Estelle

I have been lying in bed for over four hours, unable to pass into a quiet slumber. The bed creaks and moans as the weight of my body shifts with restlessness. My drowsy eyes can't seem to stay shut, even though each eye lid weighs to much to keep them open. The room was unbearably stuffy, making it even harder to fall asleep. I slipped my thin hand out of the white cotton sheets trying to find the bedside lamp. I felt the cool brass of the lamp bursh against my fingertips, sending a shiver throughout my body. I located the little light switch, and pressed it up with my pointer finger. Instantly the room glowed withe the soft light coming from the ancient lamp. I slowly made my way to the other side of the room, passing various pieces of clothing from the day before. I gazed outside the the glass sliding door, and could just make out the beach with the help of the soft glow of fireflies. I thought about the water moving up the shore and crawling back down it. Up and down, up and down, up and down. Every day the same exact thing. I slid the door open quietly letting in the cool breeze. I let my lungs fill with the sea breeze, and let it out of my nose. It burnt my throat and nostrils, reminding me of the past memories on this same beach. I walked down the sagging porch, and walked out across the sand. The waves made rhythm with my heart, making us one. The only thing I could hear was the crash of the waves as they hit land. I could feel the ache in my body, from being deprived of rest for two days, as my foot falls to the sand. I stop just as the water is close enough to tickle my toes. The cool water chilled me, making my skin ppimple. I waded further until it came to a rest a top my ankles. I gazed up into the deep purple sky, taking in the white twinkling stars. A rush of memories fills my head from my childhood. I think of all the times my mother took me out here, on the beach, to gaze at the stars. We would bring a blanket out and just lay down trying to identify where Orian's belt was or how stars were made. I remember one night, before my mother passed away, she brought me out here because she claimed the sky had never been so beautiful. And she was right. The sky was bruised, turning purple to blue to black all at one time. The stars shined down on us sparkling enough to dazzle any living thing. The full moon was a ghost white illuminating the beach.

"It's so beautiful out here Estelle," my mother murmured wrapping her warm arm around my waist as we waded out into the ocean. We stopped once the water was a couple inches deep. i nodded looking to the midnight sky.

The cool air snapped me out of my own thoughts and brought me back. As I waded further into the water, I could practically feel my mother's arm around me, like in the memory. I stopped as the water hugged my knees. I glanced to my side seeing my mother smiling down at me, her eyes twinkling like the stars in the sky. I smiled back, wishing with all my heart this was real. It felt so real, so how could it not be?

"Don't be afraid Estelle, even if you can't see me I'm still here," she whispered, her voice cool as a river. My eyes popped open to see she was still there, but she was now a few feet away from me. She kept wading further and further into the water, further away from me. My heart constricted in my chest and I felt the panic flood my body. She was leaving. I started moving as fast as I could through the now thic water. Waves out of nowhere hit my chest as I barreled through the water trying to reach my mom. She stood at least 10 feet away from me, still wearing that warm smile. I choked on a sob as I tried as hard as I could to get to her, but as I thought I was getting closer still seemed like she was getting further and further away. I was deeper then I excepted to be. The water came up to my shoulders, the waves now hitting me in the mouth making me choke on the salt water. I went under the water as a wave rolled over my head. When I broke surfaced I searched around, frantic, for my mom. At first I couldn't see her, but then I caught a glimpse of her. She wasn't struggling like I seemed to be. She was still smiling, but sitting on some kind of rock. I never noticed it before. I kept getting closer to her, this time she wasn't getting away from me. All of a sudden the ocean floor caved underneath me, and I struggled to stay above the water. I choked on the salty water as another wave crashed over my head. The water stung my eyes but I never took them off of her. Once I reached the smooth rocks surface, a hand reached down towards me. I curled my hand around there's as they pulled me from the water. I rested my swollen eyes on my mother, not allowing myself to blink in case she disapeared.

"I can't stay," she whispered, a tear rolling down her pretty face. I forced myself to look away from her as my heart ripped down the middle. My chest ached as I rested my eyes back on her. My face wet with my own sorrow.

"But you have to," I said my voice cracking. She can't leave me again. I won't let her. I wrapped my drenched arms around her body, and with trembling lips I kissed her cheek. It was warm; the blood coursing through it was so real. She felt real, like she was still alive. I let go of her for a minute and grabbed her hand. I must have died. That's the only thing that could have brought my mother back to me.

"I really can't Estelle," my mother said, her eyes ringed red. "I love you so much, but I have to leave."

I flashed my eyes on her and noticed she was slipping away from em. She was disappearing right before my eyes. The once steady rock now crumbled beneath me. I screamed but it soon was drowned out as my lungs filled with water. I struggled to get back to the surface. I broke surface and glanced around frantically, searching for my mother. But she was already gone. I couldn't brood on that any longer when my own life was in jeopardy. I choked on water as I looked to find shore. I could see it but my house was only a small speck. I started to swim trying to use my energy sparingly. After a few minutes or hours I stopped moving for a little bit. I started swimming again may arms aching with every movement. Finally when my arms were screaming for me to stop, I noticed it was dawn, the sky a plum/orange color, the sky just breaking the horizon. I was close to the shore by now only a few 30 feet or so left. My lips cracked, filling with salt water making me tear up, as I smiled. I have so far survived. I used my numb arms and legs until I was able to reach the ground again. I tried to walk but my legs felt like jello and gave out. I let my body float as the waves took me back to a foot of water. I crawled my way back to shore, and gave up lying down on the sand. My throat was raw from swallowing the water all night, and my lips cracked and bleeding. I tried to move arms but my body wouldn't respond. I felt relief was over me until I realized whu I was out that far. My chest ached as I realized she was gone forever. I shut my eyes and a sob shuddered through my body. I felt arms close around me and I felt their heartbeat.

"My Estelle," my mother whispered. The last thing she would ever say to me. I savored for her arms to be back around me, her voice to fill my ears. I play backed her last words over and over again, until I was to exhausted to think about anything. As I closed my eyes I felt those strong arms around me again, and for the first time since my mother died I fell into a deep sleep.





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