He was relying on this trip to save their listless marriage. He knew the gray and disconsolate December landscape of Buffalo, New York was only going to make their uphill battle of marital rejuvenation far more difficult. He wasn't sure if this trip was going to be too little, too late. However, he did know that staying in New York, where the weather was beginning to flirt with subzero wind chills and the sun's appearance became more and more fleeting with each passing day, was leading to a certain death to a once vivacious relationship.
She knew it was over. The impending polar vortex was the driving
motivation for her agreeance of joining him on this tropical get away, not the
marital rehabilitation. No amount of frozen rum runners or beach volleyball could
save them. She hated the fact that they had been dating since they were 16 and
she hated the fact that they married each other, because that's what they were
"supposed to do". She hated how much she grew to resent him and
ultimately ended up plainly just hating him.
He was content with staying in his hometown until the day he
died. He knew nothing else of the world, and frankly, didn't care to. For what
he lacked in wanderlust, he made up for in work ethic. When he was 16, he
worked a full-time job, in order to save enough money to buy a car, just so he
could impress her. When he turned 20, he worked overtime at the factory, in
order to save enough money to buy her an engagement ring. When he was 24, he
took on a second job of laying tile, so he can pay for the down payment on
their house. Now, at 28, he has finally saved enough of his weekly wages to pay
for this vacation. He was going to pay to save this marriage.
She always wanted to leave Buffalo, but never worked up the
courage to do so. She had a reliable husband and a strong foundation in New
York. Was she crazy for wanting to throw it all away in hopes of a
serendipitous encounter in a foreign place? Had she over-romanticized what the
world was like beyond her own quickly shrinking world? The town loves to talk,
would they call her flighty, and would they ridicule her for leaving him? Did
she care what they thought? How was he affording this vacation?
It was their first time on a plane, and he secretly hoped it was
a turbulent flight. He wanted to be there for her in perilous times. He wanted
to be her security and her protector. She wanted to get out of Buffalo as soon
as humanly possible. The destination was Saint Kitts and Nevis and the attempt
to rekindle their love was under way.
She was truly overcome with awe once she saw the vast, sparkling
blue ocean. The ocean represented the endless possibilities in life that were
due to come her way once she left him and left Buffalo. The size of the ocean
alone was incomprehensible to him. He had never felt so small in his life.
Still, he managed to hold her hand and act out his wonderment, even though he
was panic stricken with the enormity of the great big sea.
She was furious. She couldn't believe he had decided to take the
option of sharing a suite with a stranger to save some money. She then
immediately questioned her own sense of feeling. Isn't this something she
should want? A sense of adventure had been her adopted personal ethos ever
since she made the internal decision to leave. Why wasn't she intrinsically
enthused that they were staying with a stranger? Deep down, did she want a safe
and comfortable life?
The stranger was an inherently devious man. He was an unsavory
and mischievous youth that never intended to walk the straight and narrow path.
He was the type of filth that would steal your wallet at the bar, then jump you
in the back alley after you left, looking for more money. He had been lying and
stealing his whole life. He would prey on the naive, weak, and the vulnerable.
He didn't think it was a big deal. Sure, they would be sharing a
suite with a stranger, but it wasn't like they didn't have their own private
room. How much inconvenience could this possibly bring? Why was she never happy
with him? How come everything he did was met with disappointment and
disapproval? No. He wasn’t going to question his love for her. He knew he loved
her; he has loved her since he was 16. It was the only love he has ever known.
Saint Kitts and Nevis was what she always wanted. She loved the energy and the excitement on the island. She couldn’t hear the sounds of the factories back home. She didn’t have to sit at an Applebee’s watching his hairy, dirty hands grip a mug of domestic light beer and talk about the same topics they’ve been discussing for the past 12 years. This was new, this was what she wanted.
It was at the hotel bar, where the stranger and the couple met. The stranger noticed his New York driver’s license and immediately pounced on the opportunity to make small talk. The stranger said he grew up in Astoria, and was on the island to escape the city in the wintertime. He responded back with his reasoning of why they left Buffalo, and they clinked glasses and shot back their beers. She was wildly unimpressed. She didn’t travel 2,000 plus miles to sit on a barstool talking about New York. She abruptly and rudely left. He typically chases her, to amend whatever wrong she has decided that he has committed, but this time he stayed.
She went down to the beach to play out the fantasies of the romance novels she used to read to escape the doldrums of life back home. He stayed with the stranger listening to his tales of world travel. The stranger, indeed, was well traveled. However, it was more so out of necessity than desire. The stranger was like a shark, constantly on the move, looking to find new people to destroy. Just recently, the stranger came across a big score, ripping off a wealthy couple in Antigua. The stranger lulled them into a false sense of friendship over a few fun filled days, followed them back to their bungalow, equipped with his shiny .45 pistol, and took them for everything that they had. The couple were in their early 70’s, and regarded the stranger as a very nice young man, who was devoid of a father figure growing up. They bought what he was selling, and ended up at his mercy at gun point, stripping themselves or their cash and jewelry.
Back at the bar, he was falling in the same pitfalls of the aforementioned couple in Antigua. He should be spending time with his wife! What was he doing? Why couldn’t he break away from this conversation. Where was she?
She wasn’t sure if she was actually beautiful or not. Sure, almost every man in her hometown had coveted her, but was in due to the fact that she was outwardly attractive, or due to the fact that there wasn’t much competition against her. Would her beauty translate down on the island, or was she just a big fish in a small pond? Here was her opportunity to find out.
He told the stranger too much. He told him about his marital woes, and that this trip was an attempt to save their relationship. He himself, was dumbfounded by the fact that he has admitted this to another man. Where he was from, men bottled up their feelings, and kept everything in house. He was surprised at how light he emotionally felt after getting this off of his chest. The stranger commiserated with him and lent him a listening ear for another round, all while devising a plan of how to separate him from his money and possessions. There was no sob story too sad to deviate the stranger from taking advantage of his mark.
It turns out, her beauty did travel. She noticed the attention that she was receiving from the onlooking men on the beach. She loved every second of this. She was worried she was being vein and superficial, but that thought was fleeting. She internally created scenarios in which one of these men would rescue her from her dull existence and would lead her on a new adventure. Which one of these men would be able to offer her what she was longing for?
He was still longing for her, but he couldn’t find her. He excused himself from the stranger to go look for her, but it was to no avail. She wasn’t in the room, and wasn’t at the pool either. What was going on? Why wasn’t she spending time with him. He was never threatened with the thought of losing her to a new man, only threatened with the thought of losing her to a new path of life. Would she really leave him for someone else? He had just heard the stranger tell tales of his womanizing ways, could he lose her to a man like that? Where is she?
Once she saw this man make her way over to her, she instantly thought of the ways he was going to sweep her off her feet. Was he a surfer from Venice? A musician from Chicago? A businessman from Paris? A playwright from Dublin? The possibilities were limitless, and every step of the way over they intensified.
The beach was too crowded for him to try and find her. It’s a small island, but it was beginning to feel incomprehensibly large at this point. The heat, and the whiskey were doing him no favors. Feelings of jealousy began to surface. He’s worked his ass off for this trip. He wanted to reconnect with his wife! He thought to himself how admirable of a man he was, and questioned why he deserved what was taking place. But what was taking place? Was she with another man? Was she lost? Was she in danger? Is this his opportunity to save her from some sort of threat, and play the knight in shining armor?
The man was a commercial fisherman from Corolla, NC. Nonetheless, she found his southern drawl intoxicating and found herself laughing at anything he said to her. How far would she take this conversation? At what point would she tell him she was married? Would she tell him? Was this the pivotal moment in her life where she was going to change everything. Why wasn’t she feeling guiltier? She knows he doesn’t deserve this, but she knows she doesn’t deserve to feel stuck in life. This type of rendezvous happens in novels and television shows all the time! Maybe she was finally living life?
The stranger ran into him on his way back to the room. He asked him where his wife was, and he had no response. The stranger told him he had more whiskey in his room, along with some cocaine. He had never done drugs before, but was tempted, nonetheless. Would the drink and the drugs, numb his pain? Or would they serve as a jump start to him winning her back? Would she find him more attractive if he were more adventurous? He accepted the stranger’s invitation.
She couldn’t believe she was going to go through with it. Was she a wretched person for committing this act of adultery? She knew it would crush him, and although that made her remorseful, it wasn’t a strong enough plea to stop herself. The fisherman invited her back to his room, she accepted the fisherman’s invitation.
He washed down his whiskey and snorted a line of what he believed to be cocaine. The Stranger knew he knew no better. He had just consumed a line of crushed barbiturates and would shortly be unconscious. As he began to feel weak and dreary, he wondered where she was as he slowly faded away into oblivion. The stranger took his room keys and sauntered off to one of the easiest scores of his criminal career.
She could not go through with it. She abruptly left the fisherman’s room and hurriedly walked back to her own. The fisherman followed in tow. The stranger rested his .45 on the night table. There would be no use for this weapon tonight.
She quietly opened the door, not knowing what state she was going to find her husband in, and to not wake him if he was sleeping. He deserved to rest; he works hard. Instead, she found the stranger from the bar rifling through her personal belongings. She also saw a pistol. Adrenaline and fear concurrently coursed through her veins. Without alerting him, she peaked into the room next to hers, only to see her husband passed out on the ground. Was he dead?! Had he been killed by the stranger?
The fisherman busted into her room, hoping to win her affection back. Expecting to find her, he also found the stranger going through their belongings. The fisherman was not as subtle as she, and gained the attention of the burglar. Stunned, the burglar did not know who this man was. The stranger went to lunge at him, but then saw her pick up the pistol from the table.
She had tears in her eyes, but her hand wasn’t shaky. She didn’t know how to feel at the moment. She was on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown. But her hand wasn’t shaky. She pointed the .45 directly at the stranger, while the fisherman watched in amazement, not quite sure what was going on?
BANG! She fired a shot at the stranger! Never before had she fired a weapon in her life, and never before had she felt this alive! The gunshot had woken him. Drearily, turned frantically, he walked towards the sound.
The shot missed. The stranger rushed her, but the fisherman valiantly stepped in. He protected her. The two were wrestling around on the floor, when he arrived at the room. It was a surreal scene. He snatched the gun out of her now trembling hands, and tried to analyze the on-going situation. Who was this other man wrestling around with the stranger? Why is he with my wife? He then fired a warning shot at the ceiling to break up the ruckus. Both men turned their attention to him, as he waved the pistol at the pair. He didn’t know who to shoot.
She got back on the plane to Buffalo. She had lived enough of life in one weekend, to happily retreat back home. The frigid air had never been so comforting.