The sun rose above the steel gray water, or rather the black sky turned a slightly lighter dark cloudy gray. Another day of waiting and watching was about to begin, just as had so many before, and likely to end the same way - looking out at an empty sea.
It had been over a year since they'd parted. He had hoped to earn enough money from this voyage to finally leave the sea and make a home for her and the child they both hoped would soon come. Perhaps he'd open a small shop near the harbor, selling provisions to the sailors off the ships. It would be a good life, a simple life. One they both dreamed of, talked about during the days before he sailed. Now the dream seemed to be slipping further away with each passing day. His ship was three months overdue. Three months she'd spent pacing the widow's walk as she searched for him, waiting to see the sails of his ship coming over the horizon, wondering if the widow's walk's very name had cursed her fate.
The woman sighed and pulled her shawl closer around her shoulders in a futile attempt to ward off the chill. With a heavy heart, she climbed the stairs. She reached the door at the top and turned the handle. With a deep breath, she stepped outside.
She saw nothing, just as she expected. After so many days of nothing she was becoming resigned to her fate. She'd been a fool to think that she would be one of the lucky few to escape the cruel fate of so many sailors' wives.
As she stared out at the unforgiving sea, a shape began to form on the horizon. She watched, not daring to let her mind form coherent thoughts. The shape began to grow, turning into a triangle pointing to the sky. Could it be? Yes, it was! A sail. But whose? She barely dared hope and stood riveted in place, watching.
The triangle was joined by another, and took on more definition. Soon she could no longer deny the joy that was leaping up from a place so long dormant she'd feared it too had died.
Suddenly she gasped and flew into action. There was so much to do! Straighten the parlour, change the bedding, air out her good dress, plait her hair! She had to hurry, it wouldn't take long for the ship to reach the harbor. For the first time in months she found herself singing as she raced down the stairs, hurrying towards her new life.
The Writers Island prompt for this week was over the horizon.