Passing Ships
Vida Janulaitis

It was the only way I could see the world, the only way I could see things others only dream of. I signed on as nanny, taking care of other's children when they wanted to party in the late hours of the evening.

The captain of the British Queen was handsome, married, had three children and was never far from my thoughts. I thought of him when I went to sleep, dreamed of him and smiled in the morning when I woke.

When his wife became sick I volunteered to take care of his children. The doctor on board could not figure out what happened, this was no typical sea sickness. But the children were typical children. They needed play, laughter, scolding and they needed love and attention. She was too sick, he was too occupied. So in the end I fell in love with them all.

On New Year's Eve all that could bring is sadness. The moon was bright, the children were asleep and the captain came to see his wife. She was asleep. He had uncorked the champagne, had two glasses ready, but when he turned he saw only me.

"You act as guardian to my children, you bring a joy to their lives, you bring joy to mine, please join me in welcoming the New Year." It was a moment, never to be repeated.

Yes, I loved him, but in my heart I know he'll never love me. Just the thought of me.

First published: February, 2002