The tears ran down my face and Jesse cradled me in his arms.

“Em, its ok. It’s ok. Everything will be fine.” He said, soothing me, He rubbed his hand across my back and held me so tight.

“I missed it. I saw her and missed it Jesse.” I said through tears. “I can’t believe I lost her.” The tears stained Jesse’s top. Sadness kept hitting me like a knife blade in the chest and stomach. Jesse had no idea how to stop me crying.

“It wasn’t your fault.” He whispered soothingly. I just kept crying into his shirt for what seemed like forever.

I lost her. I saw her, knew she was in trouble and let her drown. I knew her, and that’s what made it worse. It was all my fault she had gone. If only I hadn’t gone for that other swimmer and continued to watch her. Why didn’t I let Tom go in?

A fresh set of tears brimmed my eyes and I allowed them to spill over.

“Emilee.” I heard our front door open and my Dad walked in. He picked me up and cradled me just like Jesse had on the couch, but it was like when Mum died. He felt my pain. He knew her too, and he was my father figure. Daddy could make everything better.

He stroked my head and wet hair, catching my tears on his hands, and whispered things in my ears.

“Little baby, its ok, its ok. It wasn’t your fault, everything will be ok.” He whispered continuously in my ear. Jesse clutched my hand, and slowly I felt myself stop crying and fall into a deep sleep.

But my mind just kept replaying the incident.


Tom and I were on duty down at south end, just casually lying around and watching the water. Kids were having a few jokes, and people were just relaxed. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon, after a pretty hectic day of textbook rescues. We were just chatting to the camera crew about stuff in general when Dad radioed over from the tower.

“Hey Nals, there’s somebody to see you.” He said excitedly. I looked at Tom who shrugged.

“Alright, who is it?” I radioed back up curiously.

“She’s coming down now!” He said. I turned around in the ATV and saw a girl with long brown hair like me running towards me and waving. I squinted through the sun at who it was.

Was it? No it can’t be her. I thought.

“Emilee!” She yelled. I got out of the buggy and ran towards Kaitlin.

“Kaitlin!” I ran towards her and pulled my step sister in a massive hug. “Oh my gosh, what are you doing here?” I asked. Kaitlin is my older stepsister. She’s mum’s daughter from her first marriage and looks just like me. We both inherited our looks from mum, even though we had different dads. But that’s where the similarities end. She is quiet and shy, like my mums first husband Jonathan, and I’m outgoing and crazy like my father, Kerrbox.

“I’m living with Coralie for now, but looking for a permanent place.” She answered. Coralie is my Nan, dad’s mum.

“That’s awesome, come and meet my mate Tom.” I said. Kaitlin followed me up back to the buggy.

“Kate, this is Tom. Tom, this is Kaitlin, my stepsister.” Tom shook her hand and Kate blushed.

“Wow, Box really did do well in life.” He said. We all laughed and settled down to do some good catching up. When mum died, Kate went to Hawaii to live with her dad, and I went to Bali to live with my aunt. I hated dad at the time and wanted to get as far away from his as possible, but I didn’t want to go with Kate. I hated her too. After a while, we started emailing and texting, but we just fell out of touch over time. I haven’t seen her in over eight years.

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