Humans logo

The Pleasure Cruise

Finding Love After Loss

By Matthew DawsonPublished 4 years ago 6 min read
The Pleasure Cruiser

Fredrik H Renshaw was on the bridge of his pleasure cruiser steaming along at 30 knots somewhere between the west coast of Europe and the east coast of America. From his high vantage point he could see thousands of people enjoying themselves down below on his ship. He had been ship captain for nigh on 20 years and still loved every single minute of his job. Although, he did think to himself from time to time, that it was a touch lonely up there. Especially since so many people were having such a rowdy, raucous, racy time on his ship.

He missed his late wife Katie who had died five years ago to this day. Killed by a drunk driver on her way to work, doing a job she absolutely adored, as a leading brain surgeon in London. He often wondered to himself what it would be like to allow his cold English heart to feel again. When suddenly he knew. He knew the moment he saw her, the long wavy dark hair, piercing blue eyes, tanned golden skin and a smile that radiated kindness and joy from her entire body through her face. Her name was Gabrielle or Gabs for short. She was an incredibly attractive Australian woman who he later learned had come on this cruise with a few girlfriends to see the world and put a horrific relationship behind her. When he first saw her gliding across the main ballroom towards the bar, where he had a private booth, he was entranced. Yet, how could he approach a paying customer and ask her out. What kind of a life was the girlfriend or wife of a sea captain to a gorgeous thirty-something year old woman with the world at her feet?

He asked his chief bursar about the potential issues with asking out a paying passenger and was informed that it was a very grey, very murky area, but that there was nothing that explicitly prevented it from happening. That night, walking the foredeck, simply star gazing, he happened upon Gabrielle doing the same thing. He assumed fate was intervening. He tentatively approached her and cleared his throat. She looked around at the sudden intrusion on the tranquillity of the night and seeing his uniform thought perhaps she wasn’t supposed to be on the foredeck at this late hour. He assured her she was completely fine to be there and as well the magnificence that was the night sky, he had also been admiring the utter beauty standing before him right here, right now, in this moment.

She smiled nervously and asked what the captain of such a luxurious vessel could want with a poor Aussie girl like her. He asked her if she truly wanted to know and she insisted she did. So a few hours later having finally recounted the agonizing tale of his late wife’s death, she told him all about her reasoning behind booking this trip. He listened attentively and compassionately and as he did, she found herself trusting him, more than she’d ever trusted a man previously in her short life. They talked long into the night, after which he thanked her for her company and retired for the final two hours that was left in which to rest before the sunrise and a new dawn arrived.

The next morning he awoke with a message from his Chief saying a particular customer was hoping to have a drink with him later in the ballroom in the middle of the ship. His heart skipped a beat and his wild tangential thoughts went off into the wilderness of a new and exciting love story. Later that evening, having spent the day doing everything he could do to distract himself, he finally made his way in a stately fashion to the ballroom dressed in his full captain’s regalia. Upon entering he saw her immediately, dressed in a deep blue ball gown, waiting at his private booth. As he approached, she looked up and her smile lit up her face like a beacon of hope that he had been wishing for all day. She said, “Captain Renshaw I’m so pleased you received my message, I have been waiting for you”. He replied that she looked stunning and would she like to dance. While the big band played some jazz standards, and not caring about the stares they would draw, he led Gabrielle to the dance floor and the floated around the ballroom parquetry like they were the only two people in the room, completely lost in each others eyes.

He said, “you asked me last night what could a poor Aussie girl possibly give the captain of a luxurious cruise liner?” She stared longingly into his eyes and breathed, “Yes, what?” He leaned in and kissed her fully on her gorgeous upturned mouth, tasting her sweetness and a hint of raspberry lip balm and it felt so perfect. “You”, is all he said. The music finished and while the rest of the guests watched in wonderment he led her back to his private booth and ordered her a cocktail. Then he surprised her by saying, “before I was a cruise ship captain, I was actually a bit of a rogue operator and I did myself a little bit of modern day pirating, searching for lost British treasure around the world. So I do this job mainly for enjoyment and not for the money. If you would take my hand in love and affection, I could basically write you a blank cheque and you wouldn’t have to work again for the rest of your life. You could live with me on this magnificent vessel or back in London in my penthouse, it would be entirely up to you.” She did the only thing she could do, in that moment, which was to kiss him again, fully, completely, passionately. “So I take it that is a yes”, he said, smiling. She said to him, “do you believe in fairy tales? Love at first sight? All of that nonsense, because I do totally.” He took her soft hands and led her back to his spacious captains quarters to seal their newly found love for each other.

After dozing for a bit, they made love again, and in that moment just after they both climaxed together he knew. He knew that his cold English heart could love again and he could finally move on from the devastating loss that was Katie’s death. Gabrielle turned to him and smiled, in a dreamy post-coital smile that radiated warmth, happiness and desire all in one expression. Then she said the only words that mattered at that moment, “I love you Fredrik, I really do, and I cannot believe this is happening to me of all people. I thought I was destined to never love another man again and yet here, in the middle of the ocean, I have found someone who truly loves me for who I am and isn’t simply trying to rescue me or save me from my past trauma.”

They spent the day in bed, then in his spa bath, drinking champagne and eating strawberries, making sweet, beautiful love again, before finally emerging for some air in the same place they had first met, on the foredeck. Hand in hand they stood there star gazing, holding each other and simply basking in their new found love affair. For that is all it could be, could it not? An affair on board a cruise ship with the Captain and a passenger. Nothing lasts forever, there is no love at first sight. There is no such thing as falling in love and committing to another person in the middle of the ocean within the first 24 hours of meeting someone.

Yet, fairy tales sometimes happen, and as they made their wedding vows to each other in New York City, they reflected on the vagaries of life itself and how wonderful life really is. How, a chance meeting amongst thousands of other passengers on a massive cruise ship could lead to such a wonderful new beginning for both of them. In the end, Gabrielle ended up spending half her days on the ship with Fredrick and half of them in London. Yet, as she told her girlfriends who had convinced her to go on the cruise in the first place, as long as Fredrik was in her life it didn’t matter where she lived, she would have travelled to the ends of the earth to be with him, to meet him again, to fall in love again, to be held by him, comforted by him, loved by him.

Dreams really can come true. Fredrik and Gabrielle Renshaw are a testament to that statement. They loved each other from the first moment their eyes met and now fifty years later, they are still completely, utterly and madly in love, as they cruise the world hand in hand, lovers forever.


About the Creator

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For Free

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

    Matthew DawsonWritten by Matthew Dawson

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.