Mumsy's Blue Contest Entry, Words: 750
No one would make eye contact for fear that they would be called upon. They knew it and he knew it.
“Okay, Samantha. You are first.” Mr. Evans took his seat at his desk, laced his fingers across his chest and watched the reluctant tenth-grade English student make her way before the class.
Samantha carried the sheets of paper as though they were fragile. She sniffed and tapped the toe of her right shoe on the floor behind her. She glanced at the class and began.
“Rainbow Glass Bridge.
“Two years ago, me, my mom and my dad went on a cruise. We went from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Grand Bahama. This was my first real vacation besides going to my grandparents.
“The thing I remember most about the trip was how my mom couldn’t get over the color of the water. It was all she could talk about. I think she took a picture every time the water color changed.
“It was like someone painted the ocean floor, so it would be spectacular. Sometimes it looked like we were sailing along in a giant swimming pool. There is just no way to make you understand just how incredible it looked without being there. Pictures barely do it justice.”
Samantha’s hair fell over her face and she roughly tucked it behind her ear. She took a deep breath,
swallowed and began again.
“That winter was the worst of my fifteen years. It was when we found out my mom had terminal brain cancer. There were only two things on her bucket list: spend as much time with us as she could and go to the Rainbow Glass Bridge in Eleuthera, Bahamas.
“Her doctor told us that her cancer was very aggressive. He thought she might have six months to a year. So, we started planning the trip to the Rainbow Glass Bridge. She had seen a picture in a magazine at the resort we stayed in. It was too far away to go on that first trip as we were leaving the next day. Now, we had get there and as soon as we could.
“She got really sick in early spring when we had planned to go. She was so depressed about her illness and more so about missing the opportunity to go back to the Bahamas, that it broke my heart to see her like that. Bound to a wheelchair by May, she was still hopeful that we could go. I wanted to her to be really happy one more time.
“Why Rainbow Glass Bridge, you ask? It is all about the depth of the water. It is the tiniest one lane bridge I’ve ever seen. It connects two rocky points that probably were one island until the force of the tides broke though. On one side of this narrow island road is the deep Atlantic Ocean. On the other side is the shallow Bahama Sound, which some consider to be part of the Caribbean Sea. On the left of that road, facing north, it is the lightest blue that can still be blue. And on the right, it is dark blue and almost black not too far offshore.”
Samantha pulled out an aerial photo of the tiny road dissecting the water. She held it before the class and slowly moved it so the whole class could see it. There were a few gasps and a “wow” from the students. She handed the photo to the first student on her left and continued.
“My mom never got to go to the Rainbow Glass Bridge before the cancer took her from us, but we scattered her ashes there last month. You know how they say our pets cross the rainbow bridge when they die? Well, I think my mom got to stand on the Rainbow Glass Bridge and be in awe of the contrasting blues. The tides will take her between the Atlantic and the Bahama Sound forever in the bluest water.”
Samantha dropped the papers to her side, looked up at the class for an instant and then hurried back to her desk.
The class applauded Samantha as she plopped down in her seat.
“That was very good, Samantha. Thank you,” said Mr. Evans. “Who dares go next?”
Photo credit: https://www.bahamas.com/vendor/glass-window-bridge