The Wave

March 5, 2012
Sitting on this beach for the first time in 6 years was nerve-wrecking. It brought back painful memories, that brought tears to my eyes. My heart was pounding quickly as I recalled the tragic events that happened on this day 6 years ago.

It was scorching hot in Honolulu, even though it was only April. I was on spring break with my family, and I was living the dream. The past four days had consisted of laying on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear water, and today was no different.
I took a deep breath, the smell of the ocean calmed me. The view from my hotel balcony was absolutely breathtaking, with sand, so white it was blinding and crystal clear water that stretched on for miles , I never wanted to leave.
I grabbed my beach towel and headed towards the crowded beach. I was pushing and shoving people out of the way, scanning the beach for available spots, until finally, I found one that was perfect. I carefully laid my towel on the sand and laid down, absorbing the Hawaiian sun. After two hours of laying in the sun I decided to go into the water to cool off.
As I approached the ocean, I couldn’t help but stare. I thought the ocean was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The way the ice blue water sparkled when the sun hit it. Some people played in the water, while some just sat in their inner tubes. The smell of the salty water was refreshing. The water was the perfect temperature for a quick dip, but something was off. It felt like the water was gently pulling me out to sea. I glanced around giving the swimmers the don’t- you-feel-that look, but nobody looked confused or concerned. For a moment I thought I was paranoid but when I looked out I saw that the water was slowly getting sucked back, so I ran to shore.
I grabbed my towel and bolted to my hotel room. When I arrived, I went straight to the balcony to observe what was happening on the beach. Sure enough the crystal clear water was being pulled farther and farther back, and for a minute, everything was silent. Then it came. It sounded like a train, a train that was far away, but approaching by the second. The ground began to rumble underneath my feet, the people on the beach stood there in panic, not knowing what to do. Then I saw it, a massive wave quickly approaching shore, white tips curling in. It was a tsunami, and I was trapped inside.
Everything after that was a blur, and now for the first time in 6 years I stand on the very beach where I had witnessed a 5.6 magnitude tsunami,taking the lives of 2,000 innocent people. Tears welled up in my eyes, I had witnessed something had no human being should ever see. That day would haunt me forever.

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