Previous Entry Share Next Entry
(no subject)
Well, it was for a BF entry but then I was late getting it in. So, a fiction quickie then! Off it goes.

On the inside of my wedding ring, I have an unconventional engraving. Three diamonds and a fleur de lis underneath the central stone, which is a sapphire set deep into the white gold. They are for the points of the compass; the sapphire points north with my heart.

Everything about the romance of my life has to do with this place, this state, this frontier. I moved to Alaska in my troubled early twenties, met my husband – Ewan – and have since slowly set my roots deeper into the ground. It’s a hard place to live through the long winters, sometimes, but it is beautiful and I can imagine living my life as a married woman nowhere else. Even the sapphire in my wedding ring reminds me of Alaska’s blue flag and the pretty song a child wrote for it.

Ewan is a fisherman. He departs for weeks at a time on boats that carve their way up the Bering sea during the season. Few communities exist on the fringe of that coast, the weather is unstable, and the water is always cold. Falling off the boat could kill you before anyone can reel you back in with a life preserver.

When he is away, this warm little piece of metal is my closest link to him. When I am lonely, I trace its circle and imagine his identical piece standing hard against his cold-whitened skin, beaded with seawater mist. I imagine him touching the circle and thinking of me.

It might be a weakness in my character, but I cannot help fearing for his life. Between the boats themselves and the small aircraft by which the men travel off the state’s main ground and air traffic thoroughfare, there are plenty of hazards. That danger sat beside us at the funeral of a friend just last year whose Cessna got snatched up in a windshear and tumbled into the side of a mountain.

We’re weeks past the solstice, and every night it gets darker a little earlier, summer’s perpetual twilight leaving us behind as the temperature begins to decline. Every night for one minute I take off my wedding ring and stare at it, waiting for Ewan to call me and send his love over a crackling satellite telephone connection. I gaze into the empty space and imagine the awful void of his absence. I hold my breath, afraid to breathe in the possibilities that surround me of something happening, of his call not arriving, of the boat vanishing into the grey strait or the plane going down on the white expanse of a glacier.

The telephone rings. I breathe again, sliding the comfortable weight of my wedding band into place on my finger. Gasping and smiling, I remember that this loop connects us over a thousand miles, and somehow, I believe that it will keep him safe.

Approximately 479 words
Made by The Prose Formatter


Log in

No account? Create an account