Chapter One

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I sat in the bedroom, practicing German.

I felt accomplished. It was the sophomore year when I started learning German. Basically, what happened was I took debate class and missed one day because of my monthly cycle, and I came back not knowing what was happening. It became boring and too hard, so I dropped out. I moved to German two weeks after school started.

I had never been to the sea or ocean before but I'd always wanted to go. A cruise was the best way to visit the largest body of water.

I had been told that a sea and an ocean were different and I could believe it somehow. I just wasn't sure how they were different. I'd be interested in finding out when I got back to land where I had service. Until then, I'd hopelessly continue to get the words sea and ocean mixed up, never knowing which was which and why they were such.

I heard thunder and saw a flash out the porthole. I went and looked outside. The waves were really picking up and rocking, but the cruise ship was too big to be tossed like a madhouse.

I closed the tiny, circular window and sat. It was supposed to be a two-day cruise. I won it in one of those sweepstakes. It took some convincing, but my mom gave into letting me go. I was almost eighteen; at least I would be in five months.

It was currently December, which meant it was winter but I was on a cruise, so I did not care.

I heard a terrible noise. That didn't sound good. I heard panicked passengers and left my cabin to see people in the hallways, frantic.

"We're gonna die!"

"The ship's going down; we're sinking!"

"Hurry to the lifeboats before others steal them and leave us to drown!"

I was the only calm person, on the outside.

On the inside, I was freaking out. My worst nightmare was drowning. I'd had incidents in my life where I couldn't breathe. Drowning was not the way I wanted to go.

When I was growing up, I had a lot of different parts of my life where I struggled to breathe and I thought I was going to die. Since those incidents, I'd realized drowning was not peaceful. I wanted to die in a fast way, not slowly suffocating and suffering. I knew what it was like not to breathe. It was a torturous pain.

People said it was peaceful. Peaceful wasn't the word to use when referring to no blood and guts. Drowning was clean and not messy, but it was nowhere near peaceful. Try suffocation, then tell me the burning feeling in your lungs and the not-being-able-to-breathe parts were peaceful. Suffocation was torture. I'd like my death quick and painless, like a guillotine or a bullet to the head.

I calmly walked up on deck and I got trampled for it. People jumped on the lifeboats and shoved others. Everyone was a selfish bastard.

I covered my head from getting kicked and stepped on, and anyone who did kick me or step on me was tripped. I grabbed their ankle and they fell as others trampled them. I called this karma. Karma had asked me to fill in for her today.

It seemed like once the lifeboats were gone, and almost everyone jumped in to grab floating objects or try to get into the lifeboats rowing away.

I was left behind. The ship was sinking slowly but surely. I would die in the very way I didn't want to. I would drown. I had never been more scared in my life. I would never graduate; I would never finish senior year. I just wished it would be over. I didn't want to be aware of my death.

The ship was sinking on one end, so the ship was slowly rising up on the other until it was vertical, and from there it would go down.

I held onto a pole, but the rain made it hard. I was terrified. I couldn't let go, but it was getting so hard to see and the pole was becoming slippery in this rain. I screamed, knowing it was useless.

My hands slipped. "No, no-no!"

I fell into the freezing waters below. It was like Titanic, only I had no Jack to draw me naked and then freeze to death while I hogged up a wooden cabinet.

The impact caused darkness to surround and engulf me. It was the wish I wanted, to not be aware of my suffering, drowning, and death. Whichever you wanted to call it but I called it all three. The current took me under.

I woke up with light blinding me. The last time I was conscious, it was dark.

I remembered the storm. I had fallen into the water and now somehow I was laying on a beach on an island. How did I get here? My guess was I washed up from the tide.

What island was this? I never imagined I would ever wash up on an island. It was like Castaway, only I wouldn't be making friends with balls.

The sun was the source of the light. It was the big ball of natural light in the sky, that beamed down on me and burned my skin.

I sat up and stood, taking in my surroundings. There was lots of sand. The ocean was as clear as day, meaning that there was no cruise insight. Some trees with a tree line laid further up the beach, leading to the middle of the island.

A guy my age gave me an interesting look. I'd never seen him before, but his clothes said he lived here. I wasn't alone. This wasn't Castaway anymore.

I scowled. "What?"

"Nothing, I'm just curious. I've never seen a girl here, at least not after Wendy." He shrugged to himself.

"Excuse me? Creep," I muttered. Who was Wendy? Why was he watching me?

He smirked. "Oh, did I forget to introduce myself? I'm Peter, Peter Pan."

"

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