The salty breeze pushed white foamy waves against the rocks. Stella always thought the white foam crashing against the rocky shore looked like hands trying to claw their way out of the sea and onto dry land. Thunder rumbled in the distance. The land won’t stay dry for long, she thought to herself. She scanned the horizon where dark and angry clouds formed, hiding what would have been a beautiful summer sunset. As the wind picked up Stella wrapped her floral shawl around her shoulders and stood from the wooden bench that sat at the edge of the cliff overlooking the shore. She better get back to her garden and clean up before the storm hit.
She sighed as she turned from the amazing view and looked back at her blue house perched at the top of the hill. The house almost blended into the darkening sky, all except the white doors and white trim around the windows that glowed like a beacon from the lighthouse. As she climbed up the dirt path she willed herself not to look at the lighthouse a half mile in the distance beyond her house but she couldn’t help it and glanced at the light on top that was still dark. Her heart sank and she wiped a tear from her rosy cheek.
She couldn’t help but count in her head, 73 days.
The white, knee high gate greeted her, waving in the wind, as she walked up to her garden. She entered and picked up her gardening tools, walked over to the shed next to the house and placed them inside before locking up. She looked to the horizon one last time watching the clouds swirl together before she entered her home. The phone rang as she stepped through the white door.
“Hey Trish, no nothing yet.” Stella could hear Trish sighing in the back ground.
“Thanks for keeping an eye out. I know the waiting’s hard but we got to keep our faith up.”
“Is there anything I can do for you in the meantime? Looks like a nasty storm is coming, do you need me to come stay with you?”
“Thank you, Trish, but I’ll be fine. I’ve been through nastier storms than this by myself.”
“Ok hon, stay safe and don’t worry ok?”
“Ok Trish. Thanks. Love you too.” Stella hung up the phone and walked to the sink to finish washing the dishes she had left there. She hoped she hadn’t hurt her mother-in-law’s feelings. She loved Trish, she just needed space. A louder rumble shook the house causing Stella to come out of her thoughts and walk to the kitchen window overlooking the sea. She glanced out, turned away, then just as quickly pushed her face against the window again.
What was that in the distance?
She grabbed her shawl and rushed outside. The wind was stronger than before and whipped her shawl around before she could wrangle it around herself. She stumbled back down along the dirt path to the bench she had just vacated earlier. Her heart pounded in her chest as she strained her eyes trying to see through the darkening sky.
There it was again! She stood on the wooden bench trying to get a better view and that’s when she saw it. A white boat bouncing along in the water, just ahead of the storm. She rushed back to the house, grabbing the binoculars from the kitchen table and ran back to the bench, falling twice along the dirt path.
Stella jumped onto the bench and peered through the binoculars. Her blood pounded louder in her ears than the surf on the shore. She searched again and there it was. The white ship. She whispered a prayer searching its deck until she saw him standing there at the mast, fighting with the ship, leading it back to shore. She dropped the binoculars and screamed, jumping up and down on the bench. Suddenly the lighthouse glowed and a beam of light shot down to the boat.
Stella cheered and danced around the bench as the rain began to fall. She opened her arms to the sky, not caring that she was getting drenched. She yelled “Thank you!” to the sky over and over again. She looked back to the ocean, wiping her matted hair from her face, her smile shone in the darkness. With a sigh and her hand on her heart, she whispered to herself “My husband is finally home again.”