Day 1: The Crash
When the plane's left wing decided to take flight on its own path through the sky, my head went blank. It felt like that amusement park ride that takes you up unnervingly high, and then, in a mere second, it begins to drop. Your stomach gravitates into you chest, it almost feels as if it were an out of body experience. But the plane going down was a great deal worse, knowing at the end, the plane would not slow and land smoothly like the amusement park ride did. Instead it would crash roughly into the waters somewhere in the North Atlantic.
Day 1: Sometime After The Crash
The soft waves of the warm ocean water licked at feet, for I had only been strong enough to pull myself partially onto the white shore. I layed on my back with my legs tangled together, not sure of which was the left and which was the right. In that moment I had no idea if I was paralyzed or in shock, I would not be surprised if it were both.
The sun pestered down on my body and evaporated the tears that streamed down the side of my burning face. The sky was the only thing I could look at. I was afraid that if I turned my head I would come face to face with a fresh body. I didn't want to see if the water was diluted in crimson blood from unlucky crash victims drifting with the current or being put use as islands for tired birds to perch on.
The only sound to be heard was the crashing of waves lapping at shore. There was no screams, no voices, it made me question the amount of time I had spent laying in the sand. For all I knew hours could have already passed.
Only enough food was left to last me about four more days, if I rationalized which was a situation I had never been faced with before. I was no longer able to pinpoint anymore bags of snacks scattered on the shore. I had tried my hardest to locate any type of food thrown from the crash within a mile stretch of the shore, but most of it was lost amidst the ocean. On day two, I had convinced myself to even check the pockets of dead bodies washed up along the beach. Most of the bodies had turned gray by then, and they did not stink nearly as bad as they do now. The second dead body I patted down was a middle aged man wearing bermuda shorts in an awful shade of yellow. I cried a full tide of tears when I looked in his wallet and saw a picture of his family who will never see him again. Or perhaps they were on the plane, too. My stomach had lurched forward pushing acidic bile into my mouth when I saw the Middle Aged Man’s eyes were still open had commenced to shrivel in the sockets from being exposed to the sun for over twenty-four hours. In a way, the puking helped by suppressing my hunger and making my pile of goods last for another day.
Right now, my worries were originated on my limited water supply. Only two bottles of airport brand water was left. All my hopes are in those bottles to preserve my life until somebody comes to my rescue. The crash could not be invisible due to a somewhat large piece of airplane tail that had broken off and created a thick crooked line of dug up sand along the shore before settling into a shallow crater. The thought of making a fire to attract any passer byers did cross my mind, but there was a bigger factor stopping me from doing so; I had no idea how to start a fire. Thankfully, the nights have been warm enough so I don't encounter hypothermia.
For a shelter, I dug myself a shallow hole on the beach about the size of my body, and set down clothes I found in scattered luggages as bedding. My four days on the island felt like a lifetime of sitting and waiting. It gave me too much time think. I thought up scenarios in my head, what my funeral would like or what I would do when they come to rescue me. I’m not sure who “they”, are but I know they're coming. Still, I pictured my funeral. To me, my funeral would be small and intimate just like I believe death should be. I imagined my mother's face streaked in tears, knowing her well enough that she would blame herself for my death. She would be angry that she let me fly by myself to visit my grandparents, but she would be relieved she didn't make my younger sister tag along. I am grateful that my sister wasn't with me, and I am hopeful that she won't have to experience what it's like to lose her only sibling.
My sister still enjoys puffy stickers and lip gloss that tastes like cherries. I admire her ability to preserve her innocence.
Day 7: A Full Week Stranded
My hope began to deteriorate as I felt myself slowly meet my demise. It was a terrifying thing to die. I didn't actually know if that's what was happening but I ran out of water two days ago. From my knowledge I will only have about two days left before my bodies dehydrates and shrivels up like a raisin. I never liked raisins. The painful part about it was the thirst, it actually physically hurt to be deprived of water. My throat felt as if someone had taken a sheet of sandpaper to it and my mouth lacked much needed moisture. Even my brain hurt too, it ached and throbbed inside my skull. My skin was beginning to blister and peel from the constant rays of the sun. Sweating and crying didn't help my dehydration, I took the liberty of attempting to prop up a shelter for myself, but after the third failure, I gave up. Giving was easy and the human thing to do, surviving was much harder. Eventually I sat in my hole in the sand, wrapped my arms around my knees, rocked back and forth and stared into the ocean praying. I had never prayed before, not like that.
The ocean was peaceful. Its waves crashed softly at low tide, sucking the water in, and spitting it out onto the white shore. The water was clear, too. The clearest I've ever seen it. Behind me about a football fields length away was small bits of vegetation. Not once had I ventured into the tropical greenery, though, I was too afraid somebody might come to rescue me and I'd be too deep into the island to hear or see them.
When I woke up I could not move. My body ached yet felt numb. I knew this would probably be my last day, my fourth day without water. For hours I laid in the sun and covered my torso and face with clothes. The smell of rotting dead bodies choked the air and spread with the slight breeze.
Death is painful, I knew if I tried to live it would be even more painful. I thought about death for a long time until I forced myself to accept it. I am okay with death, I do not hate it, I respect it.
My breaths were short and labored, I wanted it to be over. I didn't care if “over” meant death, sleep or rescue. Weakly, I pulled the shirt covering my eyes away. I knew I would drift off soon and wanted the last thing I look at in reality to be the baby blue sky.
When my eyes closed for a long moment, I pictured my mother's face, her pale skin, the harsh lines that formed around her mouth when she smiles. Her soft blond hair always fell in her sparkling green eyes and she would tuck it behind her ear with her fingers that used to stroke my face.
My ears detected a soft noise from the near distance. I lay on my back and listened to it. The noise was the first thing I had heard since my arrival, that wasn't a bird screeching or wave crashing. My heart's fading beats sped up for a moment giving me the courage to open my eyes once more. My chapped lips cracked as I tried to smile at the outline of a helicopter hovering high above my head.
Yes a helicopter.
But I was too weak to manage even the smallest smile. Instead, my heart slowed once again and my eyes fluttered closed. I saw blackness, and then nothing. It was finally over.
Day 1: The Crash