I thought I was fine at first...turns out I was wrong. I was coughing and choking on water. I couldn't breathe. After what felt like an eternity, I lay there breathless with no water in my mouth but a salty taste instead. I thought after that I was doing okay but then the pain went shooting up my leg. I screamed as loud as I could. Was anyone there to help me? Was I alone? I thought to myself as I grabbed my leg firmly and tight. Was I going to be able to walk? I ripped the sleeve off of my purple blouse and used it as a tourniquet. I then felt softness underneath me almost as if I was laying on a velvet blanket. I grabbed a handful of the substance. It was pure white sand. Sand, how could this be? Was I in a dream? As I scanned my surroundings realizing quickly that I couldn't see anything but only could hear the waves hitting the sand with force and power. I began to panic, I started feeling numb as if everything went blank. My eyes started feeling heavier and heavier. I started to sink into the sand. Soon I wasn’t moving nor was I awake.
Cold water hit me in the face and woke me up. I was scared to open my eyes at first not knowing the adventure that awaits. Looking down at my leg that didn’t look like it had belonged to me I got nervous. I made the wrong choice. Why did I open my eyes? I have to do something with my leg I thought to myself. I tried wiggling my toes. My toes started to move. Happiness filled throughout me. Although I had no feeling in my leg I could still manage to move it, odd I thought. Slowly I tried to stand up, I fell hard. I needed balance. Finding some driftwood that washed up beside me I used it as a crutch and soon I was walking.
Just thinking now I didn’t know where I was or how I got there. Why hadn’t this thought crossed my mind? Why not sooner? Why had all this time passed and I had not been knowing what I was doing, where was I going, and how have I gotten on this what looked at the time to be a beach? I glanced to the right of m,e and what I had seen was not pretty. A boat had been crashed on the beach. Was I on that boat? I couldn’t remember. I couldn’t remember what happened. I began to think. Asking myself a series of questions. What had I been doing last? Who was I with? What is my name? I couldn’t remember my name. One of the most important things in life I couldn’t remember. Along with the other questions, I could not and would not be able to answer. I began to cry. Tears rolling down my face but I had no expression at least I thought. Then I sank down into the sand not knowing what would happen next if I thought any harder.
A few minutes had passed then I realized I had to get up. I had to move or I may never be able to get to safety. As much as my leg hurt I pushed myself. I finally built up the strength to stand. Blood rushing down my leg that had been at rest for a while. The pain was unreal when I put pressure on my foot. I would have to do something other than walk. So I began to crawl toward the boat that had been wrecked on shore. It looked as if it had been miles away. In reality, it was only a couple yards. The sight I witnessed when coming up to the boat was unreal. It was as if I was in a movie. Something so dreadful it couldn't be real.
I saw people that were no longer alive. No longer breathing the air I breathed. Something clicked in my brain. I began to remember what I had been doing before. I was with three of my friends Alli, Skyer, and Ella. Those were my friends and now their bodies lay lifeless on this boat. We were going on a boat ride to see the sights of Asia that's where we had been vacationing at the time. I remember our tour guide telling us that he knew a shortcut. That's all I remember after that it's all a blur. Finally taking in the fact that I was alone, alone without my friends by my side, I began to feel weak. What would I do without someone to help me. Was there even anyone on the beach. Again tears came rolling down my cheeks like a rainstorm.
After a couple minutes of crying, I began to realize that I had to search for something, anything that could help. I was crawling that seemed to be the only thing that didn’t hurt my leg. The temperature was hot and crawling took a lot of my energy. I needed to find water to drink somewhere. It didn’t look like it had rained in months. I was in a tropical dry forest. Where would I find water? I kept crawling on the beach. I crawled in a straight line up the shore looking for shelter, water, a person to help me. I was beginning to lose faith thinking that I would die here if someone doesn't come soon.
After crawling for so long I found a nice slumped tree on the beaches shore. Thinking it would be a nice place to rest. I looked up at the tree to see a bird staring at me. What a weird looking bird I thought to myself, but at that moment I remembered a memory. I knew that bird, that birds a pink-headed imperial pigeon. I began to think...before I got to this beach...I was a birdwatcher in Pennsylvania where I lived. I remembered I can’t believe that I remembered! I just had to see something that reminded me of myself to remember who I was. I knew that this bird would help me on this journey back to safety.
As I lay on this tree where I had seen the bird, I had also seen a white, flimsy piece of paper. With all my strength I reached up with my right hand and pulled the paper down. In bold black letters, I read “Jaco Island.” I couldn’t believe what I had been reading. Was this true? Was I on an Island! How would I get back to civilization? How would I do anything with my leg in the shape that it is in? As millions of thoughts went through my mind I held on to the piece of paper. The piece of paper that had taken me by such a shock. I was on an island…
I must have sat against that tree for an hour or more because the tide was coming in fast touching my toes. Coldwater hitting them was almost a relief. The sun was still beating down on my skin, blistering it and boiling my blood inside. But for some reason I just didn’t care, I didn’t care about the fact my skin was literally peeling off my body. What I had cared about was that I was sitting on an island with a wound that’s bleeding, and no one was there to help.
The island I had discovered had been uninhabited. I had crawled around the weirdly shaped circular island, and there was no one to be found. Just something that washed up on the beach that could be helpful in the future. I was planning on being here for awhile even if I bled to death. There were no boats, no airplanes, and no help. I might never get off this island, but I wasn’t giving up without a fight.
My leg was starting to get feeling back, that certainly wasn't a good thing. The pain was unbearable. I started to crawl my way back to the boat hoping it wouldn’t turn dark by the time I got there. I was going to use the boat as the shelter for the night. I thought that was a good idea so nothing would get into the wound on my leg. I then thought about my friends in the boat and how they are no longer living. I would have to move their bodies. That's what I’ll do.
Coming up on the boat kept getting harder and harder the more I thought about it. Then hoisting my way up to the deck of the boat, I saw them. Carefully planning on what I would do with them, I picked up Alli’s hand. I was wishing they were just here for me, wishing they would just help me like friends do. Now I would have to get rid of them on this island. I couldn’t just put them in the forest on the island. So I started to think, I would send them off in the water in the morning. For now, I will sleep in the boat cause the sun went down and I don't know what comes out at night.
I couldn't fall asleep. I kept hearing sounds. I didn’t know what was on the island. It could be anything I thought. This was a whole new place to me. I lived in Pennsylvania where there are pine trees and bears, not on an island where there were palm trees and unfamiliar, strange animals. I heard sounds that were close that probably wanted to feed on my friend's bodies. All these thoughts racing through my mind, and I can’t even blink an eye. The night was black, I couldn’t see a thing. Anything at any moment could attack me. I needed light, but all I could do is lay there being scared and in pain.
By morning I was worn out, all my muscles hurt with exhaustion. I felt like I could be slowly dying...and no one would know. I had all this faith yesterday. I thought I could get through everything and make it home safely. I was wrong, very wrong. I would never get off this island. A couple days went by and not a sign of human life. My life was the only living human around and soon that would change. My leg is now turning grey almost black. I knew it would need to be amputated, the infection was spreading like a wildfire. Yet I still don't know my own name. I am going to die without knowing my own name.
Days have passed and I'm pretty sure I've past out because of the pain. I can not move the lower half of my body now. I managed to find a water bottle two days ago, but that's all the water I have had. The nights do not scare me anymore. I now hope something comes to the boat to kill me. The only things that come up on the boat are birds and they scavenge for food. I haven't eaten in days. Honestly, I don't know why or how I haven't died yet.
Burns on my body bleed and crack. My leg is completely black, and I have lost feeling from my hips down. My fingers don’t seem to be working properly. They're stuck in odd positions. The sleepless nights are now over I realize...it will all be over soon. As my eyes water for the hope that I would stop suffering, I soon felt better. Everything was fine now, no pain, no worries, no more of me...Charlotte Oliver.