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First Date

Aft Deck

Manfred VII

North Atlantic Ocean
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015, 8:00 pm



      Keith had got a table and two chairs set up on the aft deck.  The area was very open and offered a great view.  The moon was out and there were only a few clouds in the sky.  It was windy, though.  In fact, it was so windy that the red tablecloth Keith was going to use turned out to be impossible to use.  He was able, however, to get a candle to stay on the table.  The candleholder was made of thick heavy pewter and not apt to blow away.

      He was wearing a navy blue sports jacket over a white button-up shirt.  He also had black pants and black shoes.  His hair was slicked back with gel. 

      When Carmen arrived, she was wearing a white cotton button-up sleeveless blouse, a red silk skirt, a red shawl, and red leather dress pumps.  The shoes were a copy made of one of Kara’s pairs of shoes. The skirt and blouse were copies made from Michelle’s clothes.  The shawl was a copy from Sarah’s wardrobe.  Her hair was down and parted in the middle.  The clothes had been copied before they left Nashua.

      “Are you cold?” he asked her.

      She smiled and said, “No.”

      He pulled out the chair for her to sit.  She sat down.  “The food should be ready.  I’ll be right back.”

      Keith went to the galley to get their dinner.  After a few minutes, he came back with a tray.  On the tray were two cups filled with cola and a pizza.  The pizza was half round and half square.  It had pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms, and sausage. 

      “I made this pizza to show that two different things, or people, can combine harmoniously.”

      “You made that?”

      He nodded, “Yep.  I hope you like it.  I’m assuming you want some from the round side?”

      “I’m not sure.  The square side looks bigger.”

      “See, square is better!”

      “On the other hand, the circular side will taste better, so I’ll have that.”

      He cut a circular piece for her and a square piece for himself.  He then raised his cup of cola and said, “To beginnings.”

      “To beginnings,” she replied.

      After they finished eating pizza, Keith took the remains back to the galley. When he came back, he had another tray. This time it had two bowls filled with strawberry ice cream.  There were also smaller bowls on the tray with various toppings including nuts, pineapple pieces, banana slices, cherries, hot fudge, and colored sprinkles.  There was also a can of whipped cream.

      Carmen gasped, “Wow, how did you get all this?”

      He replied, “I guess the crew is fairly prepared!  The cook told me they have birthday parties from time to time, so they keep supplies for it.”

      Carmen added some pineapple, banana, hot fudge, a dash of sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry to her ice cream.  Keith added nuts, bananas, and hot fudge to his. When they finished their ice cream, they took a walk.  They held hands most of the way.  First, they walked around the deck.  Then they went below and explored the ship.  When they reached the ship's bridge, the captain waved them in.

      The captain said, “How goes the date?”

      “Great,” Carmen said.

      “Good,” the captain said.  Then he turned to one of the crew and said, “Blow the horn three times for our loving friends here.”  The horn bellowed three long moans into the night.

      After a few more minutes on the bridge, Keith and Carmen continued their tour of the ship.  They eventually found their way back to the aft deck where they sat and talked for another hour.  As they sat side-by-side staring into the sky and holding hands Carmen said, “What do you think it would be like to live out there?”

      “Dangerous, like the frontiers of the old West or like the first trips to the Americas by Europeans.”

      “Do you think the people out there will survive?”  She was referring to the European crew sent to live on the moon for a few months.  The US had been a major driving force towards colonization in the prior century but with NASA having been closed by Bradshaw other nations had to take their place.

      “I hope so,” said Keith.  “I probably should have done research to see their colonization plans.  Then again, they have more issues to deal with than us.”

      “Plus they don’t have builders!  Really, it’s necessary for our species to get off the planet.  If we stay here, we will inevitably die.  We might survive for a long time but when the sun goes so will we.”

      “Well that’s pretty morbid.”

      “Maybe, but I bet commercial initiatives will get us there.  Look at how they have reduced the costs to get into space. It’s just a matter of time.  It’s kind of sad that we’ll miss it.”

      “Well, if it happens in our lifetimes we’ll learn about it.”

      “But we’ll never be able to go.  Not to space at least.”

      He asked, “Would you rather stay, then?”

      She smiled, “Nope, no way.  This is where I belong.  This is where my family is.  It sounds crazy, but we might make a big difference in the future.  We might even be able to help people get off earth.”

      Keith said, “Hey, I have a joke for you.”

      “OK.  What is it?”

      “Do you know why the Canadians think Monet was a great lover?”


      Keith said, “Because his lovers always say ‘Moan, Eh!’”

      She shook her head, “You’re such a freak!”

      “Thank you!”

      He smiled. A strong wind blew.  Carmen looked cold.  “Are you cold?”

      She nodded, “A little.”

      “Do you want to go inside?”

      “No, not yet . . . do you?”

      “No,” he replied.

      He pulled his chair closer and wrapped his arm around her back to help warm her. When they finally left, they headed to the cabins.  Keith walked her to her cabin. 

      He was not sure what to do.  He wanted to kiss her, but he did not want to rush her.  He hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek.  She hugged him back then gave him a kiss on the lips.

      “Good night,” he said.

      “Good night and thank you for making it so special.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”

      He smiled and then waved.  He walked back to his cabin . . . actually, he skipped to his cabin, but if anybody saw or asked, he would have said they were mistaken and that he clearly walked!

Copyright (C) 1998-2001 East Coast Games, Inc. and 2001 - 2006 Forest J. Handford

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