When It Rains

July 1, 2010
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My green eyes opened as the noise from the endless rain battered on our roof. I sat up, crumpling my green comforter. When would it stop raining? We'd been in California visiting family friends for three weeks, only to have it rain every day since we had arrived.

"Jianna!" yelled Mom from the kitchen below me.

"Yeah," I replied loudly through the intercom attached to my wall that Mom refused to use. Nobody knew why.

"Waffles or pancakes?"

"Neither. Not hungry."

No reply.

She probably thought I was too thin, so she was probably cooking up something for me anyways.

I slipped on my grey flipflops and plunked downstairs, ignoring the fact that my shoulder-length brown hair was probably a mess. Shoving my bangs to the side of my face, I swung open the screen door facing the beach. The wet sand looked a dark brown and the water looked so stirred that it made me wonder what lay beneath it. A sea monster perhaps?

"Ji, where you going?" Mom asked, again from the kitchen.

"To Narnia."

I was often called too sarcastic, casting a rebellious reputation on me. Not that I tried to be. It came naturally--sarcasm, that is.

The door slammed behind me and I skipped down to the beach, wet sand sticking to my feet and rain drenching me. But it felt so much better compared to staying inside the beach house all day and playing UNO with three-year-olds. They didn't even know how to play.

To my surprise a boy stood where the foam from the water dropped in, and then fizzled away. He wore knee-length basketball shorts and an Aeropostale t-shirt. Cali guy, no doubt.

"Hey. I'm Jianna."

He turned to look at me. "Jordan."

"Does it usually rain this much?"

"No," he replied as a sad tone squeezed into his voice.

"Seems like it only came for me. Sun hasn't shone since we arrived."

"Today was the day I was going to take my dad's boat on the water." Jordan replied.

"Seriously? That'd be stupid."

"I know. So we're waiting a few more days."

"I didn't say we should wait!"

How fun would that be? Risking my life to sail on a rainy California day! Stupid, yes--but it beats otherwise.

"We?" he asked as if I had invited myself. ...Okay, I had. But still.

"Well you can't just tell me about you going on your boat and then expect me to stay here!" I reasoned.

"Fine. But do you know anything about boating?"

"A-duh," I lied. I know, lying IS wrong, but I had to get away from the beach house. Pronto.

"'Kay. You sure we'll be safe?"

"A-duh!" I repeated sarcastically.

Apparently he took my sarcasm seriously, and in an hour, we were sailing happily. Well, sort of.

"Jordan!" I yelled over the noise of the rain and waves.

"What?" he yelled back, examining the waves ahead.

"This is awesome!" I said, a small wave splashing over the side of the boat and soaking my clothes. "It's better than the waterpark by my--"

Suddenly a huge wave caught my attention. It was headed right for us.

"Steer us away!" screamed Jordan like our lives depended on it. I think it may have, actually.


"How?! You said you knew everything about boats!"

"It's called sarcasm! You're gullible!"

"It's called lying! You're a liar, and now you've put our lives in danger!" he screamed at me.

Guilt flushed to my face, shown by my blushing. This was bad. At first I had thought risking life and limb would be fun. But now, here it was, and I was scared. Really scared.

Jordan, the boy I had met an hour ago, grabbed my hand as the wave came closer. And closer.

Tears streamed down my face as I thought about if they'd ever find us this far out in the ocean.

"Are you crying?" Jordan asked.

"No, it's called rain!"

We were silent for a couple moments.

"Okay, yes, I'm crying! We're gonna die!" I admitted.

"Just..." Jordan began. The wave was seconds away. "Hold on!"

Water sloshed around me as I grappled for something. Anything. "Jordan!" I called. "Help! Jordan!"

I faintly heard my name as I swallowed a huge amount of salt water. Either an angel or Jordan was called out to me.

I choked on some water and tried to spit it out. No luck. I thought for sure I was drowning.

Suddenly a helicopter flew over, turned around, and stopped over us. I tried to tread water for a few minutes, but I was getting weaker and weaker. My legs were giving out, and pajama pants weren't helping. "Help!" I screamed.

A ladder dropped from the helicopter and I reached for it. Two men started climbing down it. Coast guards?

Soon enough one had wrapped me in his arms and was helping me get up the ladder. I shivered and cried, my regrets and fears consuming me. What if Jordan was dead? And it was all my fault?

"Sir, there, there was a, a b-boy with me, who, who, who was... his n-name was Jor, Jordan! Where is h-h-he?" I sputtered.

"Don't worry, miss, our other guard's got him. Look."

Honestly, I didn't want to look back at the waves, or at the sinking boat. But I did.

Jordan was alive.

I sobbed in the helicopter on the way home. When I got off of it, Mom ran out crying. She wrapped me in her arms and sobbed all over me. It didn't matter. I was already wet. "Mom," I mumbled between sobs, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I was stupid. I'm sorry!"

"I know, sweety, calm down, baby girl," she kissed my forehead, "Shh, shh, Ji-ji,"

Jordan and I were in the hospital for a day or two afterwords because of our mild cases of hypothermia. I didn't even know what that was until I had it.

I was soon able to see Jordan again though, in the hospital courtyard. "Sorry, Jordan."

"Yeah," he replied, "it's okay. I was stupid to agree." He chuckled, a sign that I was completely forgiven.

But then, something weird happened. I felt sun on my back. Looking up, there it was, sure as ever, sunshine.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

ilovewriting95 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm
Great story! I loved it! I live in California and have been on two boats( a pontoon boat on Big Bear Lake and a Ferry at Seattle Water front... I took pictures and I can let you know when they get approved on the website.) I haven't been in a situation like this but I did get caught in the water once when I was at the beach. it was so scary, I was in the water messing around with friends and I got stuck in the water and I was floating, it was so weird not having my feet tough the ground. Oh and ... (more »)
ilovewriting95 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm
By the way, have you been on a boat before?
Lindsey_O said...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 11:23 am
Oh wow I absolutely loved that story!! Jianna's personality was very clearly portrayed through the diolauge. All the characters were very realistic, and I could picture meeting each of them in reality without any trouble! Awesome job! :)
ithinkijustflew replied...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Wow, thank you! High praise indeed ;)
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