I knew that was the last time I would see her again, when my grip began to loosen. Her weight almost dragging me through the porthole. My eyes stung with tears. "I can't let you go, maybe I can lift you back through, I have to try!"
"No." She replied, eerily calm, "If one of us has to survive, it's you!"
I couldn't hold on any longer, our hands were both too wet. Splash! I shut my eyes tightly as her body hit the freezing water. I couldn't do anything else to save her. I had to get over it, keep moving. I wasn't going to let my wife's death kill me aswell, she would not have let me die for her. I managed to regain control of my legs, previously paralyzed with fear, and began to slosh towards the door, the water was almost waist high now. The warmth had disappeared from my legs hours ago, even the comforting sensation of wrinkling feet in the water had been stolen by the cold. The corridor pitched in and out of darkness. A bar light, the last in the corridor, was flickering and hanging at an angle from the ceiling.
A second rumble sent shockwaves down the corridor, heaving me into a heavy metal door, which opened, submerging me in icy water, just as the bar light fell from the ceiling, and with a pop, crashed into the water in a sparkling shower of sparks. My head thumped and my body shivered uncontrollably. Before me, a set of uniformal, metal stairs rose out from beneath the water. Without a second thought, I found myself at the top of the stairs; almost forgetting to duck through the doorway. I had to duck through most doorways.
The atmosphere took my breath away. Hundreds, thousands of passengers crowded at the stern of the ship, releasing flairs into the night sky, which faded quickly, alerting no passing boats. Crew members screamed orders but, amidst the chaos, went unheard. "Get away from the stern!" I screamed, "Move away, quickly!" Screams, so full of agony and fear, stabbed knives into my body.
No-one heard me. Then silence. The deafening screech of tearing metal against the night. When I woke up, I was floating on a disused lifeboat, capsised and abandoned in the horror. Every ounce of energy left my body in deep puffs of steam that escaped my mouth between frightened, rapid breaths. I knew this was my death.
Suddenly, I saw lights. But these were not the lights of heaven, but the lights of a coastline. My strength, the animal instinct to preserve my life returned. I stroked my hands through the water, which bit at my fingers like a frosty pirahna. Deep, rapid strokes which kicked water up behind me. After a few minutes the water became shallower, and warmer. "We're here to help you!" Shouted a voice from the coast. I was alive, and soon to be safe. But all I could think about was my wife, and how It was me on the lifeboat, and not her. She should be lying beside me, our icy hands tight together. Not dead in the water, amongst hundreds of others.
© Copyright 2016 Phameno. All rights reserved.