The Journey--- Part 1

June 14, 2010
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So there I was, almost ready to confront the most life-changing choice of my life. The glistening water thundered down upon the huge boulders, which await the gush of water at the bottom, and the still but not quite silent forest created a relaxing atmosphere.
I hear a slight crinkling of dry leaves and twigs, then a nearby bush becomes disturbed. My heart beats ten times faster than normal and my breathing becomes deeper. I can feel the hairs on my arms prick and my blood runs cold. He’s here.
But this story doesn’t start here. This story starts way back. Back when my life could never have been better.
My life was hell. I lived in a very small town known as thorow, in Australia, a place rarely visited by people. At school all my teachers seemed to have some sort of dislike towards me. Like, Mr. Chase I think he’s trying to fail me on purpose. One day I got a 52 mark on my exam, I matched my answers up with Becky’s (She’s the friendliest girl in my class, but she’s not really my friend-?) and she had the same answers as me, but marked as correct. Anyway, after school always suited me best.
I really only had one friend, my dog Shikira. Shikira was a long-haired Golden Retriever, the real gutsy type, up for almost anything. She could probably make 8th wonder of the world; there was nothing that could stand in her way, no adventure that could throw her down. Despite her eager ‘out-there adventurer’ attitude, she was a real sweet dog, the only one who really understood me.
Almost every day after school I would take Shikira out bushwalking—that is, she would take me out walking. There was a great range of native bushland surrounding the town so there were lots to explore. The wallabies were in big numbers around the biggest hill surrounding the town, and native birds and plants cover the entire area.
On the other side of the hill there is a very large twisted gum tree, and around the roots of this tree, half hidden by dry leaves, is a small hole. After nearly falling through the hole, not knowing it was there, Shikira and I decided to explore down it.
It was very dark and a little scary down there -- nothing a little torch can’t fix. Being able to see, after a few meters down the hole we came to a stop with a choice of two passages to take. Taking the left passage, it led us through a few meters of dense undergrowth, only to let us down with a dead end. We turned back and headed down the right passage.
“I see light!” I exclaimed to Shikira. “Woof!” She replied excitedly. We ran as fast as we could down the rest of the passage.
My mouth dropped. Before me was a valley, a beauty. Surrounded by dense forest and cornered at the cliff of a magnificent waterfall, lays a small-ish field of long, lush green grass. The glistening water thundered down upon the huge rocks, which await at the bottom. The sky was sapphire blue and clear as day. This place was unharmed and untouched by human destruction, the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
Now Shikira and I spend every day here after school, and we sure do look forward to it! For now we call it ‘The Gully’.
Anyway, getting back on track, all the fuss started at school.
One day, on a typical warm sunny morning, I went to sit in my seat ready for class to start. I was the first one in (as usual) and waiting for everyone else. I turn my head to look out the window for just a second, and when I turned my head back nearly everyone was in their seats. Then my eyes bewildered me. A different face nervously stumbled into the room. He looked around the room as if to try and pick out any familiar faces. His eyes were hazel green and his hair was a crimson brown colour. His whole face was a perfect baby-faced figure, and his ever present smile was just too much for a girl to take in. I just couldn’t stop staring at him.
“Alright class” Mr. Chase announced “This is Zac, he’s new in this class so I expect everyone to treat him nicely, GOT THAT!?”
Then he turned towards Zac. “Now, if anyone in here is the least bit mean to ya, make sure to dob ‘em in, and I’ll snap ‘em back into line, got that?” Zac slowly nodded his head. “Good, now, there’s a spare seat over there next to Emma, I’m sure she’ll show ya the ropes”.
“OMG, he’s coming to sit next to me!” I thought to myself. “Ok, think fast. I can get through this. Just act normal”
Eventually when he came around to sit in the chair next to me there was a long silence. I felt like making the move. Just as I was going to say something he said hello.
“Hi” I replied back.

“Are you Emma?”

“Yep, you must be Zac, then?”

“Well, that’s kinda hard to miss, seeing as Mr.McGrouchy pronounced it loud’n’proud for the class to hear!”

I gave a little giggle. “Nice to meet you Zac”

“Alright class, turn to page 536 of your text book.” Mr. Chase said brutally. “NOW Jamie, not in two years!”

“We better get started then?” Zac said.

“Right” I said in a glum kind of way. I didn’t want to end the conversation just yet, but I suppose it had to. It was hard not to try and look over at him, I must admit. His eyes were a whirlpool to stare into, but when I heard him speak, omg, his voice was that of an angel’s. I swear I saw him take a glance or two over at me. Does he like me too? This question kept rolling around in my mind all day.
Finally the lunch bell rang and the long silence was broken. He seemed to be everywhere I was. Like, when I went to the canteen to by nachos for lunch he was over the other side, watching me.
School ended and I raced home, with Zac in my mind, to get Shikira ready for our walk to the gully.
As soon as we exited the tunnel, I raced over to the centre of the valley and flopped into the lush, green grass and stared at the sky.
“I met someone today” I said to Shikira. “He’s new in our classroom, and he’s totally gorgeous. His name is Zac.”

“Woof” was all Shikira had to say.
“His hair is a nice shade of crimson brown and his eyes, there just, just like a whirlpool, I’m stuck in them. I just can’t stop staring at them. And his smile—OMG—simply gorgeous. He defiantly knows how to flatter and impress a girl.
Shikira made a noise as if to sigh towards all of what I have been saying.

Then I fall into a daydream about Zac.
The next day Zac sat next to me again.

“ Well, there are no other seats around so I hope you don’t mind if I sit next to you again.” He asked

“No, its fine. I’m usually on my own, anyway.

“You're sure?”

“Yeah, I enjoy the company.” —Oops, too much information.

“Ok then” He said. “So, what did you do after school yesterday?”


“I saw you race out of school like a flaming comet yesterday. Must of been important.”

“Umm...” I can’t tell him about the gully. “Family funeral...Yeah, family funeral.”

“Oh, I’m sorry for asking.”

“Don’t be. Wasn’t my favourite uncle, anyway.

“Yeah, but still.”

“Emma, you’ve failed your exam by 2 points, DISGRACEFULL!!!” Mr. Chase’s voice comes from out of nowhere.

“What was the pass- score? I asked.


School ended finally and I was off to the gully, with Shikira right behind me.
Zac was down at the beach and noticed that I was being dragged into the bush.

“Hey, there’s Emma. Where is she headed? I might as well follow her.”
“Ahhh, here at last. I will never get tired of this place.”

“A-woof woof!” agreed Shikira.
Zac, hidden in the passage, popped his head around the corner to his amazement. His mouth also dropped. Stunned by the beauty of the valley, Zac accidentally slipped on a loose pile of rocks causing him to fall, and to lose his camouflage. After being noticed by Emma the disasters kept tumbling, and I do mean tumbling! The pile of rocks that Zac slipped on caused a minor rockslide, which created a huge rockslide, headed straight for the tunnel opening.
“Quick Emma, get out of there!” Screamed Zac.
I ran as fast as I could, with Shikira behind. I got through the tunnel, and turned around to see Shikira still a fair way back. “C’mon Shikira! RUN!” But just before she got to the tunnel entrance a huge boulder landed right in the tunnel entrance, trapping Shikira in the gully.
“NOOO!” I screamed. “Shikiraaa!”

I heard a slight whimpering from behind the boulder. Everything is frantic now, all over the place. I can feel the tears flowing down my cheeks like a river. I’m bashing the rock trying hopelessly to move it, or to curse it, I couldn’t tell the difference. Then, all of a sudden something hard and heavy hits me on the head. I fall to the ground and everything goes black.

To be continued...

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