Beneath the stars
“You want to take me on a boat?” Ash laughed and nodded.
“My uncle is letting me use it for some fishing tonight and I thought you might like to come along.”
He was desperately hoping she wouldn’t see through the charade, he really needed her to say yes to the outing. And he needed her to say yes to another important question too. She seemed to be thinking about it and finally nodded her agreement.
“I want to talk to you before we go.”
He pretended to look down at his watch and grabbed her by the hand.
“No time to talk now, remind me when we get on the water.”
He felt her resist a bit, but she quickly grabbed her purse and they headed out in the warm evening air. They walked hand in hand for a moment, while Ash thought how nice it was to be able to hold her. She had changed somehow when she had gotten back from her Athens escapade, holding hands was a nice result of it. He didn’t question it, he hoped it was her way of telling him how she felt.
The waves were slowly rocking the boat back and forth, the sun set in an array of stunning colours in front of them. Ash had set up a table with some wine and a fruit and cheese platter. As they sat down to enjoy it, Ash pulled out a glass jar filled with lemonade. He set it on the table and Eleni had the biggest smile.
“Thank you Ash.”
He poured some in two glasses and they both sat back and admired the sun setting.
“It is the most beautiful sight.”
Ashthought that she was the most beautiful thing he was seeing, but decided to keep the comment to himself, fearing it would sound too cheesy. All he said was,“Yes, very beautiful.”
He felt his heart beating faster and faster, while he thought of how he would make his grand declaration to her. Eleni could sense that he was on edge but she couldn’t figure out why. Maybe tonight was not the best night to talk to him after all. At one point she remembered he had talked about fishing.
“What kind of fish do you catch out here?”
He looked at her, trying to figure out what to say.
“I don’t quite know, Thanasi is the one that usually comes out at
Now Eleni really knew something was going on. He had invited her to come fishing and he didn’t seem to be thinking about it at all.
“Why are we here Ash?”
As soon as the words left her mouth, she heard a crackle in the sky behind her and lightning lit up the darkness. The weather changed from calm to savage in the matter of a few seconds, the waves started crashing on the nearby rocks and the boat swayed violently. The glass of lemonade crashed and hit the deck, shattering into hundreds of pieces. Eleni screamed and jumped back, Ash was by her side, picking her up so she wouldn’t cut herself. He put her down at the back of the boat and made his way to the controls. He tried to understand how the weather could have changed so suddenly, he had looked at the weather
reports and nothing had been out of the ordinary. Damn it. He thought about what they should do. The route they had used to get there was too dangerous when waves were high, they would have to find another way. The rocks were already too close, they had to get into deeper water until he could figure it out.
Eleni was really scared. She trusted Ash and her life was now in his hands, but it did not stop her from screaming any time a huge wave blasted them with water. It began to rain very heavily too, the ground was slippery, she could see Ash struggle to control the boat. She had no idea what they were doing, she didn’t know the first thing about boats. All she knew was that Ash was doing his best to get them back and she could see how focused he was
despite her yelling. After a few more minutes of tossing and turning on the waves, she decided to make her way to him to see if she could help. She hated just being a sitting duck, she could maybe be useful.
Ash saw Eleni stand up and try to start walking in his direction. She swayed from side to side as much as the boat, holding onto anything she could as she made her way to him. The heavy rain hit her in the face, throwing her hair every which way, making it even harder for her to see where she was trying to go. As she reached him, she grabbed his hand and squeezed it tight.
“Can I help?”
He couldn’t say no after she had been so brave, fighting her way to him. He had her check the horizon as best she could and direct him beyond the caves they were passing. The boat didn’t listen very well against the force of nature, but he would sure as hell try to get them to safety if it was the last thing he did.
Ash saw her being thrown from the boat and then disappear. He stopped everything he had been doing and ran to where she had been. He looked down and saw only waves and darkness. How could he have let this happen? Why didn’t he just say no and send her back to sit where she had been relatively safe? He would never forgive himself if something happened to her. She had a very slim chance of surviving now, but he would do everything that he could to get her safely home. Thank goodness they had worn the safety vests hanging by the side of the controls. He decided not to wait too long and jump in after her, the boat would just have to fend for itself. He grabbed the ditch bag and plunged into the warm