West Indies Voyage

When Christopher Columbus arrived to the West Indies he was probably quite tired. The men traveling with him, perhaps about to reach madness, must have felt great satisfaction seeing land, and finally stepping on it. At least this is what my brother told me, when we arrived to the West Indies ourselves, after weeks of traveling. We were also tired, and the traveling had done to us what it does to those who don’t know if they will ever reach their destination, it had made us wilder.

My brother liked to travel alone, so it was a surprise when he asked me if I would like to take a long boat trip to the West Indies with him. I guess the fact that we were going to the West Indies didn’t make a difference, it was an unexpected request no matter where the trip was, but it was to the West Indies, which I guess is relevant because of the Columbus story. Either way, he asked, and for some reason I accepted. We hadn’t spoke much to each other around those days, and the idea of both of us alone in a boat on a long trip seemed like a good opportunity for catching up.

As kids we always played together, and many of our games consisted of imagining long boat trips to far lands. The oldest one always gets to be the captain, he would say. So, we played and pretended to fight the sea, and reach exotic destinations. He, as the good captain that he was, always got us there safe. But now, adults and with much less in common, it was going to be a bit more difficult.

The beginning of the trip went fine, my brother had become a real boat captain long ago and he knew well how to navigate the sea. I did what he asked, and we managed well. Still, as the days went by, it was clear that it was going to be difficult for both of us to regain the communication we once had. Once all we could hear were the waves, and the wind around us, our silences became more prominent. It wasn’t until the last night when we were able to connect again.

The sea was rough that last night, and the wind made it difficult for me to hear my brother. I was getting closer to him, when a big wave must have hit the boat, and before I knew it, as if a hand had reached out and grabbed me, I was falling down into the ocean. It was dark, and the water was freezing, and as I tried to keep my head out of the water I saw my brother run towards where I was, and I could see the fear in his expression. Things got blurry then, he threw a rope down, and somehow, I got a hold of it, and he pulled me out. I fell asleep once I was in the boat, I was cold, and I could feel my brother wrapping blankets around me. I dreamed we were kids again, sitting on a nice West Indies settee, and my brother told me stories.

The next morning I felt much better, and my brother and I had gotten the connection we once had back. It was unsaid, of course, but we both knew we could communicate just like we once did. Finally on land, we found a nice bookstore, and inside of it we both recognized a mahogany West Indies Settee, just like the one our parents had at home when we were kids. We both sat down, and he started talking about Christopher Columbus and his trips.

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