This story was writen for the enchanted ages of 6 and over
''Hello, Catrina, my dear friend,'' I said cheerfully to Catrina one summer day. For I was eager to play with her on the beach that particular day, for it was my birthday and my mother said I could do as I wished, and I had planned to... It has been many years since that event but it is only now that I have had the courage to write this down for the first time. And as I look at these fresh clean pages of my note book with a scent of ink that I dip my feather pen into upon my desk, I'm beginning to feel a tingle of courage shooting up my spine. Almost as if lightning's shooting across the night sky lighting it up, the stars acting as a million candles shining down upon me in an open field in the middle of a forest with animals and streams and lakes surrounding me... The sound of water flowing triumphantly over boulders which block it.
Once in France on a beautiful beach I did live with my family and of course my Bestfriend Catrina. I, at the time of my birth, was named after my mother's Aunt for she had loved her Aunt dearly and she loved me dearly as she still does for I was her first and only daughter, her only baby girl. And the name of both me and my great aunt was and still is Alesha.
I will be remembered for that name for the rest of my life and even after I die I shall still hold that name with respect. That is what I tell everybody I know or have known, because that is my hope and dream. Just to simply be remembered as myself and for people to remember me for my kindness and acts of love and friendship that my soul has beheld to the ones that I have loved over my life span.
I will now tell you what I did in a yesteryear, partly because I take joy in telling you new things that have not been heard among the world, to share my adventures with you as you read this, but the following sentiment is what motivated me: Simply to remember my friend Catrina for her kindness and good deeds that she beheld to me during my childhood. In return for mine.
I will begin my story, and you can have my word and trust me when I give you my word because even I consider myself a faithful and a truthful person. I'm truthful because I trust others to tell me the truth, and I want to let people know my respect for them so they will have equal respect for me as most people would want. Anyway enough with the boring rubbish. That's not the exciting story you have chosen to read, that is simply the everyday life and the everyday person's requests and wishes, and they just happen to be mine, one of billions of personalities, and you do not want to read that knowing from my life and knowing simply that that is not something that I would want to read and I have read some pretty borin' stuff and as I have already said I am truthful so I guess I will tell you my story now and I hope that you enjoy it!!! --
My feet hit the sand and it slipped between my toes slightly as I ran out as fast as possible greeting Catrina as she ran towards me. "Hello," we both shouted at the top of our voices, smiles stretched across our faces like on a carved pumpkin. My eyes squinted from the sun as we embraced each other with a small hug of joy and friendship and as I halted to a stop my hair bounced on my back and a tingle of joy ran up my slight and thin bones.
"I can't believe I'm already twelve!'' I cried out. Catrina was one year older than me but she was happy for me as any true friend would be. I was just as mature as she so I was just as happy for her on days when she rejoiced for good fortune. Then we started running briskly towards the ocean holding hands and my hair streamed behind me in the wind, my legs carried me as fast as they could and my feet hit the sand very lightly; my legs lifted them before I really had a chance even to put my feet down. I dragged Catrina behind me then she became a small bit faster and caught up to me, I glanced over into her hazel eyes and we both looked at each other, my large green eyes sparkled as the sunlight hit them, a strand of blond hair lightly flew into my eyes and so with my free hand I stroked it back into its rightful place behind my ear, I still looked into her hazel eyes her chestnut hair hanging down and her silken bangs were tied back in a pink fluffy bow that had been tied earlier in the morning.
That day I had on a blue sunbonnet and a matching dress Mama had sown just for the occasion. My feet numbed slightly as they touched the fresh salt water
"It's cold," I mumbled to Catrina in a soft voice, my eyes still fixed upon her own, she nodded slightly and then we sat down and the water washed up again and saturated us
"I'm soppin' wet," said Catrina shyly. She giggled, felt her garment and then fixed her eyes upon me. She stood up and I reluctantly and timidly followed her. We frolicked in the ice cold waves which slightly heated from the suns powerful rays, for about an hour we continued this activity and we filled that time with happiness and loving talk! ...And then we started to swim in the clear blue waters of the sea. Then suddenly the waves swept our petite bodies out into the middle of the ocean leaving me in a state of shock.
The next thing I was conscious of I was drowsy, disoriented, and laying on a bed of rock. Catrina who had been conscious for the whole time we were in the water, was sitting next to me. She had the right corner of her damp garment on my head to help wake me and leave me in a state of full consciousness like herself. She was playing mother to me as she did often in times like this not that these things were frequent but the few times that small things like this did happen she was always protecting me for she was slightly older. We were still in the middle of the sea but we were on a rather large rock with seaweed and mussels growing around it. Probably was from an eruption of an under water volcano or something.
"After the waves escorted us as far as the strong tide would, I grabbed onto your hand and brought you up to the surface with me. Then I swam as fast as I was capable of swimming and after a long time period of doing this and bringing you to the surface frequently for breaths of air I came across this rather large rock and brought you up for air one final time before coming to this rock to rest for the time being, and that is when I started into my own fit of panic..." Catrina generously continued, breathless from telling me what had happened in my absence from the world as I lay in a state of shock. ''What fit of panic?'' I inquired, not recollecting this incident.
Catrina continued, ''I just had given you mouth-to-mouth which slightly disgusted me. You still hadn't awakened. You were breathing and you coughed up some water but your eyes didn't open. I almost felt that I would faint I was so worried not only because you still hadn't risen but because we were here, in the place we are now and not home on the shore of the beach out there..."
She paused for a moment not to hesitate at all but because she was thinking to herself about all this or maybe just looking for something to say. Maybe she was worried. I do not know myself even though I was with her that summer day and as this conversation was going on the sun was filtering down though my few strands of wet, blond, silken hair covering my eyes.
Well anyway I will go on with my story now for I don't want you to get bored listening to this but I want you to be intrigued listening to the dictates of what happened to me that day as you read this like it was... "...like we truly should be," said Catrina finishing her thought and she pointed over to the distant edge of the water far away from the place we had migrated to in the last few hours, one tear rolled down my cheek not visible to my elder friend for my hair was covering it but then I took my hand and pushed my hair out of my eyes also wiping away my tear. I did not feel as brave as I normally did. I felt sad, but despite that I also felt glad to be with my friend and not alone and I tried to look on the bright side of things but that was hard for I did not see too many bright things to be looked upon on this occasion.
I faintly smiled and put my head on my dear friend's lap comfortably which made me feel a little better. Then Catrina, highlighting her motherly air, stroked my head and looked on into the blanket of mist that persisted over the beautiful sea. The rock we were upon was the gathering place of sea life looking for food, a play mate, or a family member to comfort him. And it was also a place where we could rest until we found a way to get home, we would have to think of something brilliant, but what was the question we asked our selves solemnly in our innocent and somewhat playful minds...
The sun was far from set I must tell you, and the day was still young and plenty of time was left for us to think of our plan even though we were hoping to get home early and we would, sorry for telling you but that will not ruin the story for you because it can't, the way we discovered to get home is the most important part of the story, anyway on with it.
The large rock was simply the place that the seagulls did rest and the dolphins jumped high and the fish and whales did gather. It was simply a large rock with crevices and a rather flat top, good for nesting birds, and other sea life to gather for food. There were many fish for food and literally tons of salt water, also it was not more than two miles away from the shore so birds could fly there as the townspeople gathered to throw bread and crumbs for the dainty little birds, or when they had picnics and left behind tidbits of their food.
I, myself being a normal teenage girl at the time, was quite terrified at being stranded in the ocean sitting on a rock in wet clothes although at times I felt like my faithful companion was happy like this. I was most of the time an optimist and made the best of serious situations but in this one I must admit I was temporarily being a pessimist to my slightest surprise. Don't blame me for my misfortunes, but your expectations must not be too high upon me at this certain time period which lasted for a rather short time. The situation was not one normally found each day continually or even just periodically, I doubt any other person has been in this situation before. It was just my normal instinct that any girl taught properly, would act. And although I might not have been exactly proper at times, I still was at the least normal. I'm sure if you were under these same circumstances you would have acted as I did. Catrina, who was acting as a temporary optimist, was normally not one but a pessimist, not in a bad way, but she often was frightened and complained about things when I was making the best of the same circumstance. As I observed to myself later in my life we had switched personalities for the time being. I thought that inside she might be thinking those same frightened and discouraged feelings that I was, that she was scared just as I, but pretending to be happy, not only to conceal her fears to me but also to conceal them from herself.
I am still not sure of any of this after all those years have passed by and all of those years I have asked myself more questions about this incident, merely because you can never be sure of something that someone else thinks, or feels, even if you think you know someone from the middle of your heart. Of course you don't have to believe my words for You are entitled to your own opinion in things as I, and you can't say I'm wrong but I can't say you are either because we can all think what we think. But I don't want to bore you with all this so I will go on with my story as it truly happened, you may trust me when I tell you this for this is the truth that I tell you and it is actually what happened to me and no one can deny that and if they do that doesn't stop me from knowing what I know for I will always know that what I tell you is the truth and nothing else it is simply like I say it like the words that come out of my mouth and I will swear on a stack of Bibles piled up to the sky if I will have to in order to make you believe my story. I will go to great lengths if I must.
Well, anyway, I sat there with Catrina talking about a way to get home for the longest time span you could imagine and It seemed even longer than it truly was for when you are stranded, I'll put it this way, Time doesn't exactly go by quickly. We could not swim all that way again for two reasons, a rather ticklish possibility was that we would run, Correction SWIM in to packs of sharks rather quickly and if not that happened then chances were the tide would probably just take us back to where we had been escorted to the last time we had gone swimming in the cold blue water earlier that day in the morning shortly after the sun had risen from the depths of the water before drowning under the sea again in the wondrous night.
We didn't know what we would do. Are choices were slim. As we thought and thought a wooden board floated by slowly. I jumped into the deep water as I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I started to sink but reached up and grabbed on to the board.
"I've got it!" I quickly spit out along with some unwanted water. "What is it Alesha?" asked Catrina excited that her dear friend might have an idea to get both girls back safely to their home on the beach. "Why don't you see if the board can fit us both, we'll get a, a, some sort of paddle and float back," I said.
The board was clearly just a piece of an abandoned boat or something of that sort; Catrina cried out one word describing exactly what her friend's plan was and the word was this, "Brilliant!!!"
Catrina plucked seaweed off the rock and handed it gently to me. I carefully wedged the weed around and between the small cracks of the board so no water would seep through. Then we needed to find a board to paddle with. A grin was stretched across my damp face as I made the board stronger and safer to use for the particular use I had grabbed it for. As I did
this Catrina thought of how to fashion a paddle. "Catrina, I'm done, do you have a paddle yet?" I asked calmly.
"Nope, still thinkin'." she answered a minute or two later. She walked to the other end of the rock. She disappeared for a moment, and then sat down near the edge of the rock again. She took a dead clam shell left behind by a sea gull and attached one side to one thin, yet strong stick with slippery sticky weeds it worked like glue. Catrina handed one to me then started on another one for her self.
"Where did you find sticks like this?" I said examining mine carefully.
"There were two abandoned nests, and I wedged a few sticks out." mumbled Catrina, being careful not to look up from her meticulous work.
She presented the second paddle to me saying, "Would you hold my paddle while I climb on?"
"Yes, of course," I said calmly holding the board steady for my friend. When her already outstretched foot touched the board, she skidded forward and then put her hands down to stop her from falling off the board. "Guess I slipped," giggled Catrina through laughter which faded into forced laughter, and then into oblivion.
We glanced at each other's grins on both of our faces now Catrina lay down extra sticks from the birds nests and looking down at her pale hand and then up at me again she questioned me saying, "Ready?"
"Sure," I responded. I stretched out my left hand which had a paddle in it, she stared for a moment, and then she looked at my arm, followed it down, saw my hand, and reached for the object I clutched in it. She took the paddle and we started to row slowly the water rippled slowly as our paddles hit the water.
Not much was to be said on our journey back but unfrequent remarks like, "It's lucky you thought of this," and "The suns so bright today." Or "I can't wait till I see such and such next."
We paddled for an hour longer and then we reached the shore of a beach, I recognized the beach, but it was not our home. I didn't no where I recognized it from. We sat there for a minute or two while I thought. Then it all came back to me. I had almost forgotten it, but I still had it in the back of my head. When I was not more than two years of age I had been walking and was separated from my Mama. I waited for her yet no one came but a girl her name was Alexandra and she took me home after I spent the night with her this was where I had been. I told this to Catrina and I manually turned around the board. Catrina helped me up on the board again and we slowly paddled until we came to a string of about I houses we kept going on I glancing from the corner of my eye over at all the cabins, shacks, and houses of different sizes.
Finally I blurted out, "That's your house!" in joyful discovery. We rejoiced to see something we both knew, and we knew we were safe at long last. Catrina's house came before mine. I heard the familiar buzz of hummingbird wings flapping rapidly as they sucked pollen out of Catrina's honeysuckle flower's she planted when she turned 13 in August. A tingle of joy went up my spine and a smile was stretched across my tanned face. My back was slightly sun-burned but now I was myself again and on a normal basis.. I was optimistic again.
My eyes squinted to protect them from the strong rays of the sun. Catrina and I held hands and frequently we glanced at one another. We let the board float merely because we were drowsy and lazy and, well, it was more convenient for us. We were a few houses down from mine. The water was shallow and I looked down to see my reflection in the water. I combed through my tousled hair with my fingers and washed my face with the cool water I stood up and shook the sand out of my garment. I put my sun bonnet on my head and tied it in a fluffy bow under my chin. I saw a fly and cupped in my hand, I stretched my arm as far is would go and let go the fly and it flew off in pursuit of another person to bother and bore like it had me.
A young tot not old enough to talk, but on the verge of walking, with its mother walked into the house in a pretty flowered dress. She pointed to the board with us sitting on it. She stared intently at us. I raised my finger to my mouth giving her the signal to quite down, and not to draw attention to them. The small girl put her finger down, and filled a bucket with wet sand. Calm as could be she then put the bucket upside-down to form a turret on a sand castle. From the next house a pitiful brunette woman, apparently a mother, sat down a tot the same age as the first who was determined to knock down the turret of the sand castle.
I splattered water on Catrina's face for she refused to wake herself from a state of drowsiness.
"What is it!" she said unpleased and impatient.
"We're back. Straighten your hair, re-tie your hair ribbon, shake off the dust from your dress." I complained, angry that she was acting so lazily. She rubbed her eyes and looked at her gleaming and glimmering reflection in the cold sea water. She cupped her hand and splattered her face with the water, rippling the reflection distorting her face slightly. She shook the sand from her dress and hastily she combed though her hair and re-tied her ribbon as I had just previously recommended.
I whispered in Catrina's ear, "This will be OUR secret. Ok?"
She clasped her hands around my ear and whispered, "Ok."
We embraced each other in a hug of joy and then let go smiling at each other in happiness. We climbed off the board and into the water, my feet were numbed slightly and I was unsure of it all. Catrina and I decided to drag the board into the back yard of my small, yet cozy, and comfortable house. Once more I checked my reflection in the water and then I opened the door to my house. Catrina stood outside tidying her messy hair busily. I headed for Mama and Papa's bedroom for Mama always took an afternoon nap and this was the perfect time to wake her. She would be groggy and do any thing to go back to sleep yet she liked to be awoken better than being disturbed when she was doing her art or other work.
I pushed open the door Mama lay stretched on the single bed in the room, a book on her chest. It was titled, "One Hundred Art Masterpieces." Mama wore a white petticoat and skirt over her corset and pantaloons. The yellow dress she had been wearing was sitting on the night stand waiting for her when she awoke along with perfume and lip gloss. I closed the door behind me and walked towards the bed. I turned off the night light and opened the curtains of the window, light streamed down on Mama.
"Wake up, Mama!" I said.
"What is it darling?" said mama with her French accent. She removed the book from her chest and yawned. "Here, come sit by me," she said sweetly patting a place next to her.
I sat down on the bed and asked in my nicest voice "I was wondering can I, can Catrina stay for the night. since it's my birthday. Just this one time?"
"Catrina is as welcome as you are in this house," said Mama. "Thank you so much, Mama," I sang merrily and I left the room closing the door behind me gently. After I left Mama lounged around in her bedroom leisurely not hurrying herself. Back to the story. I ran out in front of the house
"You can stay, Catrina!!!" I told her joyfully.
"Good!" she yelled out in amazement. We played on the beach and frolicked in the water until Mama called us in for dinner at sunset.
"What are we having to eat?" I questioned her as I seated myself in a chair at the table, my clothes were dry at last.
"Mashed potatoes and orange juice and a garlic roll," said Mama, cheerfully laying down the food. Mama ate quickly and excused herself, putting her plate on the counter. She went outside with her sketch pad and painted the sea. Then she came inside again and collected the plates and washed them slowly in the sink. Catrina and I stayed up until dawn talking and then we almost fell asleep during breakfast but the sea air streaming against our worm cheeks woke us as Mama opened the window half way and sat next to Papa.
Oatmeal was served shortly after that since Mama knew it was my favorite thing to eat for breakfast, and my parents slowly sipped their hot cups of coffee as I joined Catrina in our first sip of herbal tea. I looked out the window to see a bird swoop by and pick up a small jellyfish in his talons, he then swooped back up in the sky and flew into the distant sun making him invisible to our eyes as we watched calmly in disarray. I looked down again at my food and placed the full spoon in my mouth looking at it in sheer distaste, "Something wrong, my darling?" asked Mama politely to me.
"No, Mama," was my prompt answer as I shoveled the food into my mouth and swallowed it down.
"Don't be in such a hurry," reassured Mama calmly as she stared at me with a look that said, "Eat calmly darling, we have a guest!"
I of course paid no attention the first time but as she kept on giving me that look, I stopped and gave a look to her saying, "Ok, you won." And I started to slowly raise the spoon to my hungry mouth as Mama propped her up and ate her last bite of food. Then she disappeared into her bedroom and changed from her nightgown into a pale blue dress that almost matched the color of the ocean which lay just out the door and a sweater was in her thin arms. She cleared the table and washed the dishes and then went out for her morning walk along the beach which helped her get inspirations for paintings and also she just felt it was calming which it was.
Catrina listened to the wind whistle and sat in a corner next to the house as we played our favorite game. I was a princess and she was my mother. We made up rules and other such things while we played, so each game had an aura of surprise.
"Come dear, Catrina." a voice rang out. Catrina turned her head and saw her mother. "Can I stay for just a little bit longer?" she asked.
Catrina's mother shook her head and gave an expression that said "No!"
Her glaring eyes convinced Catrina that she had to go that very moment so Catrina and I exchanged a glance meaning clearly, "Mothers!"and we embraced each other in a hug saying goodbye, but it was also more than this, 'cause she whispered in my ear, "I had a great time, sorry I have to leave but, well, you know, parents."
She let go and I gave her a reassuring, "Uh huh," before it was too late.
"See ya sometime," called Catrina as her mother dragged her through the sand reluctantly.
"Use proper English next time!" scolded Catrina's mother as she trotted off. I sighed, and then appreciated my mother for not doing that to me. "I was worried sick about you last night!" scolded Catrina's mother.
"Sorry, I won't do it again." apologized Catrina.
Well, I should say not!" said Mrs. DeClare, squeezing Catrina's arm tightly and glaring down at her with disgust.
"Bye!" I shouted across the beach to my dear friend being dragged off into the distance. She just glanced back, her eyes rolling till they turned almost white completely. A sigh came from her mouth and that was the last I could hear.
I looked solemnly at my friend 'til she vanished into her house, then I ran into my own and that's when I realized how lucky I was having my family which loved me so much and a friend like Catrina to trust. Life to live and adventure to seek. I realized nothing would stop me from being what I choose. So, ever since then, I've lived my life like I've chosen and not how others wanted me to be. To this day I still remember it as my birthday, my favorite birthday, full of adventures and I was with my favorite people on my favorite beach living my life as myself and nothing more. Just the way I've always wanted it!!!"