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Three of us. We were the only ones left, the only ones to make it to this unrecognizable island. In the distance you could still see the smoky disaster of the plane crash off in the deep blue water. Only the nose of the plane remained above the water. The ocean (or at least we thought it was the ocean) sucked down the white plane that was marked with a blue stripe and the numbers 08679.
We paddled ourselves in towards the island with only the clothes that were on our backs, our neon orange life vests, and the one safety boat. When we hit the sandy shore the three of us pulled the yellow plastic tube up away from the water. We had no supplies or anything to help us get rescued or to even help us stay alive. We had no way to get out of this terrible nightmare that was now our reality.
With only the three of us left, we knew that we would have to stick together if we had any chance at all of making it out of this alive. I mean we were all complete strangers to each other. We didn’t even know each other's names, where we where from or what we did for a living. We sat on the beach with just a few inches of the salty sand between us, all still shocked at what had just happened. Why was I one of the only ones to make it out alive? I don’t deserve this. We sat there motionless and in shock. I had to break the silence I thought.
“Ah… My name’s Lucy. I’m 27 years old and a teacher from Manhattan” I said trying to break the awkward saddened silence.
The one man with dark hair, a tall lean body, and large muscles said “I’m Luke. I’m a firefighter from Brooklyn. I am married to my wife Dawn and have two young kids.”
“And I’m Sam. I’m 25 and work in the stock industry in New York.”
We all had been on the flight from Hawaii back to New York. We were all freaked out and unsure on how to even approach this crazy confusing situation, but we needed to figure it out fast.
The sun was still hanging up high in the sky beaming down rays of sunshine down onto the gritty hot sand. A lushish undiscovered forest sat behind us in the middle of the large island. There was no sight of any human habitation on the island.
“We better start collecting wood to build a fire and a shelter before the sun goes down” Sam said.
The group walked toward the lush green forest with the sand slipping between their toes. Each person gathered sticks of wood that varied in size, grabbing as much as they could. With my arms wrapped around the dark dry wood I headed over to the area that we had declared base camp. Sam and Luke had been busy at work rubbing two thin sticks together trying to create enough friction to start the fire. We needed the fire that was are only way out. Out of this terrible situation.
With just one spark the whole batch of wood went up in flames. Just like our lives had a couple of hours ago when the plane came crashing down, smashing into the water. We moved to building our shelter, placing the bamboo together like puzzle pieces. I had gathered big leaves from the palm trees and began to weave them together so we could place them on top of our shelter to block out the water if it had began to rain.
With the sun starting to dip down, the boys tried to go out and find anything that we could eat as food. I layed in our small shack of shelter trying to reflect on everything that happened in the last 24 hours. I was just hanging out with my family yesterday and I just had a massive bowl of honey nut cheerios. Oh it was so yummy. I would do anything for food right now, I think I would even settle for some broccoli right now and I hate broccoli. My mind drifted off and my eyes became heavy making it extremely difficult to keep just even one eyelid open.
The fire roared throughout the night with each of us taking turns to make sure that the fire didn’t go out and burn out our chances of getting rescued. When you looked out into the sky it was pitch black with only a couple of stars lighting up the darkness. We could only hope that people where on there way to rescue us and take us away from this nightmare.
Days and days went on and there was no sign of us getting rescued. We had to accept the reality that we may never leave this massive undiscovered island. We began to have daily routines and everyone knew what they had to do. I got water for us with the one water bottle that someone had in their backpack, Luke caught our fish with his handmade tools that were made out of wood, and Sam climbed up the palm trees and collected coconuts for us.
“I’m going to go fishing. Anyone want to come?” Luke asked.
“I think I am just going to stay here by the fire” Sam said.
I responded “I’ll go with you, I need to rinse off the sand”
We headed over to the dark blue ocean with the waves crashing into the salty wet sand. As I took each step my footprints imprinted in the sand showing my every move. I was now waist deep in the lukewarm water. Luke was out in the distance bouncing up and down as he was trying to catch our next meal. I quickly pinched the bridge of my nose and ducked down under the salty water. I was fully submerged under the water, constantly kicking my legs to keep me from drowning.
All of the sudden a pool of blood surround me, dying the deep blue water to a deep dark red. My foot began to sting as the salt was now entering my open wound.
I began to quickly swim to the shore to see what had happened. I clawed my way up out of the salty water. Sand was now covering my whole body from head to toe. I clung to foot to see what the damage was, a chunk of my skin had been torn on my foot. The blood was gushing out of my foot.
I quickly yelled “Sam! Sam! I need your help! Hurry!”
He came running down the beach lunging towards me.
“What happened? Are you okay?” he asked. Do I look okay to you. Blood is rushing out of my foot right now.
“I’m fine. I’m fine. I must have cut my foot on some shells out in the water” I said trying to hold back my tears.
“Let’s get you out of the sand and move you over to shelter.”
He picked me up, carrying me over to our small shelter. The sky began to get dark, as the heavy clouds where now beginning to close in. Luke soon after came back to the shelter to find me with my cut foot. I was beginning to lose the color of skin and soon became white as a ghost. I was losing blood quickly and we had no medical gear or supplies to stop it. Luke tore off part of his light blue t-shirt to use it to tie it around my foot to keep the rest of circulation flowing.
We were definitely in lots of trouble, especially me. It had been over a week and there was no sight of anyone coming to rescue us. We were all tired and run down giving up on any hope that we would be rescued and our life would turn back to normal. We were going to die here and no one would ever be able to find us.
The seconds seemed like hours and the hours seemed like days. I layed on my back looking up through cracks of shelter. You could see the dark clouds that hung over us. The fire cracked and roared as it was still raging with tall flames.
“Do you see something in sky? I think something is coming towards us” Sam said.
“Really? Where?” Luke replied.
“It’s a helicopter! It’s a helicopter! They’re coming to rescue us!”
I propped myself up enough to look out in the sky. It was true. A red shiney helicopter was now approaching us. The boys ran out towards the sand waving their hands in the air and jumping up and down.
We were getting rescued. I was going to be able to go back to my life, my family, and my friends. I vowed right then on that sandy undiscovered beach that I would live every day for each and every one of those people who lost their life on that plane.