It was time. The sun was high and the waves were rolling over the blue water. The Silhouette was resting at the docks awaiting her maiden voyage on the open sea. Her crew was busy; bustling around on the deck, making sure everything was perfect. Families were saying good-bye to their loved ones, bidding them a safe voyage and an enemy destroyed.
There were many sailors aboard this ship. Young, old, middle-aged, all coming from different homes, all going for their country. There was a father squeezing his children one last time. A young boy, around the age of 16, was consoling his weeping mother on the shore.
The sails were up, everything was ready. The young boy left his mother. He couldn’t turn back. He had made his choice.
Looking back at it now, it was the most heart-wrenching choice he had ever made and ever will make: To serve the country of his birth in his fathers stead. His mother had discouraged it, but he knew it was his duty as a citizen of England and in honor of his father.
It was a dark night when the boys’ family had received the letter of his father’s death. He had been fighting in the Caribbean. Pirates were threatening the colonies and his father’s crew had been sent to defend them. Pirates are heartless beings who care only for material wealth; they will show no mercy.
It was only two weeks ago and England was sending more sailors over for the cause. There was such an empty hole in the boy’s heart. He had to get away, and serving his country seemed to be his only way of keeping his father alive in his heart. The navy was willing to accept anyone.
He signed up. “Silas Rutledge”, he wrote on the sheet. There were thirty or more names as well. All willing men, some of whom he knew or heard of, but most were strangers. They were to be under the authority of Captain John Ellington. He sounds like a noble man, Silas thought, a good captain.
Deeply grieved was his mother when she heard he had enlisted. She had just lost a husband and now she was losing a son as well. She tried to persuade him not to go, but these attempts were fruitless. He was a stubborn boy, just like his father. His mind could not be changed.
For the next week Silas prepared to leave for the Caribbean. His heart and mind were indifferent to life. Deep in his thoughts he started to second-guess himself. His father died fighting, would he? Did he enlist to Death? I am no coward; he told himself, I am not afraid to die. His mother’s pleas were tugging at his heart. But to give in now would be to turn his back on his country and be branded a coward.
It was time, there were no turning backs now. Leaving his weeping mother, Silas walked as boldly as he could onto the deck of the Silhouette. He could hear the cries of the small children as their father left. Back then he didn’t realize that it be the last time he would ever see him again.
The Silhouette was now leaving the docks. Silas waved to his mother. He hoped and wished that it wouldn’t be the last time he would ever see her. Finally he turned his back o the old life ready to embrace the new. He knew not what lay ahead. All he could see was a blue sky and a wide open sea.