Saturday, 7 June 2014

Of Boats.

Greg held out his hand to her. His eyes sparkled with light of little boyish excitement. "Come on, Barb," he grinned. "Don't be scared; it'll be fun."

Barbara lifted her chin a little. "When did I say I was sc--scared?"

Greg smirked and took her hands in his. "You didn't. Perhaps I was imagining things." Still holding one of her hands, he turned and dusted off the seat. "Sit down, my lady."

Barbara still hesitated. "Greg, I'm not sure about this..."

He put his arm around her. "Don't worry, Barbara. I'll take care of you. I promise."

She looked at him for a long moment, then stepped into the rowboat. It wobbled, but Greg was holding her waist, keeping her steady. And then she was sitting, and he jumped in after her.


She nodded, laughing at his excitement. "Ready."

Greg shoved off from shore and soon the water was lapping around them. Barbara drew in a deep breath of the sea air. "It's beautiful out here." She looked at Greg, but he said nothing, not even an "I told you so." "Thank you, Greg. I love this. I never knew boating could be this much fun."

He pulled at the oars. "You just have to give things a chance. Now, I knew how much fun boating was, but you never let me show you by taking you out. You just have to give things a chance."

They rowed for a long time in silence. "I've always had a kind of fear for boats of any kind," Barbara smiled. "Perhaps it's from reading too much about the Titanic when I was younger. That event always gave me such a horrible thrill, but it was one of my favorite points to read about. And it gave me a fear of boats."

Greg laughed. "Well, I don't think there's any reason to fear, not unless we get a huge wind, and one of us jars the boat so it goes over...." his eyes turned to the horizon and Barbara saw his forehead wrinkle a little.

"What is it?"

"Ummm, just a... breeze," he said carefully. "We might want to get a little closer to shore."

Barbara looked at him steadily. "You don't think we're in any danger of getting capsized?"

He shook his head. "Naw. She's a sturdy little boat, and the wind isn't that strong. Besides, we both have life jackets on. Just sit tight, Barb, and we'll be okay... oh no. A speedboat."

Barbara followed his gaze to where a motorized boat was zooming towards them. "Oh dear."

Greg's voice had turned grim. "Hold on Barbara. With this wind... man why don't they slow down?"

The breeze seemed to pick up as the bigger boat approached them. Barbara clutched the sides of the rowboat, her heart skipping rapidly.

The boat zoomed past them, the wind gusted, and the tiny rowboat lifted, tilted, and capsized all in one smooth motion. Water closed over Barbara's head and she fought desperately for breath and for the surface. Her head cleared the water in a burst. "Greg!"

"Hold still, Barb. I've got you." Then his arms were around her, holding her baby-wise in the water.

She started to cry, not being able to stop the tears. "Oh, Greg. I was so scared!"

"Shhhh. I got you now. It's all right."

In a few moments he had righted the boat, cleared the bit of water from it, and helped Barbara in. The breeze had died down by now, leaving the water as placid and calm as before. They were both soaked, but otherwise unharmed from their plunge. Sitting there gasping at each other, Greg smiled ruefully.

"I'm sorry, Barbara. Maybe I shouldn't have taken you out anyway. Boasts can be unpredictable, as can the drivers of other boats." He glared in the direction in which the speedboat had disappeared. "So, I'm really sorry. This wasn't what I had planned to happen." He borrowed in his pockets. "I hope my handkerchief's not too wet..."

Barbara coughed. "That's okay. I trust you, Greg."

He smiled and pulled his handkerchief from his pocket. "Thank you, Barbara." He wiped the water from her face with the handkerchief, then tethered the boat to the dock, which they had arrived back at.

"Ouch, there's something stuck in there," Barbara grimaced, taking it from his hand. "It was poking me..." She stopped talking suddenly, the breath leaving her in a sudden gust. "Greg..." In her hand lay a ring. A diamond ring.

Greg smiled. "I was hoping it hadn't gotten wet." Gingerly, he slid off his seat onto the floor of the boat and took her hands. "Barbara Janae Harton, will you marry me? I love you, and I want more than anything for you to marry me. Will you? I know I'm not perfect, and just now I got you soaking wet, but I promise that I will always take care of you. I promise."

Barbara was crying. Her hands to her face, he nodded, then sobbed out, "Yes! Greg, I love you!"

Greg jumped right out of the boat, picked her up and swirled her around and around the dock. "She said yes!" he shouted to anyone who was nearby. "She's said yes! We're getting married!"

Barbara leaned her head against his shoulder, her arms around his neck. "Thank you, Greg, Thank you for taking me out on the boat. I loved it, and it made me realize how much I love and trust you. I'll go with you wherever you go. I own't leave you. I promise....."

Barbara looked up the sky, blinking tears from her eyes. Had that only been five years ago? They had promised; he to always take care of her, and she to never leave him. And now they had broken their promises. 

Her hand ran over the side of the rowboat. Greg's rowboat. Five years ago it had held two deliciously happy, in love with each other people. But now, the boat, just like her heart, was empty.


Molly said...

Okay, just a note to say that Barbara's last name is NOT Harton after all. It is Jackson.

Jessy said...

Wonderful! Seems a bit rough yet, but I love it completely.

Molly said...

Jessy: Do you have pointers for it?

Jessy Jones said...

I would just say to see if you can make the dialogue and movements smoother. The biggest thing I noticed was I got confused for half a second because I hadn't realized he was back in the boat yet before he proposed, and then they were next to the dock without rowing.

By dialogue I just mean that some parts seem a bit...scripted? Not much, only a little.

Those are actually both areas I've been criticized on (especially movement), which is probably part of the reason I noticed lol

Molly said...

Jessy: Okay, thanks for the tips! I'l try to work on this scene to make it flow better!