Sailboat Question illustration

The Sailboat Question

In Craft, Prose by

A selection from our “Anything Goes” call for submissions.
By Elizabeth Vincent

Share this Post

I close my eyes and listen to the gentle, almost inaudible sound of old, once-white ropes hitting metal poles around the boat, soft salt water lapping at the hull, the canvas sails flapping lazily in the wind. The balmy scent of the open ocean tickles my nose as the bright sun warms and tans my face. But the late afternoon light slowly turns from very hot to only subtly warm as the sunset begins, a slow one that gradually paints the sky vibrant orange and pink, then quickly red and a long-lasting, relaxed purple. Stars peep out and stand against their velvet backdrop, and the moon rises from the endlessly clear horizon spread out before me. He and I drift on the water for a while, not speaking, as the moon climbs up the sky, and then we gradually pull the boat in to the wooden dock, populated by all kinds of watercraft silently lit by the silver moon.

We sit on the boat for a couple of minutes more as she gently rocks up and down. The owners are out of town. They are friends of my parents, so we bit our lips and commandeered their property to spend the day sailing and bring the boat back, seemingly untouched so we wouldn’t get caught.

The man had named the boat Krisea after his wife’s name. It was such a romantic concept that I fell in love with the boat from a distance, occasionally catching myself day-dreaming over my breakfast, picturing the adorable couple spending the day on the ocean, working together to sail the boat and popping open a bottle of wine while they watched the sunset and cuddled. I dreamed of owning my own boat one day, and being perfectly happy in the arms of a husband that loved me as much as he loved her.

As I clamber out of the boat while he stands on the dock, staring distractedly at the powerboat that neighbors the majestic beauty of the sailboat, I watch him with a wondering eye and lingering question; is he really going to be the one?

Elizabeth Vincent spends most of her time in Blacksburg studying, writing, or working with her church. The latter two are intertwined for her, and she finds major inspiration from looking at the Bible as “one grand story” and God as “the ultimate Storyteller.” While she prefers to write whenever the inspiration strikes, she’s most productive in the mornings — her two requirements being natural light and coffee. She says her two featured pieces come from brokenness, and that “some of the most beautiful stories and pieces of writing emerge from taking up the broken pieces in your hands and beginning to do something with them.” She recommends William Cullen Bryant’s “To a Waterfowl” to readers of The Pylon.

You may also enjoy