Layers of clothing are coming off. Beneath, a cherry patterned bikini. I kick off my flip flops, spraying sand into the crisping faces of our unfortunate neighbors.
'Oops' escapes my teen-aged lips.
Rhythmic waves are touching down only yards away. Foamy bubbles burst…fade away…then burst again.
I stamp the heated beach with trailing footprints. My relief is the ocean kissed shoreline. It's there that perfect sand halos take formation under the weight of each cool step.
Breezy explosions are reaching out until I'm just shy of becoming ocean drenched. I take the plunge, hearing its resulting gurgle.
Exfoliating rocks brush up against me, some lodging in my crevices. Nonetheless, the instant cleansing from sweat beads seems a fair trade. I float, almost motionless, except for the occasional wading that keeps my head above surface.
The tide subtly delivers me down the coast and beyond the waves, though I'm too relaxed to notice. Seagulls are singing and gliding overhead. Their harmonic performance--the ultimate distraction.
My fingers begin to wrinkle as stomach pangs beckon the ice chest for a sub sammy and chips. I scan the shore, populated with the tiniest specs--umbrellas. None recognizable.
I no longer hear the bustling crowds. Crashing waves have long been muted. Instead, there's a deafening silence.
My flailing limbs further disconnect me from the ocean's floor. Sunlight reflects off the water, forcing me to close my eyes. My breath becomes shallow; my movements--erratic.
I'm in distress.
Sorry for causing my parents trouble, I think, as if I'm being punished.
My thoughts shift like the tide that carries me. Oh, God, I'm sorry.
Exhaustion wrestles with me in just the few moments of panic.
I visualize a paddle board, a surfboard, the Coast Guard. Something, anything that can save me. The water's cold, getting colder. Warming rays of glistening sunshine slowly vacate - as dusk sets in.
I hear the sound of chopper blades whirling above, in the darkening sky.
"I'm here," I convey, spitting out the salty sea as it leaks into my mouth. If it's me you're looking for.
My parents must be wondering where I am by now. I've been an awful daughter to them. Deliberately horrible.
Mom always had a devotional in her room. 'Be Still and Know'...and I remember that now, why?
I was fine until I realized the trouble I was in. Calm down and you'll float once again.
My shoulders and face hurt. Mostly my nose. Sunburnt. At least I'm floating.
Moments later, a watercraft inches up and shines its spotlight on me. I'm rescued.
Brushing my teeth, I spot Mom's devotional on the bathroom counter. Curious, I open it up to that day, July 13.
The scripture, "Be Still and Know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.
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