Picture this - Cold dark sea. Waves a hundred feet high, lashing against each other; pleasantly. Its not a stormy night. Neither is there thunder nor lightening. By a quick glance, you can feel the depth of the water. There is calm everywhere, a calm so calm that it exudes endless chaos beneath the surface. As those magical waves dance in their realm, a ship emerges from the far left of the screen. It looks merry and pretty.
A closer look shows you people, of every kind you can imagine. Beautiful people. Rejoicing. Raising a toast. Some quietly listening to soft music. Some dancing to their own sweet tunes. Mothers fussing over their little children. Men circling around the Roulette table placed right at the center of the deck. Some others huddled around the Pool table. You pause this sequence here, thinking aloud that there would not be much you would want to remember here; nothing interesting enough to hold your attention.
Seems like quite an ubiquitous scene after all... until you notice one small speck on the lower right of the screen. In the sea. Looks like some creature. You un-pause the sequence. The creature seems to be doing something animatedly. You zoom in. You see a girl? No, a woman? Curious, you zoom in further. Its a pretty brunette, possibly in her early twenties, with her hair let down, skin so fair and glowing that you can almost see the reflection of the moon on her cheeks. Eyes so sharp and soulful that you cant stop staring at them.
But, there is something amiss. Wait. What is this beautiful little thing doing here? She has fallen off that ship! Your heart races as you watch her cling onto a large chunk of wood with one hand while trying to wade her way through the water with her hand. You stare bewildered. Even after a minute of you watching her, she doesn't seem to have moved an inch.
Surprisingly, there are no shouts. No wails. No words uttered. Seems like she is trying hard to say something. Its as if she starts speaking and mid-way her words freeze and she is unable to complete whatever she began. She tries hard to speak so many times. But in vain. Slightly frowning brows betray only a wee bit of anxiety. She does not look worried that she might drown. She does not look like she is struggling to be back on the ship. It almost seems like she is there, but not so unexpectedly. You look at her and feel the pulse in your veins speed up. You don't understand what is happening.
Her face and behavior mask many an emotion but betray a dozen traits. Distinct ones. A sense of forceful determination towards something distant. Strong will. Sharp eyes pierce through the night. Those eyes glisten with hopes for the morrow to come. You watch her slowly try to move the plank she is on, along the direction of the wind. With every passing minute, she is moving farther away from where she came.
Disturbed by whatever you are seeing, you decide to step back. A few hours later, you notice the plank has in fact moved so much farther that now the ship appears like a speck. The girl has shut her beautiful eyes and she seems to be lying on the plank. Is she dead? Unconscious?
You realize its neither. She has simply slept off. Waiting for her plank to take her ashore. Waiting for the morning light to caress her gentle skin and fill her with more hope.
Its only a cold dark night.