The woman sat on the deck chair looking out to sea imagining a far-off ship going to the tropics. There it would find the warmth she had never experienced. She enjoyed a good life in a material sense at least. In personal relationships, she had been less fortunate. And so, she could buy a gift for anyone but had no one to give it.
A child ran across the beach carrying an inflatable ball. Something attracted the youngster to the woman. So, she threw the ball towards her. Affronted by the girl’s forwardness, she was tempted to retreat into her book with a glower. Instead, the woman sent the ball through the air and into grateful hands. For a minute, they amused each other as they played out a game. Then the girl gave a shy smile and ran off to somewhere unknown.
Brightened, the woman looked around and saw couples, families, and groups enjoying shared companionship. She should have felt excluded but somehow, she had reconnected with the human race. That was enough.
The ship upon a grey ocean sailed on into the sunshine.