The Anchor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 05, 2017

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Submitted: October 05, 2017



Throughout the years of living with him, I have come to master the art of waiting. 

I’ve learned how to gaze out the window and swallow the sea, how to picture myself as the sole survivor of a shipwreck who ends up on a deserted island, and of the adventures that would ensue in those uncharted realms. Plagued by doubt and uncertainty, I traverse the sandy shores of my reveries searching for a sign of life, some degree of hope to hold on to, yet I soon realize that I am alone. This thought evokes within me a deep sense of fear, but one that borders on triumphal excitement, for I know that regardless of these circumstances, I will overcome my loneliness and boredom, reaching thus some sort of profound revelation in my solitude. As naïve as my daydreaming may seem, it is the only platform that elevates my soul to a higher plane of existence wherein I have the opportunity to feel lost, to wander aimlessly until I find my own path. But then the cries of my child bring me back to reality, forcing me to leave my other self behind on that island. 

As I gently slide my arm along his back and settle his head into the crook of my elbow, a peculiar memory manifests itself before my eyes: I am suddenly six years old, standing before my mother in the kitchen. She wraps two loaves of bread in a cloth, looks in my direction and says, “This is how you will one day hold your own child”. And she then precedes to rock this bundle of joy back and forth as if it’s her own newborn. I remember at the time being mesmerized by the kindness and care she showed toward this make-believe child. So moved I was by her actions that I decided, right then and there, to show the same degree of love to my own flesh and blood in the days to come. It is indeed strange how the mind picks the most inopportune moments to perform its trickery, and conjure forth a memory I’d chosen to abandon long ago. But alas, my present has always lived in the shadow of my past, and today is no exception. 

The crying subsides, and with it my memory fades. I have now been thrusted back into another reality, one constantly under the threat of an impending doom. I saunter toward the window and take my seat, once again gazing at the sea. This time, however, my eyes fixate themselves upon a little girl collecting seashells. She runs barefoot along the shoreline, her ankles caressed by the gentle waves. From where I sit I cannot see the look in her eyes, but I imagine it to be one of wonder and amazement. I desire nothing more than to run to her with open arms, but I remain seated for I cannot bear the idea of abandoning my child. Yet that is okay - within the confines of this cabin, imagination is my best friend anyways, and I trust it to take me to all the places I want to see. 

As I envision my myriad of lives with this little girl, she suddenly looks up and smiles, and that smile alone is enough to bring me to my knees. "This is it, this is the moment that I must seize! This little girl will show me a new way to live!" These thoughts race through my mind, one trampling the other but none reaching the finish line, for I throw aside the chair and run to the door in haste. But soon as my fingers touch the doorknob, I hear my child whimpering in sleep. I hesitate, thinking if I should refrain from leaving the house and comfort him instead, but before I arrive at a conclusion the whimpers cease, and silence once more descends over the cabin. "It is settled then", I think to myself, "I must now go and meet this girl." With tears of joy glimmering in my eyes I open the door and circle around the cabin, only to find out that the girl is no longer there. Another moment has gone by, and I have failed yet again to preserve it and turn it into a monument. 

I return to my post by the window. Looking out this time at the rimless horizon, I wonder when my husband will be back, and whether I should put the kettle on the stove right away or fifteen minutes from now. I'm sure that he's out there somewhere, either conquering his dreams or being crushed beneath the boots of ambition, but no matter where he is, I know that I must stay at my post, and my post is here, in this cabin, by the sea. After all, the woman must be the anchor that keeps the ship at bay, and I must therefore remain faithful to that role lest the ship sinks to the bottom of the sea. So I will stay until he comes back, and I will live a thousand lives inside my head, day in and day out. 

I just wonder how much longer I have to wait until he gets home.

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