Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, I just love it!
". . . and so Barbossa was dead, Jack once again had The Black Pearl, and your father and I finally confessed our love."
"I love that story, Mum."
"I know! You ask for it every other night."
"How about another story?"
"William, it's late," I said, slightly tired.
"Come on, Mum. Tell me the story about the Dead Man's Chest or the Battle of the Maelstrom!"
"William, you probably know all of those stories by heart."
"I like it when you tell them."
"Awww . . ." I lifted William's chin to place a kiss on his forehead. It was always nice to know your children still wanted you around. But I wasn't falling for any flattery tonight. "Go to bed, young man," I told him firmly.
I was just at the door when my son stopped me.
"Mum . . ."
"William–" I was about to firmly repeat about going to bed.
"Mum . . . how many more days?"
The disciplinarian died within me. It was almost the ten year anniversary of the day. The day that Calypso was set free, the great victory against the East India Trading Company, and the day my husband died and was resurrected.
"Sixty-four days." I have been counting ever since my wedding day.
Sixty-four long days to wait. He nodded and blew out the candle on his bedside table. I could see it pained him to hear that he still had two months before he could meet his father, the man I had told him about every night before he went to bed.
I quietly slipped out of my son's room onto the deck of the Empress. The salty air was refreshing. After William was born I felt compelled to stay on land, remembering all the things I encountered at sea. But something inside me overturned that decision almost immediately. The sea was the closest I would be able to get to Will for ten years.
I began walking around the deck. As my hand trailed along the railing I couldn't help but feel a swell of pride. The Empress was the pride of my fleet. A small laugh escaped my lips. If someone had told me ten years ago that I would inherit an entire pirate empire from a ruthless Chinese pirate and be elected as the leader of a council of powerful criminals in the same month I would have told them to go see a doctor.
All that has happened in my life is a dream come true. I have a life of adventure and freedom on the seas that I could have retired and lived forever comfortably from after only a year. I have a perfect husband who will come back to find a perfect son.
My little William. He was my light in the darkness of this decade. Right after Will left for his duty I went through a deep depression, but when I started losing my breakfast over the side of the Empress and I realized what had happened between me and Will it was as if the sun finally broke through the clouds. Who knew that being sick could make someone so happy?
Tai Huang silently saluted me as I walked past him. I nodded to him. After all these years, Tai Huang was still by my side. Like everyone else on the Empress he had been reluctant accept that a woman was to lead them. But after the Battle of the Maelstrom they were proud to call me their Captain and their King. The transition to Singapore had been a little hard, there was a completely different language and etiquette to learn, but I had obligations to my empire. Since he was raised in Asia my son is nearly flawless in both European and Asian culture. I felt a little jealous when he would talk for hours with my crew at the age of four while I still needed help translating some words.
I wonder what Will is going to think of living in Singapore, he didn't have that good an experience last time he was there. In two months I would know.
We set out early from Singapore. I didn't want bad weather or anything else to delay me from my meeting with Will. No doubt this precaution would have us at the island where Will and I spent our last day together very early, but I didn't want him to get their before me and think I didn't come for him.
Satisfied that everything was in order on deck I headed to my cabin for the night.
After I was safely inside, I leaned against the wall and sighed. For the world I would play the strong Pirate King, but there were times when I was tired. So much has happened since I was a governor's daughter in Port Royale. Part of me still was that girl. I couldn't be strong all the time.
I wanted to be with Will so badly.
I pulled out a large trunk from the corner of the room and undid its complicated puzzle lock. With the lid now open I could hear a faint thump. The sound began to comfort me and I threw out all the silks blankets that I used to muffle the sound of my husband's hidden heart. And there was the black chest. The black chest from William's bedtime stories. The black chest that houses my dear husband's heart.
I put the chest in my lap as I sat on the edge of my bed. Sometimes I would just put my ear to the chest and listen to Will. I would pretend that he had never left. I know that is not true though. I wonder how he's changed. I wonder how I've changed.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but is it possible for me to love Will anymore then I already do? To me Will is the picture of perfection in a man. In battle he is strong and fierce, swinging his cutlass as a master swordsman. Yet, when we were alone together he was gentle and caring. Because of his proper manners, forgiving nature, and great sense of honor I can look at no other man.
They say that if lovers stay true our "One Day" would turn into a lifetime. Just thinking about Will makes me long for his touch and to hear his voice. So, how could I possibly be unfaithful to a man I would sacrifice anything for? Anything, that is except for our son.
Poor William. He has yet to know his own father: the man who he is a miniature of, the man whose love had brought him to being, the man who will love him and be so proud of him once he returns home.
Tears sprung up into my eyes. How could fate be so cruel?! It has kept a father from his son and a family apart for ten years! I would have loved nothing more on the day William was born then to turn and place him in his father's arms. Will would have been a wonderful father to William and I know he still will be in two months.
It's just sixty-four days more. Will I be able to wait?
I laid my head down on the pillow beside the chest. I drifted off into a peaceful sleep as Will's heart and mine began to beat as one, anticipating our long awaited reunion.