Lost Memories

June 1, 2010
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The Wave

The sun was shining and there was a light breeze. The water was just right, cold enough to go in if you were hot, but not freezing so that you had to get out right away. The tide was low in the afternoon so that there was more sand to play on while the sun was up, and more water coming in as the sun was going down, perfect for swimming. It was a perfect beach day. One of those days where everything is going so well, in fact its all going a bit too well. Like in the back of your mind you can’t help thinking that something is going to go wrong. It had been a fun filled day of games of bocce, paddleball, ice cream from the truck, and soaking up the sun, a perfect day at the beach.
Finally at 5:30 the lifeguards left. I love swimming after the lifeguards leave. The feeling is indescribable. It feels like you own the beach. No lifeguards there to tell you to move more to the right, the left, come further in towards them, none of that, the beach is all yours. Avalon is a big enough place for there to be hotels and tourists but it is also a small enough place for the residents of the town to pretty much know everyone around. After the lifeguards leave most of the tourists leave too. They think that because there are no lifeguards the beach is closed, wrong. When the sun is going down and only the residents, and our friends, remain on the beach there is a great feeling that runs through me. There is a sense of familiarity. I know I’m at home, and nothing matters after that, right?
When I could no longer see the lifeguards on the beach I ran to my parents. “Mom? Dad?” I said. They looked up from their conversation, I continued, “Can I go for a quick dip before we leave?”
“That’s fine,” said my mom, “but you have to take your brother or sister with you, you can’t go in alone.” I nodded, “thanks!” I yelled as I sprinted off towards my sister Kerry.
“Hey Ker,” I said, “Want to go swimming?”
“Sure,” she replied. “Last one in is a rotten egg!”
And we sprinted off towards the water ignoring the calls of our parents telling us to be careful and stick tight.

The waves were rough so we stuck together. We were jumping around and laughing when we saw the wave. The wave was about the size of the beach house, okay so I’m exaggerating a bit, it was like 1 story tall but it seemed really big at the time, definitely enough to scare me. I grabbed Kerry and started pulling her into more shallow water. We couldn’t walk because of the force of the water being pulled back into the wave behind us. I felt Kerry’s slippery hang sliding out of my hand. She was grabbing on tighter as her hand slipped down. Before I had time to turn around her hand was squeezing my fingers in and then before I knew it I couldn’t feel her hand anymore, she has slipped away, so fast. I immediately turned around but only saw the blue of the wave for a split second before it crashed on top of me, the blueness stuck inside my eyes like a picture refusing to move or let me forget what had just happened.
Under water I thrashed around looking for Kerry, I knew she wasn’t there but I was convincing myself that she was. I didn’t want to stand up and not be able to see her anywhere, seeing that would be too scary, I couldn’t handle that. When I couldn’t hold my breath any longer I stood up. As I surfaced from beneath the wave I scanned the water quickly but couldn’t see her anywhere. I panicked.
I saw my dad sprinting in. It struck that she didn’t know how to swim, she could doggy paddle but that was about it. I saw her screaming, far out in the water. My dad ran, grabbed her hand, and pulled her in, smashing her against his body, baring his back to the wave that was coming. He swam in with her clinging to him for dear life. When they got to the shore I saw my mom run up to my dad and Kerry holding a towel. They laid Kerry down on the towel, wrapped her up and then scooped her up and hugged her.
I stood in the water, up to my thighs, small waves crashing around me; I couldn’t move my feet were sinking lower and lower into the sand. I didn’t even want to think of what could have happened, what would have happened if my dad hadn’t been there. I shivered, thank goodness he had seen her before anything serious had happened.
I tugged my feet out of the sand and walked back into the shore. My parents saw me and ran to me, hugged me, I started crying, “I tried to hold onto her but I just couldn’t she just slipped away before I could stop her.” They pulled me away just enough to be able to look into my eyes, “Fiona there was nothing you could of done, that wave was really big, you tried your best and your sister is fine, look at her.” And I did I looked over at her she was looking at me when we made eye contact she smiled and so did I, and at that moment I knew I would never let anyone hurt her and I would always do everything to keep her safe, no way I was going to lose her now.

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