THERE WAS A STORM OUTSIDE.
The sky was a dark gray-tinted blue, clouds strewn all over that crackled with electricity. Lightning danced across the sky, splitting the air with a sharp cracking sound that reverberated across the horizon. Rain poured from the heavens, showering the seas below as the wind carried some of the water to shore.
Since the house was located on a cliff right next to the sea, Cordelia could hear every single roar and every single splash as the water crashed onto the rocks below. No bird dared to venture out, all huddled in their nests or perched on trees far away from the temperamental seas.
Nature was as frightful as it was beautiful.
“Thank goodness you are not out at sea today, papa,” Cordelia absentmindedly commented.
She played with her hair, gently perched on the armchair right by the window as a book rested on her lap. The little girl’s feet barely even grazed the ground, skimming the bare surface only when she pointed her toes.
Cordelia’s father chuckled, his eyes trailing out into the distance to look at the storm that ravaged the ocean.
“True. It would’ve been dangerous to sail in such bad weather.” Leaning back in his own seat, he cleared his throat. “You know, I have a gift for you.”
Immediately, the girl’s eyes snapped away from the window, landing on her father’s face with a sparkle in her eye. Interest danced across her irises as she edged closer to him, moving so much so that her book nearly fell to the floor.
“What is it, papa?” She asked with a smile shaping her lips.
From his pockets, the older man pulled out a scroll before unraveling it on Cordelia’s lap. On the yellowing parchment, Cordelia noticed her name written in cursive, every stroke magnificent and ideal. It was on the back of a grand ship. It was then had she realized that this was a new project her father was working on, one that he had named after his daughter.
“I named it after you, my darling. So that you can be with me even when I am out at sea.”
Cordelia’s fingers traced the ink of the words, her breath caught in her throat. She remained silent, completely in awe at the touching gesture. It seemed like forever before she finally tore her eyes away from the drawing, raising to meet her father’s matching eyes.
“Thank you, papa,” she whispered. “This is the best gift I can ever ask for.”
Content with his daughter’s satisfaction, he raised a hand to cup his daughter’s cheek, holding it there as Cordelia leaned into his touch affectionately. Her eyes never left her father’s, basking in the comforting air of silence that surrounded the two.
“My wish is to be able to bring you aboard one day, Cordelia. For you to see the wonders of the ocean first hand,” the man promised with great certainty, almost like swearing an oath.
“And I cannot wait for that day, papa. The horizon will be ours. Just like mama had wanted.”
“Yes,” the man smiled sadly, his hand dropping back down to his lap, “just like she had wanted.”