Bruce could not believe what he was seeing. He turned from one side to the other just to see how large the land mass was, but there was no real way of telling. It did not appear as if there was any end to it. He raced back downstairs in order to find his parents. He knew that they had to be there somewhere.
Searching under all of the displaced clothes, the tousled table and disarray of pots and pans he discovered nothing. Then he decided to undo the bunk in the front in the far chance hope that his parents had secured themselves in for safety. Bringing the bed down his father rolled out onto the floor. It was blatantly obvious that he was dead. Bruce's heart sank in his chest, but he still held out hope that perhaps his mother was still alive.
Opening the bed to its entire size, Nicole was crushed in the back corner. "Mom!" Bruce said as he climbed up on the bed. He reached her within seconds and saw that she was breathing. Gently shaking her Bruce tried to rouse his mother. Her eyelids began to flutter and slowly opened. Nicole gradually focused on her son and smiled. She was still quite weak but she was alive.
"Mom, we are very close to land," Bruce said. "The boat is completely disheveled, the sails are tattered and the rigging is loose, but we haven't taken on any water. I really think that if we can make it to land we might be able to find some food and water."
"That's nice," Nicole said turning over.
"Mom, I need you to get off of this bed and help me. I think that together we can do this."
Nicole stared up at her son with a glazed look. Unclear of where she was, she went deep into her mind to figure out who she was. Nicole Maureen Abercromby had arrived quietly one night in the middle of January. A blizzard howled outside the windows and doors so her delivery occured at home. Born to a farmer and a school teacher deep in the bowels of Nebraska, where neighbors were few and far between, her arrival was tumultous to say the least.
Growing up on a farm with hours upon hours of fresh air and sunshine, Nicole became a flaxen beauty. Ringlets surrounded her face, beautifully framing her glistening blue eyes. A single dimple on her left cheek and a perfect white smile completed the package. Entrance into any room changed the entire atmosphere as the light had arrived.
Nicole did not want to go too far from home when it was time to venture off and begin life's adventures on her own. Moving to Omaha, she secured a position with a financial institution and attended school part time. Walking on campus one afternoon with her face deeply entrenched in a book; she bumped into Nicholas, literally!
"Oh! I'm so sorry," she said raising her eyes to see who she had walked into.
"That's quite alright," he replied, "But I am curious what has you so captivated that you are reading rather than watching where you're going."
"I am trying to understand the Pythagorean Theorem," she answered. "I have found that if I read while I walk I understand it. Sort of like there is a rhythm to the words as I take each step."
"Now, that's an interesting concept." He smiled at her and then extended his hand, "Nicholas Patterson."
Smiling back she accepted his hand and said, "Nicole Oglesby."
That was the beginning of the Nick Patterson partnership. A whirlwind romance, farmhouse wedding, outdoor reception and honeymoon to New York. Nicholas was a financial advisor and worked long hours. They had moved into a family style neighborhood just outside of Omaha and quickly became friendly with neighbors and members of their community. Nicole determined that schooling was not for her and dabbled a little bit at everything. She worked at a community care center watching toddlers. Her desire to have children of her own was born and bred at that center.
After months of trying they found out they were pregnant and due in July; exactly three years after they had wed. Pregnancy and Nicole agreed with each other. Her beauty intensified as the child within her grew. She loved every moment of it.
The day Bruce arrived Nicholas was in a meeting in Topeka. When he received the call informing him his wife was in labor, he told the secretary to take a message and he would get back to her as soon as he could. Nicole was devastated; Nicholas secured the biggest account in his career.
Bruce arrived just before midnight on the 14th of July. It was love at first sight for Nicole. At the moment the nurse placed the baby in her arms, she knew what her purpose was in life: motherhood. Her parents had both been there through the labor and delivery. Her father went back to the farm after the birth and her mother stayed in the room with Nicole and Bruce. They had tried to get a hold of Nicholas, but he was nowhere to be found. Nicole privately hoped he was on an airplane and that was why they couldn’t reach him.