A chapter about a stranded girl found at sea and the boy that found her.
Falling from 40,000 feet in the air was not nearly as bad as I imagined, it was much, much worse. My skin was tightly compressed to my bones in a sensation that was much worse than squeezing into a pair of leggings from fourth grade. I was even mildly surprised that my body wasn’t freezing from the inside out; I assumed that would be a less painful death than being crushed by the impact of hitting the ground below me. Honestly though, I would have rather wished to stay alive, but luck was obviously not in my favor today.
Breaking the surface of the water was shocking due to the fact that I was dead and in the afterlife I would not choose to swim. Despite the fact that my skin was no longer compressed to my bones, I was completely numb; with just as much feeling as the rocks peppered beneath the surface of the water. I could begin to feel my body shutting down, dying on me, soon to envelope my body into eternal sleep; I didn't even have enough energy to ponder the questions developing in my head.
“Holy shit!” a voice called in the distance.
It took all my will power to move my head up, but that very moment had just saved my life. I began to blush and warmth spread throughout my body; the ocean cut into a bay and at the edge staring down at me was honestly some random person.
I could just make out is handsome features, wavy blonde hair, soft but brilliant green eyes, and a thin but masculine build. I focused on his face leaning down on me, as he hoisted me out of the water.
He laid me down on the sand and the rest was a blur of walkie talkie voice-overs, worried voices, and a strange beeping noise.
“You're awake!” a voice jeered in excitement.
Every bit of my body hurt, despite the fact that I was numb and stiff; but I managed to reply with a strangled mumble of agreement.
The voice, who looked oddly familiar spoke up, “I’m Milo Shultz… and you should be Raelyn Pandora Berling.” he emphasized.
Despite my pain, my faced managed to contort into a disgusted look with hearing my full name, with the fact that he had pronounced it in such a prominent way.
“It’s Rae,” I mustered all my strength to croak out.
“The Jouts are on their way, so… hang in there” Milo interjected. He proceeded to tend to a few bandages and then slumped down next to me.
“I feel like I shouldn’t be alive,” I blurted, the words tumbling out of my mouth. I had been contemplating that since the second I awoke, I had a gut feeling that I was a lone survivor… without any explanation for this suspicion.
Milo fidgeted for a few seconds, “You’re right,” He threw up his hands as if cradling the sky, “This shouldn't be possible!” he queried. He buried his face in his hands and shook his head hastily.
I stared at him with sorrow, even though I wasn’t up to dealing with someone’s mental breakdown at the moment.
After a few minutes Milo looked up, with flushed cheeks and smoothed down his mess of hair, “I’m sorry…It’s just, I’ve been wondering the same thing… but I really don’t have many answers.” he stammered.
“Milo… I don’t even know you, or where I even am,” I scoured my brain for the right words, but the words were plastered in my head, intruding every thought, “What happened?” I asked.
“I don’t think I’m the right person to tell you.” Milo responded flatly.
I proceeded to give him a penetrating stare until he looked away and began to absentmindedly trace shapes in the dirt. I didn’t take my stare off him, which wasn’t a very difficult task; he kept dallying with the dirt and I was passionate not to drop my stare, I needed answers.
Milo looked up and sighed, “What’s the last thing you remember?” he questioned.
I thought hard, my whole memory hadn’t been anything but a blur, I closed my eyes and thought hard.
“Now, Now, sol nińa, it’s alright.” a loud crack followed by a solemn Latino voice penetrated my memory. The voice belonged to someone named Carm, although I didn’t even know how I knew that.
The smell of my favorite… a spinach and turkey bacon quiche wafted through my nose. I looked down at the shattered fragments of the porcelain container that held the quiche, and my brother Lawson, holding back my dog Ollie from eating the porcelain.
My eyes shot open and I blurted, “Dropping the quiche!” hopefully that memory exceeded Milo’s expectations.
The corners of Milo’s mouth formed a grin, “What a Shame.” he chuckled.
“I don’t think a shattered quiche is how I got here?” I retorted.
“Go to sleep, Raelyn Pandora Berling; the situation won’t make much since until your memory is restored.” he said sluggishly.
I took a deep breath, reminding myself that it would cause me a lot of pain to sit up and beat the daylights out of him, “I hate you Milo Shultz!” I exclaimed.
“Milo Elliot Shultz, to you young lady!” he boasted
I glared at him, “Maybe the Jouts will find one of us dead after all.” I remarked.
“Yeah...you if you don’t get some sleep!” he replied.
“At least I won’t have to deal with you in my sleep!” I contended.
“Trust me sweetheart, I’m in everyone’s dreams.” Milo bantered back.
I rolled my eyes, and within seconds I was fast asleep.
Seven-year old me trotted into the kitchen with board games stacked up to my chin. I placed the games on the coffee table and walked over to the kitchen island to admire the pristine two tiered white cake with intricate petals drifting down the side.
“Scottie!” I screamed, My brother Prescott, who was older than me by just a year came thundering in.
“Is it time?” he chanted, bouncing on the balls of his feet.
“Soon,” I responded while precisely placing the chess pieces on the board.
Gully, who everyone called Fox after his middle name trailed in.
He reached down and pretended to swipe at the pieces and flicked the gold plated king over with an obnoxious thud.
“Don’t do that Gully!” I scolded, “Do you know how much this board is worth?” I interrogated with my bossy seven-year old voice.
“Of course I do Rae, I’ve heard from dad about a duizend times.” he replied sarcastically.
“Stop rubbing in your Dutch loser!” I yelled.
With a pouted lip Gully said, “I don’t think Mommy and Daddy would like you using those choice words Raelyn.” he teased, flicking over yet another chess piece.
“Mom and Dad would care more about a broken seven-thousand-four-hundred-forty-two dollars and eighty-three cents chess board, mister!” I huffed.
Gully snorted and plotted onto the couch, placing his feet on the chess board, and knocking a handful of pieces down, “Can’t argue with that sis, why they care about that board more than the drie of us combined.” he joked
“Where is Mommy anyway?” Scottie asked from the corner of the couch he spent onlooking Gully and I’s argument.
“I’ll check.” I answered.
I went down the hall to where Dad’s office was located and tiptoed to the door, despite the fact that the room was soundproof and we couldn’t hear each other. I ran my hand along the luscious mahogany door frame and pealed the door shade slightly ajar.
Dad was talking into the speaker phone as mom jotted down notes, and by the looks of it whoever dad was talking to was not very happy. Dad was swinging his arms every which way, then running his fingers through his sleek-charcoal colored hair. My mom kept rubbing his shoulder between scribbling down notes as he bickered on with whoever was on the opposite end.
With disappointment, I trailed back down the hall to share my information with Scottie, until I passed Carm, my only comfort in these situations.
“What’s the problem sol nińa?” she asked in her thick Latino accent that I had always loved.
“I just want Daddy to get off the phone.” I whined.
“There, There, my sweet.” she breathed, embracing me and stroking my hair.
The tears flooded from my eyes soaking the ruffles on Carm’s sleeve, but the tears mad her squeeze even tighter. She began to recite a Spanish lullaby, her serene words were washing over me and drying my tears.
Carm pulled away from our hug and clasped my shoulders, “Stay strong sol nińa, it may be the only thing to keep you alive.” she advised. Carm shuffled away towards the maids ward; as I was left soaking in her words.
In the kitchen, Gully was watching football while Scottie was imitating the player’s punting and hiking with a vase in place of a football. I was too upset to tell Gully to stop watching football or even to scold Scottie for using a vase as a toy. So, I just plopped onto the couch, curled up, and pressed a silk pillow to my face.
A half an hour later, footsteps echoed down the hall, Gully clicked off the television but Scottie didn’t seem to get the message. “PRESCOTT DAGMAR BERLING!” my dad screamed, “What do you think you are doing young man?” he chided, glaring at Scottie.
Out of fear Scottie dropped the vase and it shattered onto the floor. My dad’s eyes imploded as he stared at the remnants of the vase on the floor.
“Carmelo,” he screeched, “There is a shattered three-thousand-eight-hundred-fifty-six dollar vase on the floor, the vase I got at my very first auction indeed.” he denounced, every syllable directed not to Carm, but to Scottie.
He made quick eye contact with my mom then grabbed Scotties shoulder and viciously dragged him away.
I woke up in a cold sweat. I was in the back of a truck looking thing, with covered windows and a propelling sound similar to a helicopter. Milo was sitting a seat ahead of me and playing cards with a man who had a hat covering half his head and a scruffy looking beard. I remained still in the pile of blankets surrounding me, afraid that the slightest movement would hurt, but for some reason I actually felt great.
Milo peered back at me in the truck, “It’s about time you woke up.” he beamed
The guy with the beard turned and studied me with curiosity, Milo thwacked his arm and the bearded man was brought out of his daze. He abandoned his seat and came over to me, grasping my hand with a firm shake, “I’m Lee Tyson...pleased to meet your acquaintance.” he remarked.
“He’s a healer, an extremely rare aura.” Milo cut in.
I had no idea what any of that meant so I just nodded my head like I always did when Dad was talking about his sales.
“I’m guessing a little rich girl has zero gratitude towards the man who saved her life, huh?” Lee accused, eyeing me with an abundance of distaste.
I fixated all my attention on Milo, “Thank you Milo Elliot Shultz, for saving my life.” I declared.
Lee’s eyes bulged and his jaw began to quiver, he peeled off his hat and pointed to a stub where his ear had presently been, “At eight, I was living out on the streets, alone and hungry and tired. I got into a gang fight that took my left ear before realizing I could mend it myself. I traveled for two days out of the ghetto and snuck through a wealthy gated community to get helped. Every single door rejected me… until the last finally decided to call the cops on me, putting my eight-year old self in a juvenile delinquent center for three whole years!!” each syllable making him angrier and angrier.
I took a shaky breath as Lee wiggled his finger in my face, “Don’t mess with me sweetheart, I hear all.” he warned
“Hear all?” I countered.
Lee glared at me, fire in his gray eyes, then returned to his seat.
Milo walked over to me and sat down, “That was funny” Milo commented, “Just try not to get on Lee’s complete bad side, us aura’s gotta stick together. Separating us can be incredibly dangerous... so, this really isn’t the last you’ll see of Lee. In case you want to pick fights or anything.” he added.
I laughed, and laid my head back down on the pillow.
“I’ll let you rest. "Milo said begging to stand.
“Wait!” Milo shot me a perplexed look, “Lee knows about me being wealthy, so he must know more...you all know what happened, don’t you?” I gulped,”So why aren’t you telling me?” I tried to mask my sadness and anger with curiosity, but the look of pity on Milo’s face said he could see right through it. I just wanted to know where my brothers, mom, dad, and Carm were, my dream didn’t give me answers, it just gave me more questions.
Milo sat down, “There was a plane crash, that’s all I know.”