The ocean rages around you, waves as tall as the fence that surrounded your home crashed onto the deck of your small boat, making it bounce in the ocean, rocking violently from side to side. You were freezing, lips that are usually a soft pink colour tinged with blue, skin that usually has that red slash of colour to it now as pale as a sheet. With shaking hands you clutch at your soaked short, trying to get any form of warmth from the wet material, but your desperate fingers receive none. The wind howled like an angry wolf in the sky and you screamed for help, help that you knew would never come. You were all alone, your small boat fighting against the angry howls of the surging ocean around you.
I had been so sure that I was going to die that night, just like my parents. I had watched as the ocean took them in its hand and squeezed them so tight, suffocating them and claiming their bodies as its own. I had screamed for mum and dad to come back, to swim back to the ever so dangerous boat but they had just remained face down in the ocean which was dragging them further and further away from my clutching fingers. I had seen the fear in their eyes, I had watched them take their last breath. I had heard mum scream out to me- “Be safe,” she had said before the ocean had taken her for good. Be safe. Thats what she used to say to me everyday before I left for school, everyday she used to whisper this exact words into my ear as she hugged me tightly. I never heard those words again. and never did I want to.
The metal raising of my rusty bed creaked as I gingerly climbed from it and landed on the metal floor of my room. I could hear the gentle crashing of the waved against the boat as I wander over to the closet and pull out some socks shorts and a shirt. For a while now I have been living in an abandoned boat which was anchored to an old jetty. I didn't live here because I couldn't afford to live anywhere else, I was rich. My parents had owned a very successful restaurant down by the ocean, one that now belongs to me. I don't run it per sae, but I own it and I get a fair bunch of the money. I lived in this old boat because I felt like I could be close to my parents without actually being with them. I felt as though when I closed my eyes at night their spirits would sleep beside me, protecting me.
A rather strong wave crashes into my home and it sways making my heart race a million miles an hour. I knew that I was safe on this boat, I knew that petty little waves like that wasn't going to even damage the exterior. But it didn't matter- to me it was like that night. Like those waves that were so desperate to take my life. I don't know how I had survived, I had found myself on the shore in the morning, waves biting at my toes, the sun beating down on my pale skin. I didn't know where I was, but that didn't really matter because I was alive. My parents had thought that it would have ben fun to go on a fishing trip that weekend. The skies had been clear… they thought that it would be safe… it just proves it doesn't it? Just proves how unpredictable this world we live in is. How harsh, how unstable, how cruel it is.
Your long dark hair was soaked, making you look like a deranged cat. Hastily your long fingers clutch at the metal railing of the boat as once again the angry ocean crashes into your ship making your fingers slide from the metal. You tumble to the deck, your legs caught beneath your body, your dark eyes taking in the deep grey swirling clouds above you. Only moments ago the sky had been clear and the ocean had been gentle, now it was tearing your boat and your family apart. You watch as it claims its first victim: your dad. He screams his eyes flashing widely as be is flung from the safety of the boat and into the surging blue liquid. Desperately you climb to your feet and race over the slippery deck to where you had last seen your father.
Your eyes desperately search for him, for his dark hair, his pale skink, eyes that were so similar to your own. But you see nothing. “Mum? MUM!” you scream, but the winds yells are louder, drowning out your quiet voice.
You were so scared.
You were often told that you were like your dad. He had been so kind, “the kindest man that I had ever meet,” people often tell me with a smile. I was proud to be like my father. I had respected him so much. He was always so gentle and caring. He used to carry around lollies in his pockets and when he came across children who were crying in they mothers arms he would always stop, smile and joke around with the kid before handing them a lolly. They would no longer cry after that. When he had died, I had tried to do the same thing, but I only made the kids cry harder. People knew what I was trying to do, they knew who I was so they just gave me a smile and said “next time, sweetheart.” But I knew there wouldn't be a next time. I wasn't as gentle as my father, or as kind, even though I tried with all my heart to be… I could never reach his heights.
A scream, louder than the wind, reaches your ears and you watch as your mother loses her grip on the railing that was keeping her aboard. You scream he name then race to her used and watch as the ocean catches her in its arms. Her eyes are just as fearful as fathers had been, her hair a mess covering her eyes. “Kelsie! Kelsie, be safe my dear,” She screams and the ocean takes her under. Squeezing her body and refusing it to be allowed to breath in the oxygen that it needed to survive. You scream out to her, your throat raw from calling out her name. But you hear nothing in return, you know she is gone.
Tears fill your eyes and you fall to your knees just as another wave crashes abroad and fills the boat with salty water. Water makes it into your mouth and you joke loudly on it, you finger searching for the raining. Yu find it and you grab hold of it, your fingers clamping around in one unbreakable ring.
You were going to die, just like the rest of your family had.
Where my father had been kind, my mother had been cheeky. I was often told that my cheeky smile looked like my mothers- that only made me smile more. I often thought of myself as a girl who could take a joke, but never really e able to tell one. I knew what I joke was, and I knew when to laugh but whn it actually came to me telling a joke, my punchline would be all jumbled up and people would look at me awkwardly before continuing on with their conversation. My mother had been a joker, it had come so easily to her, I almost thought that if I watched her long enough that I too would be able to whip out jokes left right and enter. But life don't work out that easily.
But there was one thing that I could nail when it came down to both my Mother and father. Both of them had one major difficulty. And so did I. We always put others before ourselves. My father always but other people before himself, I guess thats why he was such a kind an, a person everyone watched to be around. My mother always put others feelings before he won and I guess that is why people wanted to talk and open up to her. Me? I have learnt to do both. I never put myself first. I know that I could never be as kind as my father was, but I decided that if I tried to put others before myself I could slowly climb that latter. I knew that people had trouble opening up to me, but I decided that if I tried to put others feelings before my own they would want o approach me knowing that they could feel safe talking to be. I wouldn't interrupt them, I would allow them to say their part and then I would offer them advice, just like mum had.
I guess it didn't matter that I didn't see them, or that I wasn't exactly like them, because the people around me saw them in me and that was all I needed.