The boat was empty apart from the man that had – over the past year- withered into a pitiful shell that once was home to the brightest of human souls. Beneath his feet a picnic box that lay just as lifelessly as he did, moved an inch here and there with the knocking of the waves on the boat. Even the waves were pitiful. They resembled the man he had become. He felt as though he could hide here. On the water there was nobody to judge or comment on his downfall. He stared at the house before him; the pretentious Georgian house he had inherited. The house that used to be home to extravagant parties, charity events with the most lavish guests and most importantly it was home to her. But now, the house stood with no parties, charity events and most devastatingly – no her. He felt safe on the water yet lonely. With only himself and a flask of whiskey, he spent a large part of each day watching how the waves rippled and curled. They danced together and moved in unison. The only time he could escape his own head was when he stared into the water. He distracted his mind with the questioning of what was beneath him; how far did the depths of the ocean go? Sometimes he prayed to be washed away or lured in by the mesmerising voice of a cunning siren. William and Rose would sit for hours on the boat making up stories about the sea. He came here to feel close to her as if sitting in the boat would bring her back to him. The one year without her had felt like an eternity.
The house harboured too many bittersweet memories. The boat was simple; it was just a boat. The house had too many parts where memories clung. They would dangle in front of him and for a second he would be taken back to a better time, but then the realisation of his life’s emptiness rang as if to wake him from false hope. The corridors of the house were like veins. They had once carried life and soul through the house; the laughing and the joy would echo throughout the many rooms. But now, the veins carried sorrow and despair. The voices of Rose’s happiness were washed away by the remnants of her endless sobbing. His mind was conflicted with her feminine, fragile cries and the cries of his comrades being torn apart by warfare. The war had been over for two years, yet the noises still tormented him. Sometimes, he would dream of both the comrades and Rose. They would be morphed together into a nightmare more vivid than the most detailed canvas painting. On the worst days, these dreams would spill over into his awakened state. They would penetrate his mind so fiercely that he felt his body would often self-destruct. He knew the damage he could do in those moments. Another entity seemed to take over his body and he had no control. The house tortured him. He was safe on the boat. His mind couldn’t get him here. The thought that he hid from so desperately and the thought he could not bear to release from his subconscious, was the fact that it was all his fault. Rose was gone because of him.