In the wild whirl of the wind, her white hair whipped and lashed her face unmercifully. I could only but barely make out her features; her eyes wide and her dark brows knotted in unnatural contortions upon her alabaster face. Her expression was that of anger and fear.
We were sinking you understand, drowning and this woman looked as if to be fighting the strands of foaming water that the sharp winds flung into the atmosphere. The very tips of the salt water were tangling their undulating and ever moving tentacles about her thin wrists and exposed neck.
Ah, the horrible beauty of it! I was dying too, you see, there was no hope for me but rather than spending my final moments cleansing my soul before God, I was watching this creature struggle against the agony of death in a way that I was certain no other human being around her was doing.
She was outraged.
Outraged that such a thing could be. Angered that death would be so presumptuous as to think her beauty, her effervescence should pass away without being fully arrayed in a long life of adoration. I believed in that moment that if her life had been spared she would have been adored even into old age. Her hair, yes white blond, her skin flawless her bright blue eyes flashing. Oh yes, she would have had all the men mourning and the young wallflowers weeping.
And there we were, me a common sailor watching her spend her last strength to rise up defiantly amongst the storm and turmoil that mocked all who cried out to God. She would not be mocked, even in her terror, her voice was loud and piercing and as her still slippered feet seemed to lift beyond the clutches of the lightening gray water, I heard her last word, a commanding No!
As her rebellious and deep throated word echoed out upon the water a gust of the wind, so sharp so piercing that it seemed to split the water before her, pummeled into her breast and pushed her into the cleaving waters of the cold Atlantic. Her hands claw-like stretched out grasping at nothing but what would slip through her fingers and she was gone.
My only thought was not to be pulled down with her. To die, to take my sip of cold salt water, but not to die with that expression of defiance before me. I lifted myself up and away. I looked about for any sorrowing features that struggled against the pull of the inevitable. Yes, perhaps a human face that looked about at the last for humble companionship in meeting their maker.
I awoke in this bed, in this hospital room amongst the coughs and sobs of those who called themselves survivors. Those sorrowing for their loved ones, those who still seemed soaked from the storm and sodden by their struggles. All except one. One young man who shook and shuddered and mumbled into his bleeding fingers.
“Don’t tell them I pushed her, please don’t tell them.”