The woman sat on the deck chair looking out to sea. Way out, she saw a ship and imagined it going to the tropics; to the warmth that she had never felt. Now life had been good to her in a material sense at least. In personal relations she had been less fortunate. In truth, she could buy a gift for anyone but had no one to give it to.
A child run across the beach carrying an inflatable ball. Something attracted her to the woman. So she threw the ball towards her. At first the woman was affronted by the girls forwardness and was tempted to retreat to her book with a glower. But she didn’t; she sent the ball through the air and into grateful hands. For a minute or so, they amused each other as a game of sorts was played itself out. Suddenly, the child gave a shy smile and ran off to somewhere unknown.
Strangely brightened, the woman looked around and saw couples, families, groups all enjoying shared companionship. She should have felt excluded but she didn’t; she had reconnected with the human race and that was enough for now.
The ship upon the grey sea had dropped below the horizon.