“Good morning, nana.” John Mellark said to the ping on his computer screen as he continued to work on the papers on the table.
“And how exactly is this a good morning? You’re so busy that you can’t even look up at the screen!”
John laughs and finally looks up, reclining back in his red office chair.
“Nana,” John leaned up and rested his chin on the top of his index fingers as his other fingers clasped into a fist on the table.
“You prayed so much for me, that now I’m even busier than dad, so much that I can’t even look up to say hi! It’s all your fault.”
“My cheeky boy! And what has gotten you so busy?”
“The cruise ship launches today nana! The Majesty of the Seas. I was just finishing up some paperwork then I’ve got to some calls to make and then I’ll head out to the docks.”
“Sounds very busy. Well good thing you’re going on a cruise.”
“Yeah. We’re also holding a graduation ceremony.”
“Oh that’s nice. Who for?”
“Remember I told you the company set an intern competition at York-ford University? They graduate around this time but the competition winners get to graduate a little early, so they get to go on the cruise with us. And it’s a free gift to them, among other things.” John quickly caught sight of his work, and bent down on the table again.
“That’s so very magnanimous of you.”
“Thank you nana, but I really do have to finish work now. So I will call you from the cruise tonight.”
“No I don’t want a call, I want a video chat, and you can show me around the ship.”
“Alright nana! I’ll see you when I come back.” John moved to turn off the camera.
“Ok. But don’t come back alone!”
John halted for a second and chuckled and wished his grandma goodbye as he turned off the chat and went back to work. Then, the door burst open and Al came strutting in in his usual manner. John rolled his eye, still working at the cluster of papers in front of him.
“Well, Johnny boy! The paperworks’ been done, calls have been made, people are being arranged, and you are going to miss the launch of your own cruise ship!”
“Al, I’m not going to miss my own cruise launch.” John refused to look up from signing the papers.
“Yes, you will! If you keep at your work like this!”
“No, I won’t Al. I’ve only got a couple more-”
“But if you did, then!” Al won the argument with his usual explanation, and John laughed.
“You got me.”
Al moved behind the CEO’s chair and roughly grabbed his shoulders, quickly massaging them.
“This is your baby, your ship. You go launch it and manage it and see to it that it goes well. I’ll arrange for Wilson to manage the work here and contact you if it cannot go on without your consideration or what not.”
“Thank you, Al.” John finished signing the last papers and finally stood up from the chair. “Now then, I’ll have to go home and-”
“Nope. I’ve had Mrs. B pick out and pack your bags for you and they will meet you at your cabin on the cruise.” Al placed a playful smack on his ward’s back. “Boy, your grandma will have my head if I didn’t take care of you.”
“She means well.” John went for his overcoat.
“Yeah, maybe you just need someone special who’ll make you forget about work.” Al mumbled, fixing his hair in the mirror, but wasn’t hush enough for his boss to not hear.
“What was that?” John jokingly asked as he swung on his coat.
“Nothing! Just wishful thinking my boy, wishful thinking.”
“Hey, the Yorkford group is meeting us at the port right?”
“And this is the group with, what’s his name again, Blake?”
“Yeah, Henry Blake. Odd fellow.”
“I’ve seen worse!” John wedged Al with his elbow as they both walked out of the office.
The recently graduated students from Yorkford stood in line to board the cruise, still clad in their graduation ensembles, their certificates in hand and carryons trailing behind.
“Henry, these are the first steps we are taking in realizing our dreams.” Kaitlyn clung to Henry’s arm as they walked up the ramp.
“It’s the first step that’s always difficult to find, the rest is, well, smooth sailing from there!”
They all dispersed to find their cabins on the ship, and agreed to meet up in the main lobby, which astounded them beyond belief. The room was bigger than a concert hall, and of many floors, with full functioning elevators. There was a grand staircase in the middle, and small stairs and escalators scattered about the room between the many dining areas and lounges and shops.
“Oh mi dios!” Señora Piedro exclaimed, pressing her hat down hard on her head. “Esta es a very big ship! Como a cinco estrella hotel!”
“Esto no es a cinco estrella hotel, es un de siete estrella hotel!” Señor Piedro corrected her, then motioned for Henry to come to him.
“Henry, mi hijo. You do this, you take my casa, solo, por a permanent room en esta ship.”
“Oh señor, even we’re not permanent on this ship, and you’re already asking favors?” Henry answered and was quickly dragged away by Kaitlyn, who wanted to check out a shop
“Señor Piedro!” his wife chided him. “They give us complimentary tickets, and now you ask for permanent place. You’re so greedy! Let’s go check out the outside,” she said as she took her husband away. ________________________
As the Piedros leave to explore the ship, another older couple enter the main lounge.
“Rosy darling, I’m terribly terrified. We shouldn’t have brought Dylan on the ship.”
“So what should we have done?” shrilled the old man’s partner. “We should have left him alone at home? What sort of man are you, Cole. Dylan is only two years old.”
The basket in her hand moved and a labrador puppy poked its head out, and Cole freaked even more.
“Look, that Dylan darling of yours is trying to get out of the basket!”
Rosy looked at her puppy, then gritted her teeth at her husband,
“He’s not trying to get out of the basket, he’s grasping for fresh air!”
The couple continued to bicker and went further in the main hall to get some drinks as the puppy shifted restlessly in its basket.