14: The Tragedy of the Commons

16.5K 1K 1.5K

Although a constant rain dampened all but my spirits, I climbed aboard the Millennium Osprey with Logan, and I set all of my equipment on the bench where it would be safe and sound. Logan had an umbrella in his hands, and I supposed he thought that it would keep all my stuff dry. That was not going to be possible.

"You have one more chance to get off the boat," I said as I left the dry cabin, but Logan shook his head.

"I'm good. I'll be fine," he said.

I turned to face the water, and my braids stuck to my skin. I pulled them free, then smiled. "This is going to be a good run. I just feel it."

And that certainly wasn't a lie, either. The oceans were alive, but some days had better luck of finding it. Intuition spoke, and I liked to believe it when it told me that it'd be a successful day searching for whales.

Toby fired up the engine, and I glanced at Logan, whose breathing had already deepened, and his eyes didn't stay in one spot for very long. He rested his forearms on the railing on the back of the boat, and when I realized I stood in the same way, I switched my stance, so my hands pushed against the railing.

"Just watch the water," I said, even though we weren't even moving yet.

"I know what to do," Logan muttered, and instead of replying right away, I just looked to Paradise City, where the grass was green, but the grass in the middle of the ocean was a much more vibrant hue.

The rain plinked against the metal surface of the boat, and although the engine was quite loud, the silence between us was even louder. The boat began to move, and even though the railing was slippery, my grip on it kept me upright.

"Do you just want me to leave you alone?" I asked.

"If I didn't want to be around you, I wouldn't be here."

I stood up a little straighter, then looked over to him. A raindrop rested on the tip of his nose, and he brushed it away with the back of his hand.

I gave a small smile, then turned back to the water.

Despite his blunt personality, working with him wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected it to be. In fact, it fell into the enjoyable category when he decided to be a little nice.

"You're definitely the most tolerable person on the island, besides maybe Carter. He never bothers anyone," Logan said.

I nodded. "We should all aspire to be more like him, shouldn't we?"

"Darrell should. Jia should. I should. But not you. The world doesn't have enough people like you, who love every life."

"Mostly whales, though."

"And Venus fly traps, and seals, and squirrels, and fucking copepods."

I laughed. "Okay, everyone except people."

I had to give up on loving them years ago to find where I belonged.

Rainwater collected all around my eyes, and after staying for just a moment, it dripped down to my mouth with the salty taste of the ocean.

"Can't really blame you there, Rea. I don't think I've ever met a person worth something who didn't drive me absolutely crazy," Logan said.

I nodded slowly, and more drips fell down my face. "Yep."

The hum of the engine continued as we cut through the water. Any time spent in the open ocean was quiet, though, because there was no foghorn or nesting gulls that needed to protect their hatchlings.

Logan finally spoke again. "So, when do I get to witness the world's biggest whale fan in action?"

"Not for a little while. Robbie will let us know when we're close to our targets, which today, we're heading about sixty nautical miles north of Paradise City," I said.

FlukeWhere stories live. Discover now