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Stranded

Hawks. They were circling above as if waiting for me to lay down and die.


I was now covered in salt water, sand in my hair, I could feel it beginning to make my scalp itch. My beach blond hair ratted into a ginormous tangled mess. The salt water stung my baby blue eyes. Would this be the end of me, in my new but now destroyed swimsuit, remembering my last words I began to regret all the things I’ve fought in my short lifetime. Why, why did I fight my parents so much on which private school they would send be to, where we would go for vacation, how much I was aloud to spend when going shopping.


Now I realize that it is the reason I am in this situation. If I were to just let it be a nice relaxing cruise without complaining about all the party’s I could be missing back home in California. Would I still be laying out on the tanning deck drinking overly priced slushies all day if it weren’t for my overreaction?


I had an attitude and when I was little I always said, “I will never act like Cinderella's stepsisters” but that was who I had become. I was the girl that everyone talked to no matter how rude I was. I regret all of that now and all I want is a chance to apologize to my friends my classmates and most of all my parents. I was so stuck up in all my “fame” throughout high school I had dropped out of soccer, remembering all the long hours spent in the back yard kicking my old raggedy ball against the special wall that my grandpa had payed for. With weird angles to make the ball go all over wanting to make it as long as I could without letting it get passed me. My ball hads’t been touched in over six years. Everyone was so disappointed when I quit, “You have such talent, you would get scholarships from every college with a girls soccer team.”


Some even went as far as to tell me without soccer I would soon become fat.


It was one phone call, one that I should have expected. My father was the head CEO of a athletic wear company. You might think of Nike or Under Amour, but this was different, unique, all different clothing specialized to work with everyone's needs and personal styles. Someone might think that one phone call wouldn’t send me over the edge after years of long hours missed holidays and birthdays, and maybe they’re right, it was one call compared to the usual eight or nine a day on vacations. That's the thing though after years of being ignored or prioritized above it does get to the point where its one call that makes you realize, that call was the call that made me realize how unimportant I seemed to him, and I couldn’t stand the feeling anymore.


If I wanted to survive I would have to move further into the center of the island, there was no food on this beach and I wouldn’t last long with this smoldering sun beating down on my bare skin. Even though I was nearly brown from long hours of tanning, I was used to the sun being this intense, and the more direct rays could destroy me.


This was it, slowly I rose from the spot I had dropped of exhaustion after my long swim from the middle of ocean, where I spotted the island. My legs wobbled and I felt quite faint as I stood. I slowly stepped closer to the jungle, scared of what I would find, I never really payed attention to the survival shows my grandfather used to watch. It was to late now and I needed to focus on surviving.


As I inched towards the thick vines, I heard a sound. Was that a monkey? Even though I scared like you wouldn’t believe, I kept going. As I entered the jungle I noticed big palm trees and a ton of other southern trees that I never had an interest to learn about. I knew from living in California for my whole life, that I would be able to find bananas and coconuts. I needed to replenish myself so I would be able to get rescued off this island.


How would I do that, it has now been about 6 hours and I have yet to see a single plane, ship, or any other form of human life. The last person I had seen was my mom and the scared to death expression on her face as I was falling and I knew my choice was not smart.


The one thing I know about survival is all the what ifs. What if I get a rash or poison ivy? What if I am severely injured by a snake or an angry monkey for coming in his territory?
“Amaya Green?”


There was a split second where my heart completely stopped. Was I not alone?


“Who’s there?” I could hear the fear in my own voice.


“Over here,” then I noticed the old scraggly looking man with his yellow smile and blonde with a dash of snow white hair which was now quite dirty, maybe considering the time he has spent here.


This man didn’t look familiar, but he somehow knew my name. Was he sent here to kill me? At that moment I decided that I had never met him before, and I was almost certain he wanted to hurt me in some way.
“Who are you and how do you know my name?” I demanded, maybe a little too harshly.


“My name is Frank, and I have been stranded here for over 7 years,” he answered the first question as if we had been friends for quite some time. “It’s getting dark, you should come with me sweetheart.”
Why would he call me that or think he had the right to call me that? There was no way I could sleep with him knowing where I was. I didn’t know how big the island was or how safe it was either, and if he was telling the truth about his time here he knows a lot more than me about the island.


“Okay,” I barely stuttered the words out knowing I only had a few hours while he was sleeping to escape.
Following him for about ten minutes, we soon came upon his makeshift home. It was exceedingly small for someone who claims to have been here for seven years. There was a few twigs with vines draped over them, it was to short for my whole body to be inside off nonetheless two people. The fire pit was made of mixmatch rocks and was still smoldering from sometime not extremly long ago. Looking around I felt as if I wanted to puke, there were old decaying carcasses thrown in just about every nook and cranny. The smell of old rotting meat was overpowering the earlier smell of salt and fresh jungle plants.


After Frank made dinner of what looked like old lizard and some berries he soon dozed off. This was my chance, maybe my only chance to get off this island and get rescued.


After I made it far from the camp I started to gather fallen branches and vines, as I headed back towards the beach I had first come from. When I emerged out of the dense bushes I set down all the materials I gathered and began to weave them together as I once used to do with tall grass outside in the spring.
It took about an hour before the raft looked completed and ready for me to leave on. So I set off on my journey.


As I edged towards the water I kept my eyes straight until the cold chill went up my body from the waves barely brushing my toes. I waded out letting the raft slowly bounce up and down with the waves until I was about waist deep and hopped on top of the raft. At first it was hard to get out with all the waves, but when it finally calmed down I took my chance and got out as far as I could. In the dark the island was scarcely visible and my hopes of never seeing it began to rise.


Maybe they shouldn’t have though, shortly after that the waves came back, and strong. There were times when the waves crashed inches before the tip of my nose. When I got into the crash zone I hadn’t even realize it all happened so fast. The 30 foot wave instantly snapped the raft in half, and I was pulled into the rip currents for a solid minute only getting pushed out for a second only to be pulled right back into another wave that had formed right behind it.


After a long struggle back to shore I crawled onto the beach and laid down for the night.
When I woke in the morning I soon remember the harsh reality from the night before. Would Fank realize I was trying to escape last night and hurt me for not inviting him alone on the trip? There wasn’t much time before he would wake up and realize what had happened.


There had to be some way to escape and I needed to find that. I decided to explore the island for any possible device or gadget that could help me.


Once I started my second departure into the woods I knew I would need to go a different way to try and avoid being spotted by Frank this time. As I entered through the border and into the jungle I now noticed a mountain, or what was probably a volcano. That was my best bet and I needed to get to the base before nightfall. So I headed towards the mount.


There were places where the brush was so thick that I was brought almost to a complete stop.
A sudden sharp pain shot up through the arc of my right foot.
“OUCH!!” I yelled out in deep pain.


Blood was starting to drip from my foot so I found a big rock and popped down to inspect the cut. There was a thorn lodged in my foot and blood oozing all around it. Slowly but steadily I pulled the thorn out of my foot. A light shiver, almost a tickle went through my body as the tip of the thorn slowly came into sight. That thorn had made me realize how little I knew about survival and all the struggles that went along with it. I couldn’t do it, I didn’t know how to survive all by myself, or how to get rescued off of a island.


“There’s no way out of this mess Amaya, great job,” I said to myself with much sarcasm.


This was it, I was letting myself think I was dead meat, but I wasn’t. Slowly I rose from the rock kept walking, I needed to make it there before dusk. Once I got there I would camp out for the night and search in the morning for anything useful to keep me alive and get me out of here. I needed to go home to my parents and friends, and I needed to change.


Stumbling over roots and climbing through dense vines for about 6 hours, only stopping for a quick lunch which consisted of a few berries and a small bundle of bananas I almost to easily came upon. It was nearly nightfall but I had made it to the base of the mountain and decided to set up camp for the night. There was a small bed barely off the ground that I set up using mostly leaves and twigs from near by, the majority of my skin was exposed considering the fact that I only had a rather small swimsuit on. The past day I’ve been wishing for some big maybe impossible things, but wishing to have the ability to make clothing to protect my body from the hundreds of bug bites up and down my body I would say is quite reasonable at this time.
I woke up to the bright morning jungle light shining directly in my eyes. The thought of sleeping through the night shocked me, considering my surrounding I would’ve never thought I could make it through the night that effortlessly. Mostly expecting to wake in the middle of the night to check if I was still alive or had already been mauled by monkeys.


Slowly I rose from the surprisingly comfortable makeshift bed and stretched my muscles out hearing the loud cracks every time I shifted to pull somewhere else.
Slowly looking up the volcano I remembered why I came all this way, fresh water inland, and a better sight from the top.


As I trudged up the steep slope the sun beating down hard on my back I began to feel very worthless and continuing on seemed almost pointless. Although the peak wasn’t much higher, it was a rather small volcano and I knew that even that little bit of a clearing could save my life when it came to being seen and rescued.
Finally, after a hike that took about an hour, that easily could have taken less time on a normal day with tons of water and a full stomach, but I was becoming dehydrated and I wouldn’t last long on a diet that consisted of fruits and the fruits juice. At the peak the sun seemed to have intensified by nearly double, beating down on my bare skin, you could almost hear my skin bubbling from the burn.


There was a light buzzing sound, or was there?


“Hello, is someone there, is this all just some joke?” Was there really a buzzing or was that my brain going insane from not being used to being alone for more than a day?


The buzzing grew louder and louder until it seemed that some enormous bug should be right inside my ear. It wasn’t a bug. There was a spec on the horizon, it was growing larger until I could make out the shape. It was a helicopter, and it slowed down over the island.


Was it looking for me? Or my body? I knew my parents wouldn’t leave me to die.


They could easily overlook me though and I needed to make sure that didn’t happen.


Grabbing a huge leaf from near by and jumping up and down as I screamed like a complete lunatic I did everything I could to be seen. Even though I knew they couldn’t hear my screams because of the loud blades slicing through the air I couldn’t stop myself from shrieking like I was insane. The helicopter grew near and it looked as if it were slowing down even more until it was almost to a complete stand still in the air.
“HAY! I’M HERE, DON’T YOU SEE ME?!” My voice began to crack, sharp pain shooting through my throat from the piercing hollers.

 

“PLEASE, HELP ME!” I continued to bellow out.


The helicopter began to hover over the island slowly moving towards the volcano. It wasn’t until now that I realized just how large the island really was. Did that lessen the chances of being seen? I couldn’t risk that, no one but Frank truly knows I’m on the island, and this could be my only chance to leave.


“HAYYYYYY!!!” I screamed until I could feel the sharp pain all the way to my chest.


The helicopter was hovering over me and seemed to be lowering down along with a grayish metal basket.
Over a loud intercom placed somewhere on chopper, “Please remain calm miss, we see you and are here to help. When the carrier is completely lowered please step in and strap yourself in.”


It took about two minutes for the basket to be completely lowered, and eagerly I stepped inside and immediately strapped in.


As I was raised up I felt as if this was my second chance and I needed to make the most of this opportunity
After I was completely unhooked and settled into the chair, I looked out the window, and that is how I remained for the two  hour flight it took to get to the coast of California. My parents rushed towards me as soon as I stepped out and embraced me like they never had before.


“I’m sorry dad, I overreacted and it was stupid,” I whimpered out as a stream of tears poured down my face.
From that point on, not once more did I “rule the school”, I became very involved in helping my school and joined student council, yearbook committee, and I even started a club to prevent bullying.


I spent mostly all of my free time with my family and much of it was spent at home, and my dad never brought his work phone in the room, after the day of my return he always said “family is important, so family time is family time, and no interruptions.”


One thing I never understood was how Frank knew my name, or anything about him. I could never bring myself to asking about him, or even mentioning the fact that I wasn’t alone. Scared of what I might find, who he really was, why he was really on that island, and how he knew who I was. After my return a picture of his old featured face remained in my mind, and his yellow crooked smile remained on my mind quite a bit. It wasn’t because it scared me though, there just seemed to be something almost familiar about his walk and that smile. It was something from my childhood, I could remember short clips almost as if I was watching a horror film, but that horror film was on my life.






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