10 || Rowan

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I sat in the sand, my wetsuit half undone and tied around my waist

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I sat in the sand, my wetsuit half undone and tied around my waist. The water looked perfect, perfect waves for learning, perfect temperature. I wanted to run in feel the power of the wave beneath my board, but I had to wait for Ronnie.

He was a ten year old boy who loved surfing as much as I did but he had a lot of learning to do.

"Rowan!" Ronnie called to me, lugging his six foot foam top board behind him while his Dad trailed close behind.

"Hey bud!" I put out my fist and he fist bumped immediately.

"Here's the thirty dollars for the lesson. We can't go over the hour today. His mother wants to take him shopping, so no matter how much he begs..." he looked to me, to see understanding.

"Got it, I'll set a timer on my watch." I took the money gratefully and slid it into the side pocket of my backpack.

"Good, I'll be back in an hour." He waved to Ronnie and walked back to his car.

Ronnie was raring to go, with the cuff of the leash already around his ankle.

"You remember how to do your pop up? We can practice on the sand first." I offered but he shook his head.

"I remember how to do a pop up." He rolled his eyes at me.

"Now remember-" I started, but I was cut off.

"I know, the board doesn't move on it's own, either the water moves it or I move it, so the safest place to be is on the board. Can we go now?" Ronnie asked, tired of waiting.

"I like your spirit, but just be safe in the water, alright?" I put my hand on his shoulder, so he would know I was serious.

"Okay."

I pulled up my wetsuit and did up the back zipper. My surfboard was top of the line, I'd saved up for years and my mom finally agreed to pay half. Now I was saving up for university, I needed to teach as many lessons as I could.

I looked up the beach at a group of girls. They were lying in the sand, tanning. All I could think was, what if she was one of them? The girl from the journal.

I'd dreamt about her the night before, the faceless girl. I came up with different scenarios of how it happened in my head. How she'd be taken advantage of and one came to life in my dreams. I woke up with beads of sweat dripping down my forehead and her journal open on my chest, to March 7th.

I didn't go to school today, I just needed a break from everything, from my life. I felt so stupid for just needed some time to myself, for needing time away from everyone else. I felt bad for lying to my parents, they thought I was sick but in a sense I was. I self diagnosed myself with depression, anxiety and PTSD, of course it didn't matter much, I'd never tell anyone.

I feel sick just thinking about it and embarrassed. It's not right. He should have never put me in this position. But here I am, drowning in my own thoughts, thinking about how my innocence was ripped away and cut into little pieces.

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