Buddy lugged his old, worn Gladstone bag that his father used to own onto the small bed and opened it up. He ruffled through the luggage until he found his navy blue swimsuit and a number of small grooming articles. Franny, his fiancÃ©e, was quietly looking out of the port window with the sun in her eyes. When she heard Buddy close the Gladstone bag she turned around to face him. She was wearing a pale blue sundress that had small circlets of pink flowers woven into a fashionable pattern. â€œDon't you love the sea?â€ she asked him. She looked back out the port window smiling, with her hands grabbing at the frame. â€œI've always wanted to live by the ocean, you know. I think I told you that before, though.â€ Buddy was only half listening. He was too busy organizing his toiletries. â€œYeah, you told before,â€ He answered. â€œBut no, I don't like the sea. I don't like the water at all. I canâ€˜t swim.â€ He looked at his small pile of toiletries in confusion. â€œHey, did you see where I put my-â€ â€œYou can't swim!â€ Franny interrupted him, swiftly pivoting herself away from the window.â€œSince when?â€ â€œSince always. Now do you know where I put my razor? I need to shave, this beard is driving me insane. I'm sure I put it in this bag . . .â€ â€œI can't believe you don't know how to swim,â€ Franny said, completely ignoring his question. â€œI love swimming in the ocean. It's so much fun! I can't believe you don't know how to swim.â€ â€œWell I don'tâ€ Buddy said. He started scratching his thin beard furiously. It was all he could think about now. Franny delicately walked across the room, working her way through the bags scattered on the floor, to where the mirror was. After looking into the mirror for only a second, she turned back to Buddy ecstatically. â€œI'll teach you!â€ she almost screamed. â€œOh my god, it'll be so much fun. I'll teach you how to swim.â€ â€œNo, I don't think so.â€ â€œBut it'll be fun. We could-â€ â€œNo, Franny,â€ Buddy said, cutting her off. â€œWe're not doing it. I'm not interested in swimming. So knock it off.â€ He dumped out the rest of the luggage in his Gladstone bag onto the bed and rifled through the pile. But there was no razor. Franny looked down at the faded brown carpet of their cabin and started timidly pulling at her pony-tail. Buddy refused to notice his cruelty. He pulled a small, grey bag with black straps from the floor and sat down on the bed with it. Blindly fumbling his hand into the opening he emerge with a small, rusted razor. It was a custom razor his uncle had bought him for his 16 birthday, which was when he started shaving regularly. Taking his razor, along with saving cream and aftershave, he walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind him. Franny turned back around to the mirror, hanging above a large, wooden chiffonier, where she examined herself. Fixing a few strands of hair she tried concentrating on her future home by the sea again, but now she was beginning to see it as more of a fantasy. It was just another one of her foolish dreams being exposed. Since she agreed to marry Buddy almost a year ago, just as she turned 19, there have been many of these instances. When Buddy and Franny finally left their cabin the ship was far enough away from the shore they had left that it could hardly be seen. They both walked to the Sports Deck and watched the older people played shuffle board while smoking large cigars. Buddy was wearing his navy-blue swim suit with a white t-shirt and black flip-flops on. His hair was properly combed over and his beard neatly shaved. Franny was still wearing her sundress. They stood under a large canopy that shaded them from the sun. The ship's daily newspaper was stationed right behind Franny and she picked an issue up and began flipping through the pages blindly. She began reading an article about vacation destinations, but her eyes slowly aft down the deck. â€œSo what do you wanta do?â€ Buddy asked her. He was pulling out a crushed pack of cigarettes from the chest pocket of his t-shirt. His eyes slanted towards a group of 3 sailors wearing stretched, white uniforms who were all talking loudly with each other. â€œOh, I don't know,â€ she answered. â€œI think I might actually want to go swimming.â€ She looked over at him smiling. â€œThat's very cute.â€ â€œOh, I was only joking, Buddy. Why can't you lighten up? This cruise is supposed to be fun, ya know?â€ Buddy put out his cigarette butt. â€œWhy don't we go up to the Sun Deck?â€ he said. Franny agreed passively and they both climbed a grey carpeted stairway up 2 flights to the Sun Deck. As Buddy reached the top of the staircase he had to hold up his hand to cover his eyes from the sun. Franny simply squinted. They stood close together, almost touching. Franny tried grabbing for Buddy's hand, but he furtively pulled it away, as if he didn't notice what he was doing. Franny looked distinctly smaller when she stood close to Buddy. She was almost a foot shorter than he was and not nearly as wide. Buddy had been a champion wrestler at his and Franny's high school 3 years ago and although he has since given up any form of sport he still has a large, athletic build. The people on the Sun Deck were all quiet and calm. They stretched out on their deck chairs, either with their eyes firmly closed, covered with sunshades or reading novels and magazines. Buddy motioned Franny to follow him coolly as they made their way to their chairs. They through distracting shadows on the other sunbathers as they walked by. When they both sat down on their chairs Franny kicked her sandals off. â€œSo . . .â€ she said. â€œWe're still gonna have dinner later, right? Or did you not wanta do that anymore?â€ "Sure - if you want to." â€œOkay. Good.â€ She stretched out on the deck chair and stared at the sky, but it was too bright so she closed her eyes. Buddy sat up straight and looked at her obliquely. He wished she would fall asleep. â€œHow come you don't talk,â€ she asked. â€œYou've said, like, 5 words this whole trip. Why don't you talk to me?â€ She opened her eyes slightly to look at him. Buddy didn't feel like answering her. He just shrugged his shoulders. He glanced around at the other sunbathers on the deck, but he found them uninteresting. Franny didn't want to press him so she closed her eyes again and tried not to think, but her mind kept twitching nervously and she started feeling sick. â€œDo you think we rushed into this?â€ she asked him. â€œGetting engaged I mean.â€ Buddy turned around in his chair and looked at her. â€œWhy would you say something like that?â€ he said. His face was contorted in a way designed to display anger, but his voice wasn't very emotional. â€œWell, I mean it's not like you-â€ â€œIt's not like I what?â€ he interrupted her. â€œYou just . . .â€ Franny couldn't find her words. She crumbled under Buddyâ€˜s stare and began to get flustered. â€œI'm sorry.â€ Tears started welling up in her eyes. â€œJust forget I said it, will ya? I didn't mean it.â€ â€œHow can I just forget it? I mean I can't believe-â€ â€œI said forget it, alright? I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I just . . .â€ She wiped her tears off her cheeks. â€œI don't know, just forget it. Please.â€ Buddy turned back around. He pulled out his smokes again and lit up another cigarette. He let the smoke tumble out of his mouth slowly. Franny curled her legs up close to her chin. And they both sat in complete silence. An hour went by with both of them sitting in their chairs and not talking. Franny tried to keep herself together while Buddy looked around the deck, smoking until his mouth tasted like an ashtray. The breeze started to become more noticeable and the smell of sea salt started to drift around them. â€œI like the smell of the sea,â€ Franny said. She was still curled up in her seat. â€œAll I can smell is cigarette smoke,â€ Buddy said. He was watching a brunette women 2 rows ahead of him while she was undoing her sundress. She had on a small, brown bikini with pink flowers. He watched her for awhile, until she turned around to see him watching. But he didn't care if she saw. He smiled at her and she smiled back. â€œSo are we still going to have dinner later?â€ Franny asked. â€œSure - if you want.â€ The Dinning Hall was a well decorated red room with dark lighting. The tables all had dark red and white table cloth with buff-coloured candles surrounding a centerpiece of purple flowers. Franny and Buddy had a table almost right in the middle of the room, next to the dance floor. Franny was wearing a light blue dress with thin straps and Buddy was wearing a traditional black tuxedo. The waiter came over and took their orders. Franny had salmon and Buddy had the streak. By the time the waiter came back with their food Franny had already had 4 refills of white wine. â€œThe food's really good,â€ Franny said. â€œI normally don't like salmon much, but this is really good.â€ â€œWhy did you order salmon if you don't normally like it?â€ Buddy asked. â€œI just felt like having fish for a change,â€ Franny said. â€œMaybe it's because we're on a boat.â€ She smiled at Buddy. Afterward she gulped down the last bit of her fifth glass of wine. â€œWell you're certainly drinking like a fish,â€ Buddy said. â€œOh my God! A joke. He made a joke. I can't believe it.â€ They finished off their meals and Franny order 2 more glasses of wine. Buddy ordered a beer, but nursed it through the whole dinner. â€œDid you want to dance?â€ asked Franny. â€œWe haven't danced in so long. I can't even remember when we last dance with each other.â€ The music being played was classic hits from the â€˜70s: Elton John, Air Supply, Peter Frampton. â€œI think you may have had a bit too much to drink to be doing any dancing,â€ Buddy told her. â€œBut it's been so long. I can't even remember when we last-â€ a small burp cut her off in mid-sentence. â€œHa ha, maybe I am a bit drunk.â€ She looked over at the people dancing. They were mostly older folks doing fusty dance moves that she had never seen before. â€œOh, how I wish we could dance, though.â€ She looked back over at Buddy. â€œI'm not really in the mood now,â€ he told her. â€œMaybe tomorrow.â€ â€œBut tomorrow is such a long time.â€ â€œI think you can wait.â€ He leaned back in his chair as Franny went back to watching the people on the dance floor. He didn't want to be there. He didn't want to be with Franny. â€œI'm gonna go outside for a smoke, alright? I'll be back in a few minutes.â€ â€œOh, I wish you'd quit. It's so disgusting, you know?â€ Buddy left without saying anything else. He was all too eager to get away. Outside the wind got cooler, but still warm enough to be considered comfortable. The sky was a dark purple with a pink mist still floating around the ship. Buddy pulled out his crushed pack of smokes and lit one. After a few moments someone tapped on his shoulder. It was the brunette he saw on the Sun Deck. She was wearing a slim black dress that stopped at half way down her thigh. Her hair was curled and thick. â€œI know you,â€ she said. â€œYeah?â€ â€œYeah. You and your friend were on the Sun Deck. I saw you.â€ â€œYeah, I guess you're right. I was on the Sun Deck, but she's not my friend, she's my fiancÃ©e.â€ â€œOh, that's nice,â€ she said. She put a cigarette in her mouth and lit it. â€œIt kinda sounded like ya might have been fighting.â€ Buddy started getting flustered. â€œYeah,â€ he said. â€œWe had a bit of a fight. She said - well, I mean it was nothing really.â€ He took a drag off his smoke and dropped it to the ground. â€œBut I think we're fine now, though. Just a little fight, that's allâ€ â€œWell that's good,â€ the brunette said. â€œYou're not very old. Aren't you a little too young to be engaged?â€ â€œYeah, I guess I was just kinda in a hurry maybe,â€ he tried smiling, but it felt awkward and unnatural on his face. â€œDo you love her?â€ â€œOf course. That was the whole point of proposing to her in the first place.â€ â€œOkay. Don't get so defensive. It's just odd that someone as young as you would be getting married. I mean you haven't even seen what's out there yet, ya know?â€ â€œWhat are you talking about?â€ The Brunette smiled. â€œYou know exactly what I'm talking about.â€ Buddy stared at her for a few moments. Heat started rising up inside of him and a lump started forming in his throat. The brunette moved up closer to him and put her hand on his forearm. â€œI'm good at keeping secrets, ya know,â€ she said. â€œWon't tell a soul.â€ She whispered her room number, 432, to him and walked back inside. Buddy stayed outside and had another cigarette. When he went back into the Dinning Hall Franny had her face buried in the palm of her hand. Buddy saw see went through 2 more glasses of wine. They both sat there in silence for almost an hour. Buddy ordered another beer while Franny brooded silently. â€œI'm tired,â€ Franny finally said. â€œI think I might wanta go to bed.â€ â€œI'm guessing you're gonna need help getting there?â€ Franny nodded and raised her hand up to Buddy. He grabbed hold of it and pulled her to her feet. Her body pushed up against his to the point where he was practically carrying her. They walked out of the Dinning Hall and down several flights of dangerously narrow stairs. Franny walked with awkward and unbecoming little steps and sometimes her feet would just drag on the floor while Buddy carried her. When they got to their room, Buddy put Franny down of the small bed. â€œAre you coming to bed too?â€ she asked. â€œNo,â€ Buddy said. â€œNot me - not yet anyway.â€ Buddy sat in the armchair in the corner of the room and waited for Franny to fall asleep. When she finally fell asleep he waited some more. Heat kept rising up in him until he quietly got up and left the room. He stood in the hallway alone for a second and then started walking down to room 432. It was a long walk.