I grasped my father’s hand tightly as we boarded the ship. The P.S 150, the newest model, was preparing for its second voyage across the Atlantic. My father pulled me along assuring me it was alright. He stopped right at the entrance handing the man our tickets. He waved us through and father slowly lifted my hand to signal an incline that I needed to step over. We were instantly stuffed into a crowd of people though I expected non the less. A large burly man pushed his way through the crowd roughly brushing up against me. His statue was intimidating but his face said otherwise.
“Sorry little lady” he smiled at me
My father pulled me away from the man. I re-adjusted my dress as it fell back to its regular poofy nature. I admired the pink silk fabric cut off just below my knees. This was my favorite dress so I decided to wear it for such an important occasion.
After some time the crowd dispersed allowing us to navigate through the boat. We made our way up a set of stairs and down a long hallway. The rug kept the same theme as the rest of the boat, velvety green with golden accents that ran along the edges. We stopped at our room, father letting go of my hand so he could lug in our large suitcase which held all of our necessary items. I entered the room right behind him taking in the luxurious feeling. The walls were lined with wood paneling with dark staining that complemented the mauve walls nicely.
2 beds sat on either side of the room. Ahead of that was a grand dresser, a huge mirror with a diamond-encrusted frame. Everything matched whether it was the golden accents or the undertones of mauve either way it was absolutely astonishing. I jumped up falling backward onto one of the beds. I was nicely caught in the foamy sheets just taking some time to enjoy the comfort.
“Sophie” father said giggling, though the tone was rather serious.
“Your a grown woman not a little girl anymore you must abide by the proper manners”
I stood us pulling down my dress as it had flipped up slightly during the fall
“Sorry father” he gave me a forgiving smile
Though I was 16 I still sometimes forget that I must be proper. I was raised by only my father so I gained a more masculine personality which I am forced to suppress. I don’t mind much but fathers’ constant corrections do often embarrass me.
Father allowed me to go out and explore while he unpacked. I exited the room and made my way to the top deck. I had been dying to see the ocean from up there. Ran over to the edge stopping myself by placing my hands on the rails. I watched in awe as more and more people boarded the ship just as we had not long ago. I admired the magnificent view. Navy waves splashed up the side of the boat causing a slight movement of the entire boat. I leaned over the edge breathing in the sea air. At that moment I felt so free like I could take on whatever life threw at me. I realized soon after just how far I had leaned forward. I quickly changed my composure hoping no one noticed my rude behavior. I instead stood there looking out not wanting to make that mistake again. I noticed a figure walk up next to me to which I quickly responded by looking in their direction.
To my surprise, it was a young man who seemed to be about my age. My stomach fluttered as he looked back at me, his eyes almost the same color as the waves.
“My name is Adam,” he said
“Sophie” I replied trying to sound as confident as I could but in reality, his American accent just about made me melt inside.
“Where are you headed?” he asked
“I and my father are headed to Ireland to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday”
“How nice” he gazed solemnly out into the ocean.
The caption came aboard shouting that we would begin our journey shortly.
“What’s wrong?” I asked
“Oh, it’s nothing much… it’s just that I wish I were here with someone”
“What do you mean”
“My parents passed last year I’m headed to the UK to live with my aunt and uncle”
“I’m very sorry to hear that but I’m sure your aunt and uncle and thrilled to have you living with them”
“How about we explore the ship ay?” he said a mysterious gaze in his eye
I nodded my head taking his hand as he led me down the stairs and through the entire boat. We stopped at the library, the cafe, and the pub.
“I suspect my father may be worried about my absence,” I said. I felt the need to speak properly around him.
He walked me to my room
“See you around,” he said flashing me another smile
I entered the room finding my father asleep on his bed. The boat began to rock back and forth as we began to move. Soon the ship steadied to the point where you couldn’t feel the movement unless we were hit by the occasional wave. I watched out the bathroom window as she sailed along nothing to be seen for miles.
I spent a while just sitting on the edge of the bathtub staring out into the sea until my mind began to wander. To places, I’m not proud of…to fantasies of my most recent acquaintance. It was not a very lady-like thing to do, in fact, I felt guilty about my thoughts so I pushed them to the side and left the bathroom. Father was still asleep so I left him a note telling him I was alright before adventuring back out onto the ship. I was hoping to find Adam again but at the same time dreading it. What if he knew what she was thinking? That would be positively mortifying. I passed dozens of people, none of which were Adam. I couldn’t help but feel slightly relieved.
It wasn’t until I got to the top deck that I started to feel uneasy. And no it was not seasickness it was Adam. He was standing in the spot we had met while talking to another girl. The feeling of jealousy crept up on me. There was no reason for such a feeling but I guess I couldn’t help it. I stood there and started getting sadder by the minute. I had just met this man. Why was I already so attached to him? I questioned my mental state for a moment. I was not given much time to think because the woman he was speaking to began to walk towards me causing his gaze to head in my direction. I panicked and ran back down the stairs and into a secluded hallway. I leaned against the wall sliding down until I was sitting comfortably on the floor.
I prayed he had not seen me. But if he had, how was I going to explain my stalker-like behavior and my sudden runaway. My mind was filled with possible outcomes. I lifted my knees up to my chin, tucking my head between them. I soon realized once again this is not something I can do as a female. I quickly changed positions as I heard footsteps coming towards me. I just sat there waiting for Adam. A familiar face bounded towards me this time it was not adam. It was the man I had seen before when we had just boarded the man with a nice smile. He stopped walking and stood in front of me for a second.
“Well what’s wrong little lady?” he asked, his voice loud and echoey throughout the sparsely decorated hall.
The man huffed before outstretching his enormous hand. I reluctantly took it and he hoisted me up to my feet in one fell swoop.
“The names Henry,” he said, his smile as full as ever.
“Sophia” I replied
Dad always told me to never talk to strangers but something about this man made me feel oddly comfortable as if I have known him my entire life.
“Let’s go get you a cake” he offered
I followed him to the pastry shop picking out a nice dark chocolate cupcake. Henry handed it to me and of course, I thanked him.
“You know my grandfather helped design these ships,” he said as we walked out of the shop
“Really? How so?”
“With every P.S ship, they like to incorporate details from the other older ones. My grandfather helped make the P.S 55 back in 1956. This carpet was his idea.”
I looked down at my feet admiring the carpet once more
“If you go down another level you can see a picture of him” he smiled to himself
“He was a silly man ya know…I didn’t know him for long but he was always a joy to be around. He had a passion for interior design which was very different for a man back in the 50s. He was the best around. Everyone went to him for advice on what color to paint their room or what tile would look best in here. He always helped them. I admire that about him.”
I smiled at henry. I liked hearing about people’s history and his story was no exception. For the rest of the day, I continued to imagine Henry’s grandfather. His stylish physique and knack for design. The sun began to set and we had officially been at sea for 3 hours. I waved goodbye to Henry and headed back to my room. Father was now awake and pleased to see me.
“How was the tour?”
“Amazing” I replied
“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.”
I sorted through the piles of nicely folded clothing that lay on my bed pulling out my favorite lilac nightgown. I decided it was time to wash the sea salt smell out of my hair. I took a much-deserved bath before slipping into the comfort of my nightgown. When I exerted the bathroom my father was preparing to leave
“I’m going to have a drink with some of my friends” he explained
I nodded excitedly to have the room to myself.
“Make sure to lock the door when I leave”
I did as he asked, sliding the lock into place and returning to the comfort of my bed. I pulled out my sketch pad and continued my most recent drawing. Just as I was about to begin a sharp bang landed on the door. I hesitantly walk over to it. Father had a key there would be no reason for him to knock. I unlocked the door, turning the handle and lightly tugging. I watched as the door slid out of the frame unveiling who stood before me.