It was a beautiful day out on the beach. It was a secluded beach and the only people there besides us were a couple of runners and an older lady walking her dog. But this was what we had hoped for, a beach that wasn’t crowded- where we could get some peace and quiet.
My girlfriends and I planned for over a year to take this vacation and finally, success! We were finally here on this tropical island, basking in the sun and swimming in the clearest, bluest waters we’d ever seen. So, we swam, feeling the cool water caress our bodies and enjoying the waves that bobbed us like fishing corks and pushed us up so high our feet left the sandy bottom, then washed over us before setting us back down.
The sounds were a breathtaking mixture of many crying seagulls and whispering waves. I’d always loved the sounds of the ocean. The sea was something you never wanted to leave, even turn your back on. Arriving here was such a joyful thing. Leaving would be difficult.
But I wasn’t worried about having to leave and go back home to the daily grind. I only wanted to live in the present, to savor every moment of this wonderful vacation. We all did!
Splashing around in the water with my three girlfriends Tess, Sarah, and Marissa, was a blessing and the memories we’d create today would be the stories we’d reminisce about once we were too old to travel. Our goals were to make as many beautiful memories in the here and now as possible and so far, we were accomplishing that goal!
It’s funny how being in water can tire you out so quickly. We finally decided to rest on the beach in our cozy beach chairs and I dozed off to sleep before I knew it. Not a deep sleep, but more like a light doze- that in-between stage between wakefulness and sleep.
I’d been dozing for about fifteen, maybe twenty minutes when suddenly, I was startled out of my relaxing trance by the sound of Tess’s voice.
“Oh, my gosh! Look, girls!”
I sat up in my chair to see Tess pointing toward the ocean and rubbed my eyes to get a clearer look at what she was pointing at. Marissa gasped!
“What the- where did the water go!” Marissa asked, shocked.
It looked as if the waterline, which had only been about ten feet in front of where we all were lying have moved out by maybe a mile or better. You could still see the ocean, but it looked so much further away than it had twenty minutes before. How had all the water gotten pulled out so quickly? The other three girls just stood and stared, not knowing what to make of this phenomenon.
Suddenly, a very ominous feeling came over me as I remembered an article, I’d read years before that wasn’t good. Scanning the vast, wet sand before us, which was dotted with beached fish that occasionally flopped up in the air, I felt my stomach fall to the ground.
“Oh, shit!” I yelled as I jumped to my feet and began frantically grabbing my beach bag and towel.
At that moment, I couldn’t believe my own mouth. I shocked myself with the expletive because I normally didn’t swear, but in this situation, I didn’t care. My girlfriends jumped with the sound of my screaming voice and looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.
“We gotta go! We gotta go NOW!” I screamed!
“What is wrong with you, Lanie!” Sarah asked me, bewildered.
“We’ve got to get the hell out of here! Grab your stuff and let’s go!” I screamed again, this time louder. I looked around and didn’t see the runners, nor the lady and her dog.
My girlfriends obeyed, quickly scooping up their belongings, then followed my lead as we all ran as fast as we could toward the seawall and the parking lot beyond it, where the jeep was parked.
(Continued in Part 2 next week…)