This is a story I just wrote as soon as I got home. I had to pour my pent up feelings out and this is it. I apologize in advance and after you'll read it you'll know why.
Dedicated to the 2 other people in the story. You know who you are. You'll be the one crying hardest.
They stood on deck waving at the lone woman on the pier. All had left, yet she remained; rooted on the spot she clutched the bag. Her hand shook, as if all the emotions that no word could ever convey were seeping through that one single gesture. It must have been all she could muster not to jump at sea and claw her way towards them.
They watched, intent on savouring every second that she remained in their sight. In their minds they thought that that moment would last forever but their rational brain informed them that the waves gently rocking beneath them was pulling them away from her, one slow excruciating moment at a time. Indeed a harsh mistress the sea is.
One of them had moist eyes and tears welled up. He knew he would cry. He tried not to, tried to save face, to force that defiant pride of his. But, to hell with it. Tears dropped from his chin and coalesced with the ocean. She mirrored his crying, managing one tear from her slant eyes. It was indeed a most heartbreaking scene.
The other stood there, his knuckles white against the railing. Despite the warmth he felt in his tear ducts he refused to shed a tear. He wanted this moment to be about the other two. It was a connection that transcended friendship, even romance. It was pure magic. He waved, and the others seconded his motion.
And that was it. Distance spread and their eyesight failed them. She was gone. One of them trembled in the cabin; be it from the unforgiving and uncaring cold or from them loss of perhaps one of the rarest people ever bestowed upon this world. The other didn't know. But he left the cabin altogether. But before hearing his companion pour out his anguish on the pillowcase.
They arrived home much later. They had stopped counting the hours, days and weeks. They were here and she was there and that was all that mattered. The first man had ceased his sobbing after the first day. But the second knew better.
At his house, the latter unpacked his belongings and came across a trinket. A shell, woven in string. Delicate, yet strong it was supposed to bring luck to the bearer. But as he held it, he didn't feel lucky. Instead he allowed himself what his foolish stubbornness had refused him to do the first time round. He cried and sobbed. His mind welled into despair and he struggled to find something to ground him. He took out a folder and all the trinkets which had constructed his journey and memory. On a paper he scrawled the three names that mattered in the world; one woman, two men. He placed all the trinkets in the folder and underneath the names he wrote “Forever bound to one another. You’ll always be in my heart.”
As he put the folder away, more tears splashed against the tile floors. But he managed a smile. Small yet true. He found himself relishing the memory, the emotion, one shared by three people. There is no bond stronger than that. He smiled because in a world shared by three inhabitants, he belonged.