Escapade into Affection

April 3, 2014
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“Pain doesn’t just show up in our lives for no reason. It’s a sign that something in our lives needs to change.” -Unknown
 Rushing winds whipped the main sail from side to side. Escapade wasn’t strong enough for this storm. The main sail would shred soon to something as lightly as a gust of wind. The black locust wood interior was slick with sea foam, testing my balance. Catapulting me of my feet, the final gust of wind had come. Snip. A sharp, wooden edge had clipped the side of my head, sweeping me away into darkness.
“Sawyer, come on wake up!” I groggily open my emerald eyes one at a time. I see a young woman with beautiful chestnut hair, icy blue eyes, and her cheeks speckled with freckles. She has Lila’s eyes, my annoying younger sister. “I NEED you to get up! We have to check on your “baby” especially after the howling winds last night.”
“Escapade?” I choked.
“Yeah, whatever the name is. Just hurry up and get dressed.”
What is going on? Where am I? I thought I was on the way to Cape Town. I slide on some ripped-at-the-knee jeans, a black button up, and my black blundies. I walked out of the loft-like bedroom and into a small kitchen plastered with flowers and windows. There was a certain familiarity about the way the kitchen surrounded you with warmth, wanting to never leave. As my eyes scanned the cozy apartment, I saw the chestnut haired girl curiously waiting. She moved her penetrating eyes to my gaze and lit up. Why was she so excited to see me?
The sparkling tips of the sun’s rays tickled my nose as we strolled down an unrecognizable street full of stands with colorful beads and cloth. Protruding buildings make the stands look small and weak. There are palm trees sprouting everywhere. There are extraordinary mountains painted along the horizon beyond my eyes.
I know this place. The way the mountains roll in the horizon. The way the sun tickles my nose. The way the palm trees grow in vast clumps. The sweat dripping down my back. This is my dream destination, Cape Town, South Africa.
          We walked toward a glistening harbour. Then I see her. She is extraordinary. Her name is Escapade. She has a black locust interior. She is all white. Her mast has one, thin, fuchsia stripe.
“Hey Annie! Sawyer! Wait up!” shouts a black, wavy haired guy with hazel eyes. “Aaron, what’s up?” Annie joyously jolts to a stop. Her hair naturally highlighted hair bouncing off of her shoulders. “Nothing much. Just coming to see what you guys were doing,” Aaron retorts eyeing Annie admirably. There is a hardness in my stomach and chest causing my face to contort and my jaw to clench. Who is Aaron? “Sawyer, dude, it’s cool. I’m just talking. You don’t have to worry. I’m your best friend, I wouldn’t try to steal your girlfriend.”
Escapade was bobbing up and down with the waves rhythm. I hopped aboard and suddenly felt at home… I bolted out of Escapade, I came to Cape Town alone because I wanted to escape my family. They never made me feel welcome, they were nosey and annoying. I didn’t want the feeling of Boston with me.
“Saw, what is wrong?” Aaron curiously asks me. “It’s nothing but a thought.” Annie interrupts, “She looks good. She only has a new scratch on the mast.”
After being done with inspecting Escapade, we walk to Blues on Hout Bay Harbour. Annie ordered a quesadilla, Aaron ordered a bento box, and I decided on a massive turkey sandwich. Gnawing on a piece of sushi, Aaron asked if I was doing better. Why would he ask me how I was feeling? Why would he care? And Annie gave me a smirk of reassurance. They actually care about me.
“I’ll catch up with you guys later.”
“Bye Aaron!” I flamboyantly gestured. Annie slipped her fingers in between mine. Her small hands were warm and soft. I peeked down at her. Her eyes were a beautiful, icy blue, her nose was sprinkled with freckles, and her bouncy, chestnut hair was overwhelming. She was pulchritudinous.
“Come on, We have to get there before the sun sets.”
“Annie… Where are we going?”
She exchanges my question with a cheeky smile. I cannot help but laugh, she was adorable. Annie led me up an overgrown path that thread through different plants and animals. “Mme” I yipped, I had never seen such paradise. A surfer’s cove is magnificent, but this surfer’s cove was another level. The water was like glass. The sand was as soft as a baby’s bottom. And the waves moved to your every tip and turn.
“Is it not beautiful? I love just coming here and chilling with the waves. It’s crazy how there are creations in this world that can make you ecstatic! And that there is so much out there to explore. Did you know that only 5% of the ocean has been discovered?! Imagine how many species aren’t identified. So many marine plants and animals waiting for their call. That is one of the reasons why I came to Hout Bay, I wanted to study marine biology across the world and thought ‘hey why not start in Africa?’” All I can do is gaze at her. Her personality. Her independence. Her confidence. Her physical features. Her concern for me. I cannot breathe. There is a lump in my chest clogging my Trachea. There is this certain feeling of excitement and dizziness inside of me. I have never felt this way about anyone. Is is affection??        
“I love you, Annie.”
        “Sawyer come here! Show us your first bike!”
My mom cradles me in her strong arms, her sweet voice hushing me to sleep.         
“Saw, how old are you turning?” Stuffing my face with cake I reply, “Seven!”
“Be safe. I don’t want you to get hurt. Bye, I love you!”
“If you wanted me to be safe you wouldn’t have gotten a sailboat.” I slam the door behind me leaving my mom alone in our kitchen.
“Hey S! Guess what? I got the lead role in my school’s musical!” Shouts Lila. “That’s great, Lila, I don’t care.” I replied.
“Sawyer, you could stay for another week if you’d like, Lila and I would love as much time as we can with you. You’re never around anymore.”
“That’s exactly the reason I am leaving!! I do not want to stay here anymore! I cannot stand it when you guys always ask me about everything! And how you guys always say that you’re proud of me and that I am a perfect son!”
“Sawyer, We love you,”Lila slobbery squeaked.
I open my eyes to a blazing sun. My right temple is pounding! I wonder what I did to deserve that. I check my watch it’s 11:20. I slowly sit up with slight dizziness and a little bit of nausea. I am surrounded by chill waves and the 5% of the ocean that has been discovered. Wait, where am I? Where is Annie and Aaron? “Beep!” A loud device alarms. I get up and walk across Escapade’s deck to find the alarming machine. My GPS is beeping away. It says that I changed my course and am heading back to Boston. Why would I be going back to Boston? I was only in Cape Town for a day! But on my GPS it shows that I only made it a fourth through my journey until turning around. There was a giant storm one night, but I don’t remember anything except for being catapulting off my feet hearing and a sharp “snip!” noise. Was it all a hallucination? Annie. Aaron. The surfer’s cove. Blues. Hout Bay Harbour. All of it was because I hit my head? And that was why I don’t remember anything after the snip and why my head is pounding right now. When I told Annie I loved her and having felt a feeling I had never felt before was when the flashback of my mom and Lila caring for me and showing their affection for me appeared across my green eyes. Now I realize why I had that dream of two people who loved me, it was because of Mom and Lila. It was because I left them with how I truly felt; rejected. I was hurting inside because I had no one to talk to and I pushed the ones who loved me away.
        I have never felt so jittery in my life! I was approximately 60 miles outside of the Boston Inner Harbour. Words were racing through my head. How was I going to describe my behavior over the past eight years? How was I going to explain why I am back in Boston and not half way across the Atlantic ocean?
It was extremely cold in Boston. I threw on my brown leather jacket and whistled a cab. “197 Beacon Street,” I passionately told the driver. I paid the driver and strolled away. I didn’t know what to do next. So I just stood there at the stairs of my vintage, painted brick, four floor, widow watch, home. You’re not getting anywhere just standing there I thought. I tiptoed onto the first step of a fresh start. Step by step. Soon enough I was at our front door. The butterflies were reborn back into my stomach. Just ring the doorbell, Sawyer. “Bring Brong!” It was the longest minute of my life until I glanced down and saw recognizable hazel eyes.
“Hey, Lila."

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