Charlie bobbed up and down with the life raft, so I could not tell if he was breathing. Roger looked over my shoulder, peering down at Charlie.
“Is he breathing?” Roger asked solemnly. I leaned back and turned my head away from .
“You check,” I said. I scooted to the far end of the life raft, watching as my classmates began to emerge from the wreckage, dog paddling towards the various life preservers and rafts. I leaned my back against the orange rubber, staring up at the storm clouds running away in the sky. Those damn storm clouds! A bit of lightening flashed teasingly, a bird flipped over the shoulder when an enemy walked away.
I felt cold as I watched Roger bend over Charlie’s motionless body. I rubbed my hands over my arms to push down the goose bumps that had obviously come from the cool breeze of the sea, not apprehension about Charlie .
Roger turned to me grimly.
“He’s not breathing,” Roger muttered.
I’m cold. Why is it so dark? Where am I?
I stood up quickly and tried to yell out, but no sound came out. I was standing in a dark space, unable to say anything or hear anything. Some invisible chains choked me, I could barely breathe, and something kept me glued to the floor. Not that I would have moved anyway, for all I knew I was standing on the edge of a cliff.
I stayed this way, confused, scared, and cold, until a light began to form in front of me. At first, it was but a spec, but it began to widen and glow. The light began to paint itself colors, shapes began to form. The chains slowly fell off my body, and I could feel a cool breeze and hands pressed against my chest….
One time, I had a dream I would press my lips against Charlie’s. It was a horrendous and awful dream that I tried to erase from my memory by replaying at least a thousand times over and over again. Because that is the only way to erase dreams: watching them over again until the little tape recorder holding the dream breaks.
Anyway, when I had that dream I did not imagine it like the moment I really pressed my lips against Charlie’s.
His heart was still beating and Roger hadn’t known CPR, but I did, so I had no other choice then to help the stupid kid. My open mouth was against his as I slowly breathed air into his lungs, silently begging him to wake up.
I’m taking some of my life from within me and letting it slowly into his lungs…. Wait, where the hell did that come from? I thought as I began to pump at his small chest.
I pulled back and looked at small, frail . His green eyes popped open and he let out a gasp in time with my sigh of relief. His eyes darted around the raft and finally landed on me with a cloudy look of confusion, gratitude, and fear.
“James?!” he squeaked abruptly. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand.
“Charlie,” I said plainly. Charlie sat up and saw Roger staring curiously over my shoulder.
“Hi,” he said quietly. I crossed my arms and turned my head to the side, staring at my reflection in the water.
“How’s it going?” I growled. Wow, way to show the intelligence Jamie boy.
“I’m not quite sure,” said .
“Oliver said everyone’s okay. That is, except for the pilot,” James said as he bobbed up in the water. Beside me, Roger muttered a curse word.
“Is there anything left from the plane? Like, a radio or something?” I asked. James held up a finger, as if to say “One minute” and dived back into the water. I watched as his dark figure shot out towards the other lifeboat, which was about a block’s length away. Unfortunately there was only one set of paddles, and it was getting dark so no one bothered to bring the boats together yet.
Oliver was one of those semi-popular kids who kept out of trouble and went with the flow. He had been sitting up front when the plane crashed, so everyone turned to him for information on what had happened. Since James wouldn’t let me swim myself (“I don’t want you passing out again,” “Why not?” “Because giving CPR to you was nasty!”) I was communicating to Oliver through him. By this time the sun had nearly set, and only a sliver of yellow peaked up from the horizon, making everything covered in an eerie shadow. Roger sulked at the opposite end of the raft, bent over like a gargoyle with shadows sweeping across his sharp features. At last, a dark figure began to make it’s way back to the boat, and James broke the surface. He drew in a sharp breathe, rubbed the salt water off of his face, and blinked.