a supportive and loving partner, but red flags continued to crop up. Apprehension writhed in her belly, an untamable beast. Nothing good would come from this situation; she felt it in her bones. Marco refused to listen to reason. He refused to listen, period. All her words fell on deaf ears, and disaster loomed around the corner.

Angela took a deep breath, resolving herself. His choice didn’t have to be her choice. She was allowed to decide for herself. She deserved to be heard and supported. Committed to herself, she approached Marco. There needed to be change.

“Do as you see fit, but I won’t take any part in this. I’m leaving,” Angela announced.

Marco hummed a noncommittal response, tuning Angela’s words out. Angela shook her head, leaving Marco to his own devices. It was obvious no one could sway him and alter his course. She closed the door, contemplating what this development meant for her course. The dream was seeming more like a nightmare.

Stars shimmering overhead, the cool, night air enveloped her in a tranquil blanket. Angela took a deep breath, hoping to calm her nerves, but it felt like it was lulling her into a false sense of security. She kept feeling the intuitive nudging that it was the calm before the storm. Nibbling her lip, she prayed her instinct was mistaken.

Her gut screamed to get away, to flee from the ship entirely. Angela knew they were in the middle of the sea; there were little in terms of escape options. She recalled seeing the lifeboats secured to the deck. There was no rational explanation for the dire need for escape that consumed her being, but it refused to be ignored. She decided to get more fresh air and hopefully soothe her anxiety.

Angela grasped the railing, feeling the salty sea breeze grazing her face. Just as she prepared to head back to the cabin, the entire ship lurched as an eerie groaning noise reached her ears. Her stomach lurched. Unfortunately, her intuition had been spot-on. The sound of rupturing metal doused her body in an ice-cold bucket of dread. There was no time to waste as she evacuated the ship.

Quickly releasing the lifeboat and boarding the vessel, Angela was determined to rise above the situation; she refused to let Marco drag her down with him. He had his chance, but he insistently chose to ignore her warnings. As she drifted further out to sea, Angela noticed the massive iceberg impaling the majestic ship. She sighed, dejectedly shaking her head; it was time for Marco to reap what he sowed, but she knew he wouldn’t enjoy the harvest.

Marco was blinded by panic, fumbling as he tried to salvage the situation. This wasn’t supposed to happen; he couldn’t fathom how it had happened. It was then that he noticed Angela’s absence. His panic swiftly transformed in to raging fury. It was her fault. She must have deceived him, manipulating him and orchestrating the whole thing! Eyes hardened and red in the face, Marco stormed up to the deck; he refused to let her double-cross him like that. How dare she abandon him after setting him up for failure!

He screamed his indignation out to the heavens, fuming and ranting like a raving lunatic. Marco began tossing objects into the sea in his fury. Noticing Angela atop the lifeboat, he began aiming for her in hopes of sinking her means of escape. There was no way that deceptive fiend was getting off scot-free; if he was going down, he’d ensure she met the same fate and go down with him.

Angela heard his vindictive shouting and noticed his childish tantrum. A cheerless laugh escaped her lips at his pitiful reaction; he intended to shift blame to her, making her his scapegoat, instead of owning up to his own blunders and foolishness. It was even more pitiful that he failed to consider escaping the sinking ship; he’d rather try to take her down with him instead of assuring his own safety. She couldn’t believe the kind of man he was deep down, shocked at his true colors. Some partner he turned out to be, refusing to take responsibility for his actions, shifting blame to everyone and anyone else, and trying to condemn others to his own fate. Angela thanked the heavens that she had escaped before it was too late.

The majestic ship continued to sink deeper and deeper into the ocean’s dark depths, gurgling as the waters swallowed it whole. Angela sighed, forlorn smile gracing her lips. Even with all of his faults, she didn’t wish that fate on anyone, but that didn’t mean that she was willing to remain on a sinking ship. She was the captain of her life, and others didn’t get to dictate her life’s course.

It hurt that Marco had accused her with such anger and blame, that he had blindsided her like he did, but she had learned and grown so much from the experience. She was stronger for it, and Angela promised herself that she would never put herself in such a position again. She would listen to herself above all others from now on; her intuition had tried to lead her, but she had waved off its guidance. Never would she make such a mistake again. Angela knew better, so she would do better.

Gazing at the sun just beginning to crest and graze the horizon, she breathed deeply. It was the dawn of a new day, a new future. Angela didn’t know what would come next, but she had avoided disaster. As unfortunate as her relationship with Marco had turned out to be, she was now free. The possibilities were endless and, much like the rising sun, the future bright.

Short Story

About the author

Jessica C.

I've always enjoyed creating, whether it be art or stories. I've enjoyed creating art from a young age and have worked in a variety of schools. I adore anime & cats. Over the summer we adopted baby Tsuki/Tsukihime, my moon princess kitten.

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