Blindness. Confusion. Fear. Out of everything rushing through my terrified body, blindness was the most intense. Wait. Not blindness, but light, so much direct light that I felt blind. Slipping in and out of consciousness, I was having a hard time holding on to reality. Something rushed up and smacked me, my ragdoll body slipping under an inescapable pressure. I could feel myself, a mere thread, slowly snapping. My eyes flashed open. Ahead of me was a wall and immediately I had a sense of what needed to be done. I had to climb over that flowing, blue wall, but it wasn’t going to be an easy climb. I gathered whatever courage inside me that I could scoop out of the crevices and took a step forward. As I marched closer, the wall roared back at me. In awe, I stared at the wall. It reminded me of a lion: fierce, yet graceful and fluid. The strong, sapphire wall threatened to take me down, but I had some strength of my own. My hands grasped a small slab of wood, so little yet so powerful. My fingers tingled with the sense of empowerment. I charged towards the wall with a strong will and a small board, diving into the wall. Usually it would have quickly spit me out, but not this time. I broke through and rode my way to safety.
“Alena! Alena!” A man was in front of me smiling. He picked me up and swung me around. “You did it! I knew you could.”
Then it all shifted. The scene faded and my eyes slowly fluttered open. Startled, my eyes finally focused on a guy in front of me, the one screaming my name. At once it all came up. What felt like a gallon of salty ocean water, spewed out of my throat and onto the rough, sandy ground.
“Lainey! Are you alright?” he nearly shouted, obviously freaked out.
“What happened?” I moaned sluggishly, wincing as I turned my head to take in my surroundings.
I’m so sorry! This is all my fault.” He whispered as his faced crumpled with regret and fear.
“No, no, no. You couldn’t have done anything wrong.” I murmured, pushing through the foggy feeling and the roaring in my head.
“I never should have let you go out there! My instinct told me no, but you were just so excited! Your dad is going to kill me!”
“NO.” I shrieked, wincing as sat up furiously. “No one will know about this.” I whispered to him with deep concentration in my eyes
I said no, Coen.”
He leaned back, startled by my intensity and sternness. “Okay, okay” he surrendered, hands faced toward me as if to prove he means no harm.
I smiled at him and laid a cold hand on his bare chest. He shuddered at my touch and returned the smile with his goofy, crooked grin. “I’m okay.” I pronounce with a conviction that would make a murderer look innocent. “Now can you help me up?” I asked with teasing impatience.
He smiled and swooped me up like a husband would to carry his blushing bride through the threshold. I giggled and let him have his fun as he carried me up to the truck. I looked back and shuddered at the abyss that once threatened to take me under. Coen, mistaking my action, squeezed me tighter to keep warm. We got to his truck and I was shocked and relieved to see we were the only people there. Coen placed me in the passenger seat of his truck and before he could walk away I wrapped my legs around him. He grins, but I can tell he wasn’t in to it. Despite his reaction, I pulled him in and kissed him. He slowly kissed me back, but pulls away immediately after.
“I won’t be your distraction.” He states firmly
Dang it. Well I guess this is what I get for dating my best friend. “What are you talking about?” I ask innocently, trying to play it off.
“C’mon, Alena,” he said, smirking, “I know you well enough to be able to tell that you trembling wasn’t from the cold and you are kissing me because suddenly you’re in the mood after having a life threatening experience.” His tone was very patronizing which irritated me.
“Okay, okay, okay! You caught me.” I sighed, throwing my hands up in defeat. I looked down at my sandy feet to avoid his hurt look.
“Why though? Why not just tell me?” he asked, quietly.
I knew this could go two ways. I could either get defensive and push him away or I could tell him what was up and open up to him. Instinctively, I wanted to push him away because I push everyone away, but Coen was different. We had been friends our whole childhood before having a fallout then making up. While away from each other, we realized how strong our feelings really were for each other so we decided to go for it.