Henry's affair began in darkness--never a good place to begin a fresh love. He crept out of the quiet, cold house and scurried to the boat docks. The black water rippled against the crumbling pier, the structure still reeling from the last hurricane and the one before that. Careful not to alert the watchman, he lifted the oars off the hooks and slid into the rickety dingy.
Beads of sweat pooled on his temples before he was out of the harbor. He could scarcely contain himself. The island was a mile to the west. Once safely out of the harbor, he could holster the oars and start the tiny engine that putt-putted the boat around the mainland. The moon, hidden behind heavy, black clouds, cooperated with his plan.
The harbor gave way to open water and he tugged on the motor's cord. It sputtered, but came to life with a second pull. He pointed the boat due west.
The clouds shifted, grumbling about all the rain within their swollen bellies. Back on land, Henry's wife reached over and felt the familiar, empty divot where he had laid the last twenty-three years. She prayed for rain, knowing the boat was most likely out of the harbor, cutting through the open water of a fickle ocean.