This was not what I wanted, I just wanted us to be all together and now I’ve gone and thrown it all away. Something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong. The waves roared almost as if they were laughing at me because my little brother was missing.
“SAM!” we called out hoping for an answer, but there was no return, “Sam where are you!?”. It was my fault, he was gone…
The drive didn’t seem to end, it felt like we have been driving for eons. I noticed palm trees increase rapidly in numbers as we drove farther and farther. Both of my brothers snoring in the back row of our pearly white Honda Pilot started to infect the rest of us, making me yawn. I could tell my father was feeling the same way but he continued to keep steering the wheel. My head tipped back against the seat belt to get some rest as well when I noticed my father glance at my mother, then towards the mirror seeing if anyone else was awake, and that’s when I saw him pull the steering wheel right of the exit. We must be getting close I thought. Within seconds the widespread ocean comes into view. It looked like something that would come from a screen saver.
“Wake up up up, we arrived!”, my mother exclaimed. Within seconds my parents, two brothers, and myself launched out of the car and ran towards the beach. The summer sun sizzled against the sand as if it was hot enough to cook eggs outside. The wave crashed along the shore dragging very fine shells with it. With only two weeks left until the start of my 7th grade, the scenery took me away from everything. It was the first time in a long time that our family was all together and everyone was in a good mood with no worries. I’ve been longing for a day like this since the start of summer, longing for a moment where we could spend some quality time with everyone. We had just settled down on a large orange and yellow striped towel with an overhead umbrella providing a coat of shade when I noticed a flock of birds drift over the water nearly skimming it. Even though there was an umbrella up above, the heat still found a way to reach me. I decided to tread over towards the tinted cerulean blue sea. As I walked so did everyone else. We walked in a train formation following each other’s footsteps eagerly waiting to step foot in the water. I was the first to do so.
It felt cold but perfect considering the amount of heat that we just received. I stood upright letting my fingers hang loosely in the water allowing the waves to find their way through them. The distant smell of people overloading on Banana Boat Sunblock reeked but the scent of quesadillas from Tommy’s Tiki Shack from nearby was enough to counteract it. I could even taste the excess amount of salty water that lingered in my throat and almost reached my nose. I could see the crash of the waves when they landed next to my brother, and the suds rushing through his legs nearly knocking him over. I was able to hear faint screams of other families with their children laughing away, my little brother giggling, and the seagulls squawking noises in random patterns. “I wished this day would never end.”, I thought out loud. Everyone’s stomach started to growl and I realized that it was probably a good idea to grab a quick bite although I’d rather sit and watch the waves. Everyone but Sam and I were hungry so we decided to stay behind while they went to eat. As they started to walk away, my father staggered back and I knew he had something on his mind.
He leaned over and told me, “Keep a very close eye on him, make sure you do. Do you understand?”
I nodded, “Yes, I understand”
“Good” he replied, as he strolled away. I turned back around carelessly kicking sand into the wind by accident. Tiny specs fluttered towards my six year old brother. It hasn’t even been 30 seconds and I started to become irresponsible. The sun was the hottest it’s been all day and I became dehydrated which meant that the sun was directly above us. I looked around to find that my little brother was right where I thought he was, standing a top the fuzzy orange and yellow striped towel that was sprawled out over the sand. Beside him, I reclined into the beach lawn chair facing the ocean waiting for the rest of our family to return as a drip of sweat rolled down my jaw. Sam looking at me was the last sight I saw before my eyes drifted shut.
I am woken to the loud voice of someone calling a name, except it wasn’t mine. It was Sam’s. How long was I asleep, seconds? Minutes? Hours? I didn’t know for sure but I did know that the sun was currently at my back. This was not what I wanted, I just wanted us to be all together and now I’ve gone and thrown it all away. Something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong. The waves roared almost as if they were laughing at me because my little brother was missing.
“SAM!” we called out hoping for an answer, but there was no return, “Sam where are you!?”. It was my fault, he was gone. I went into panic mode, not only because my father made it a point to tell me to keep a close eye on him and instead I was reckless and allowed this chaos to happen, but also because the thought popped into my mind that I may never be able to see him again. I remembered the look I saw on his face right before I went asleep. The guilt was inescapable like a personal cloud that just hovered over your head pouring cold rain and thunder over you 24/7. I looked left, then right, then spun 360 degrees desperately and frantically wanting to see him pop up from somewhere. There was nothing I could do.
All of a sudden, I heard giggles. I listened in and heard even more giggles. I wondered who in the world would be laughing at this terrible situation. But I was mistaken.
From the corner of my eye I saw a head poke out from somewhere. It was him! The orange and yellow blanket was still covering the rest of his body. Immediately I rushed over to him and pulled him from the towel, wrapping him in my arms.
“I found him!” I exclaimed, alerting everyone else that he was okay. The sight of my father walking towards us made me realize how angry he must be with me especially after he emphasized how important it was to look after him. I chose to walk away, walk away from my problems. My feet sunk under the light fluffy sand with surrounding warmth around at the ankles. The wind was faint but caught me off guard as I stumbled to the side. I felt awful. I just had an awful feeling at the bottom of my stomach just thinking about the event that occurred today and how a great day can turn frightening in an instant. It was mainly my fault. Fear and embarrassment crawled up my spine. I caused the panic unintentionally. I am so thankful that he was just hiding under the blanket and didn’t decide to go into the water instead but even that was still dangerous. Never again will I be so careless and unaware to be able to put myself or anyone into that situation ever. I was worried what my father would say after letting him down extremely. But I am tired of running away from my problems, tired of just brushing them off. Starting now I was no longer going to let this happen. So I turned around and walked towards my family where they all clustered together when my father glanced in my direction. I was going to face my problem, stare it right in the eye, and then fix them.