She loved sitting at the back of a ship.
The sun never felt too strong there and she liked it when her hairs escaped from her bun and flew in front of her vision of the deep open seas. No matter what she did to secure them, the wind would always have its way.
Sometimes she starred up into the skies and pretended the clouds were hieroglyphs that hadn’t yet been decoded. Messages, she believed were written all over the skies, but no one had the time to decipher them. She certainly didn’t either. Still, she pretended. Some clouds made her feel lonely, other made her feel light. So light she wished she were nothing but a floating speck in the center of the cloud instead of a small girl who sat on the back of a huge cruise ship.
The other cruisers wondered about her. Some of the men tried their luck to kiss her. She was too busy trying to read the clouds and wait until the rest of the passengers went to sleep. With nothing to do on the massive cruise ship, this was her favorite time of the day. Pitch black, not a soul in sight, and surrounded by the open sea. The stars dazzled her. Especially because she knew there was nothing like it back home where she would eventually have to go. Pollution and distractions of everyday life clouded the nighttime skies where she was from. Clarity was rare when your thoughts were going a thousand miles per hour but there on the boat, it was a slow tug through the parting waters. Inch by inch, wave after wave.
So every night when the last drunk man had stumbled into his bed, unlucky with ladies and equally in roulettes, she could be found in a sun chair sitting underneath a blanket of brilliant stars in the early hours of the Atlantic Ocean.
She cuddled herself with an oversized coat and tried to piece together her life with the shapes of the constellations above. An I became apparent and she thought about how selfish she was no matter how much she tried to give herself to everyone who asked. She thought she saw a faint heart and remembered that no matter how much she preached love, her own had far too many hues of black and blues. Bruised and in the shadows. A shooting star razed a path and she remembered that her path must always fade, no matter how hard she wished it to burn brighter and brighter. If only we were made to be brilliant forever, she whispered. If only she had the capacity to shine like the stars in their constellations.
The small girl inhaled the wind and waited patiently for the early birds heading to the buffet to rattle her peace, and also until the stars were taken by the devil of dawn. One by one, meaning after meaning. Mouth after mouth.
She smiled in the silence. The stars always came back to her, eventually.
To the back of the ship, I go.