In times like these we should stay safe, think of one another and appreciate all the beautiful little things that surround us. And, Alchemy will keep you company through this challenging period with a little story now and then.
I don’t think I was supposed to see him.
Overwhelming news. Desperate measures. It was one of those days in which I felt trapped, powerless and frustrated. I decided to break the rules by taking a stroll along the beach. Luck had avoided me all my life yet I did feel blessed for living so close to the sea.
It was a stormy day when I first spotted a ship at a fair distance from the shore. Strange, as all forms of travelling were banned. Maybe the ship was lost? But, the lighthouse was close by and I was sure the keeper was still working. Couldn’t he see the ship? Or…had my imagination run wild again?
My curiosity brought me back the next day. Had I imagined it or was there something out there? Well, the ship was no longer there. Instead, a boat was struggling with the powerful waves. It was too far away to see if someone was in it. Again, the keeper in the lighthouse would have spotted it. It must have been my crazy mind.
On the third day I found the boat ashore. There was a man near it watching the sea. It was cold and windy yet this man wore a thin white shirt, ragged trousers and worn out boots. Was I hallucinating?
‘She should have come,’ he said as I approached.
‘Are you well, sir?’
‘She should have come. But, she didn’t.’
‘I waited for her. I waited for so many days.’
‘Sir…’ The wind cut through my skin, yet the man seemed untroubled by it. His long black hair danced carelessly with the upcoming storm.
‘She never came. And, I had to leave.’
‘Are you…are you a ghost?’
He turned his face towards me. His skin was pale and his eyes as dark as the abyss. ‘It would have been better if I were. Yet, I’m doomed to live on and depend on others in order to survive.’
I took a step back.
‘It’s all right,’ he whispered. ‘I am all right now.’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘Would you wait for me if I ask you to?’ His eyes pierced mine and the wind seemed warm compared to his existence. His shirt moved with the wind revealing pale perfect muscles. ‘Will you be here if I come back next month?’
‘Don’t! Don’t wait for me! My life isn’t…it’s not so easy living the way I do.’
‘I gave her a choice. Choose me, choose an eternal and endless sea but with a man at your side who will love you and cherish you for as long as eternity lasts. She must have chosen her life instead. I don’t blame her. I keep wondering what would have happened if she had chosen me. Perhaps then I wouldn’t have met you. Think about it, think of me…’
Thunder stroke and I jumped. I looked at the…the man was gone. The storm took over and I ran home through the pouring rain.
The blue sky appeared the next day. I hurried to the beach and found the boat floating peacefully a fair distance from the shore.
The day after I spotted the ship again. Who would believe me with this story? Did I even believe it myself? I had no proof of my encounter. I had no proof of the man and his deadly beautiful face. Then, I stumbled upon something in the sand. A bottle in the spot where the man had stood. There was a message in the bottle. I quickly opened it and read the letter:
‘I wish I were an eagle to fly over your path and keep you safe. I wish I could see the ocean through your eyes and be in all the places you travel. I imagine the silent chaos you must face every day and I regret that I can’t be at your side. Though you may feel alone, I know that one day you will find the love of your life who will choose to be at your side without hesitating. For who could ever say no to a vampire?’
The letter left me agitated. Who wrote the letter? To whom was it addressed? To the man…No, not a man but, a vampire? Had I met a vampire? Should I had been one of his victims?
I remembered his words, ‘will you be here if I come back next month?’ Will I? Will I choose to meet him again even though it may lead to my own death? Or will meeting him lead to an eternal life at sea but with the love I’ve always longed for? What will it be?