School was over for summer. I had just returned from a browse around the town, because darkness was beginning to engulf me, and I was now preparing to head out to the nearby beach, for one of my regular walks in the mid darkness. Ever since my life had been destroyed I took these walks, wishing things would be how they once had been. Wishing I could turn back the clock.
Everything I tried to do to forget about the ominous past was useless. I was 17, and my life had been shattered at the age of 13. For 4 years now I had been letting my pessimistic thoughts get the better of me. My schoolwork standard had descended hugely, my friendship with friends and my relationship with my parents were both perilous, and now I couldn’t stop myself constantly dreaming a debating the meaning of life with myself in my head. That was why this beach was my favourite place; it was the perfect setting to just endlessly think. The beach extended for about 30 miles, which I had once walked with the person who I had let my feelings become too strong for. That person no longer walked the Earth.
In addition no other people ever seemed to be on this beach when it became dark like this, so the sun setting and an unblemished beach were bliss for my philosophical brain. Today things were different however. Usually I simply walked about half a mile and back, but today I felt like walking forever. No one would really care where I was, and I had a lot of thinking to do. I looked down at my feet as they plunged into the sand, leaving marks of where I had been, not that I cared. Just then, one of my regular daydreams began to commence.
There I was, in the boat, standing on the deck with the wind calmly caressing my face, as I admired the disappearing Caribbean coast while standing next to her. The sea was unbelievably tranquil, with small parallel ripples cruising along the sea beside each other. A tenuous incense of sand and palm trees was drifting in the air, and in the absolute tranquillity of the day my hearing range expanded to take in extremely minute sounds, such as the lapping of the miniscule ripples gently colliding with the ferry. This was the most heavenly experience I had ever had. If only this could last forever. The sky was totally unsullied; only the very occasional wisp of whipped cream hung around.
As I fantasized about how amazing this was, I heard several irritating shouts from somebody probably about 100 metres down the deck, and as I heard more people begin to sound concerned I turned and peered in that direction. A small crowd was gathered at the other end of the boat, gazing out to the sea. As I was over 6 foot I could see over the top of them, so I curiously did just that and identified a very distant bank of grey cloud. The cloud wasn’t approaching in instalments; instead it was extremely compact, and mildly rounded.
“Ey me ladies, that ones a bad un” barked a tall, fairly old looking seafarer standing right next to me suddenly. “I seen em before, we seriously gotta scarper” he continued, marching down the deck as if he had assumed command. Jess sniggered slightly, but I continued to observe. Suddenly the bloke who had been standing next to me sprinted straight back down the deck, shouting desperately.
“Thats coming at a lightning fast pace men! All are dead! Not one survivor!” he screamed, briefly catching my eye with a frightened look. “Bye bye, its a judgement I tell you” bellowed the bloke, before reaching the stern at which point he leaped over the deck as if it was a hurdle. An almighty splash sounded several seconds later. Gallons of panicked people began retreating inside as the clouds ominously advanced, but Jess seemed defiant, typical of her laid back attitude.
“They’re just panicking because that guy was drunk” she laughed, putting a hand on my shoulder to reassure me. “Lets stay out here and enjoy the bad weather, remember when we met?”
“Oh yeah, that was a stormy day” I exclaimed, recalling the hideous torrents of rain that had poured down upon us on that day back in....2003, when we were 10.
The bank of cloud was now proceeding towards us with extreme pace, but as I approached the other end of the deck I was momentarily paralysed. Sinister, broad waves were visible on the horizon, speedily advancing towards us. I could also make out heavy rain in the distance, as I became more and more worried by the second as the boat began to sway and the waves looked more and more dangerous.
“I think we should go inside” I said to Jess, hoping I was concealing my fear.
“Na, lets enjoy it! These ferries are designed well you know Ed” she said, patting me on the back. I sighed and squinted into the approaching abyss. The Caribbean coast had long since vanished and the dark clouds were now well and truly upon us. I accidentally lost my balance and slipped over as rain began to pound the deck, as if someone was drumming beneath us. I got back up with the help of Jess as a blast of thunder sounded, and glanced at her briefly. She was surprisingly calm, simply gazing out indifferently into the now torrential downpour that had arrived. Soon I slipped again, and this time took longer to get up, noticing while I did that there was no one else on the deck bar a solitary man standing halfway down the boat staring out into the storm. Darkness engulfed us as I attempted to convince Jess to go indoors, but she wouldn’t.
“Excuse me!” I bellowed into the mirk at the man standing halfway down the ferry. “Hey, over here!” I screamed, as his head slowly turned as if he was about to cast me away. “Maybe we should go in” I screamed again, pointing at a nearby door and losing my footing yet again. “What do you think?” I shouted, beckoning desperately. The figure was now staring at me, or at least his body was turned in my direction, but I could not see his face at all. He was fairly tall, wearing a normal black raincoat and appeared to have his hood on. The figure was becoming more and more hard to see as visibility lessened, combined with the worsening of my vision. I turned to look at Jess, who was leaning on the side, still scanning the storm.
“For goodness sake Jess, this is ridiculous!” I said angrily, sliding a metre away from her. She turned her drenched head around to look at me, and a wry smile broke out. I was far from amused.
“Well bye, then I think I’ll leave you to it!” I shouted furiously, standing up before slipping over yet again and sliding away from her 5 metres. Finally she left the side and tried to advance towards me, as I slid away.
“Hold on to that pole” she shouted calmly, to which I obeyed. Soon she got to me, and pulled me up. “Now is the time to go in” she said, extremely steadily moving towards the door. Abruptly we both fell over again, and water washed around our feet. The top of each wave was now seeping onto the deck. We hopelessly slid straight towards the side again, away from the door.