Bunny slipped off her flip-flops and dug her toes into the sand. The sand on top was warm, but deep into the sand it was cool. She leaned back on her blue pad. “I wonder if they even know I’m gone?”
She was a passenger on a tall ship; a gift from her son and daughter-n-law. It had been a little over a year since George, her husband, had gone to the Lord. She had moped around the house for too many months, and the surprise trip was just what she needed, or so the kids thought.
Bunny was not the only single on the ship, but she simply did not feel like mingling with everyone. She had a couple of books, and spent most of her time reading. Her blue foam pad was the only companion she had. Many of the people had gone snorkeling or sunbathing. The ship had stopped at a tiny island, and the captain had said there were colorful fish and shells for those interested – she wasn’t; electing instead to sit and read. The rest of the passengers checked out with the purser and boated or swam to the island.
After lunch Bunny leaned on the ship rails and watched all the folks playing on the beach. “I ought to go over there and at least take a stroll.” She looked for the purser, but he wasn’t at his post, so she took her small mat and eased into the Caribbean water. Oh, this is refreshing.
Bunny paddled toward shore then drifted to a small cove. Swimmers and divers were swimming under and around her. If I were thirty years younger…silly thought, thirty years ago I was raising kids. She drifted onto a sandy shallow and dozed.
She awoke some time later and realized that the great sailing ship had silently slipped into the horizon. She crawled up onto a dune and looked at the sea in all directions. Not a boat was in sight.
There she was, in a swimsuit and light top and flip-flops; and a few hundred yards of sand and scrub bushes. “Well, Lord, I’ve spent a year sitting at home alone, I guess this is fitting.” She dug her toes deeper into the sand and picked up a broken shell. She stood it up in the sand and then she found another small shell and stood it up next to the first. “There we go, a congregation; not too many, must be a Wednesday night service. Matters not, the fellowship of Christians gathered together has no regulations.” She laughed, “George would have said something like that.”
Bunny continued to pile small shells around the edge of the blue pad. “You folks are a bit late,” she said to each shell as she placed it in the sand. “My, that’s a colorful coat you have on today Mrs. Carlin.” Bunny lay back on the pad and stared up at the deep blue sky. “Lord, you and I make a fine pair out here. But, if you would, a nice salad would be fine right now; I’m feeling a bit peckish.” The sun was creeping lower in the sky. “Keeping company with the fellowship of shells is fine; but, if it’s not too much to ask, a human voice would be nice too.”
“Mrs. Smith, is that you over there?” A male voice was calling her name.
Bunny looked up toward the west and could see a shadow of someone approaching. I guess I shouldn’t acknowledge total strangers, but this guy knows my name. “Over here,” she yelled above the noise of the surf.
The man approached. “Glad I found you before dark. The ship put out a missing person alert. These were their last coordinates.”
The man held out a hand to help her up. “Do be careful, don’t step on my shells. oh, why did I say something stupid like that?
“Oh, no problem,” the man laughed. “My boat’s right here. I will run you over to Nevis.”
“I hope this isn’t too much trouble for you?”
He smiled. “Not at all, I live there. I’m Carl Mason, by the way. I’ll notify the ship line on the radio telephone.”
“Oh. Thank you.”
“They won’t come to get you until tomorrow, but you can stay in my guest house. There are some beach duds there.”
Bunny felt her face blush, and then looked down at her lack of clothes and belongings and laughed. “Thank you, Lord.”
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