The Perfidy of Fate
Jill was in love with Denys before she met him. She'd heard of him, and every word touched her heart.
He, as she, was something of an Outcast.
Where her secrets were unknown, his were obvious.
Denys, as Jill, kept to himself. Another serious student of NYU who was there for an education not a social life.
Jill longed to meet him but their paths didn't cross, and although she lurked when she could, she rarely saw him, and then only from afar.
Then, he graduated.
She imagined ways they might meet in the future, but over the days he moved deeper into her subconscious until he was a slight shadow.
And she forgot about him.
Passage of Time
She graduated at the top of her class, then on to medical school.
Not having a social life wasn't missed, for she was always chosen for the most
Unlike those who have lives and connections to this piece of ground, Jill was a transient. She moved from one hospital to another, some in other cities, some in other countries.
She was very much in demand, highly thought of, and for years in constant motion.
Finally she reached the point of burn out, too many years without downtime, too many years suppressing that part of herself where emotions resided.
She was forced to take a vacation, and because there was nowhere she could go that she wouldn't be likely to find a hospital it was decided a long world cruise would be the best therapy.
Jill didn't have family or friends, she had colleagues and supervisors. They packed her bags, they bought her dozens of novels to read, and saw her get on the ship.
Jill didn't take well to the enforced emptiness. She wasn't used to not having something to do or place to be. She kept feeling she was missing something.
The first day she stayed in her 'cell' cabin, only emerging for meals. The second boring brain killing day ended with her sitting alone on deck looking at nothing.
There was a momentary flare, exposing a rather small woman lighting a cigarette. Of course Jill immediately reproved her. The woman responded viciously.
Jill was frightened, and the woman seemed to take it well, as if she was used to terrorising people. As Jill was about to flee the woman spoke in a quieter, less psychopathic voice;
"You want to be successful in life, leave people alone. If they want to push pencils up their nose, cool. If they will bleed on you, tell them to do it someplace else. "
Jill realised this was the first person she has spoken to (not counting the 'thank you' to the staff) since boarding the ship.
"Anyway, I'm Sara the psychopath." The woman said.
Jill jumped at that, for the word was what she had slapped on Sara. Belatedly she introduced herself, and the woman pitched the cigarette over the side.
For the next two hours they spoke.
Spoke as she never had, and couldn't stop. She wanted to stop, but couldn't. Finally, Sara left her, and Jill noted it was past three a.m.
Insomniac Jill went to her cabin in a daze. She had never spoken so openly to anyone, and felt a mixture of freedom and chagrin.
She went to bed, had ten hours unbroken pleasant sleep, something she hadn't owned since she was twelve years old.
She awoke feeling invigorated, yet a bit surprised at how she had been so forthcoming. After a shower she went to the dining room, had coffee and a light meal, half hoping to see/not see Sara.
She did a walk about of the ship.
She noticed Sara being rather expert on the 'rock climbing', something she would never attempt.
She watched for a few minutes, then, embarrassed lest Sara see her, Jill ducked into another venue, then to her cabin.
She was not ready to analyse her talkathon. So decided to take the next meal in her room and to do some reading.
The ship docked late that night at one of the many ports. Her difficulty in sleeping had returned. As her cabin faced the island she looked at the pretty lights, not daring the deck, in case Sara was there.
She caught a few hours, then woke early and was in the first breakfast call. She joined one of the tours, didn't get back until dinner, changed and entered the dining room.
And there...right there...was Denys.
She froze, unbelieving this quirk of fate that would put her and Denys on the same ship. For moments she only stared.
He was so beautiful so magnicent...and then he smiled.
She smiled back, but he wasn't looking at her.
"Hi Jill!" Chirped Sara. "Come meet my husband,"
And yes, her husband was Denys.
Denys was smiling at Sara.
Denys did not see Jill, nor recognised her after introduction.
The insanity of the connection had Jill dizzy.,
If fate had been kind Denys would not be so attractive in proximity. He would be a boor, have flaws. But fate was not kind.
Denys, in proximity, was more perfect, more lovable then he had been in her fantasy. Just sitting there with him, her suppressed passion was overwhelming. She couldn't breathe or think.
I Can't be here...
She had, in her past fantasies, imagined Denys as perfect. Here, in reality, he was. There was no fantasy, no sensationalism; he was...even better in real life.
She could barely keep herself together, and so excused herself and trying to behave with dignity left the dining room.
She fell apart when she entered her cabin. She could not stay here.
Quickly, she packed her bag, debarked the ship as if she'd received an emergency call. She took a cab to nearest hotel.
Once alone in her room Jill sat trying to understand how fate could be so evil.