Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Words Adrift

A chilly breeze met me as I rounded the stern of the ship during my daily walking exercise. It was a routine that I had established to buffer the guilt of knowing how much I would be eating during the coming day. Cruises are like that.

From the corner of my eye, once again I saw the same gentleman jog by whom I had just seen at the other end of the ship. He was in a mode like me, but he put much more effort into the exercise routine. This time though, something new caught my attention. Maybe there was more to his efforts than just the need to exercise.

Did I hear correctly?
Yes I did. He had said the words "I love you, Helen."
Immediately my imagination took hold.
Who was Helen?
Was he newly married? I doubt it. She'd be by his side if that were the case.
Maybe she was his lover who couldn't commit to him yet, or possibly divorce was in his future.
I dismissed the idea that he was recently widowed, preferring instead to believe she was still available for him.
In any case, I'm assuming Helen was really special to him...special enough for him to audibly speak the words within earshot of me.

My imagination didn't end there. In my story, Helen will someday sail the same ship, and as she reaches that very spot, her ear will catch the faint words that have been drifting on the breeze since they were spoken. Maybe he will be there with her, but if not, will her heart be touched as she hears those same words? I hope so.
How many other spoken words are drifting out there, just waiting for a listening ear?