Ocean Air

The salty wind caressed her golden hair as she sat on the bench at the bow of the yacht, thinking. She inspected the deck around her. Only a dozen people were on the deck, but she knew that hundreds more were still sleeping in their cabins or eating an early breakfast.

She stood up and walked to the railing, and, gripping it tightly, leaned over. She watched as tiny blue and white-foamed waves lapped against the side of the ship, begging her to come down and swim. A pod of dolphins leapt in and out of the water, the top of the sea shimmering like diamonds, catching the warm sunlight.

Taking in a saline-filled breath, she let go of the barrier and walked back into the common area, inside the ship, her frost white summer dress softly skimming the back of her legs. She turned right, away from the wealthy and prosperous crowd, and entered the large cabin she shared with her father.

“Rosalie, there you are!” she heard him exclaim from one of the bedrooms. She walked in, and sat down on a couch that lined against the wall. Her father had on a white button-up, and his dress pants were black, no wrinkles visible. His suspenders were also black, like his tie, which only exaggerated his greying hair.

“Help me put on this jacket, will you?” he asked. He handed her a midnight black suit jacket, and she assisted him as he shrugged it on. “Rosalie, really, you could wear something a bit more appropriate,” he scolded.

“And by ‘appropriate’, you mean fancy, right?” she smiled. He rolled his eyes as a short man walked in.

“Mr. Wellington, breakfast is ready,” he announced. Rosalie’s father nodded, and the man left the room.

“Now, I am going to eat, and I’m assuming that you already have. We arrive on the island in an hour, I think. Just don’t fall off the side of the ship!” he warned as he strolled out of the room.

She stayed in the room for a moment, but then her desire to smell the ocean air led her back outside. Rosalie could already see the narrow strip of tropical islands, palm trees and lush green mountains sticking up into the morning horizon.

Her father had planned the summer vacation years ago, but each summer he was too busy with work. This year he finally had agreed to take his work with him, on the yacht, although he’d be working the entire vacation. He’d said that, when they got to the island, Rosalie was allowed to go where she pleased, as long as she told him first.

As the ship got closer, Rosalie could see the bare outlines of the small village, circular shaped bamboo houses lining along the sandy beaches, people walking on the beaches, some playing in the clear, cool water, and dolphins leaping in the surf. She felt a sense of belonging here. After all, this was where she had been born.