Waves

Have you ever had a thought that you just couldn’t quite put words to? You could feel every single ounce of it and dive to it’s depths but you couldn’t quite pin it down? It consumes you wholly until you try to define it and in that moment it slides away out of reach and no matter how well you know and understand it, without words it is nigh impossible to convey it to another.

In a little ocean town, there lived a boy. He never quite belonged there, but he made the best of it. A girl moved in shortly afterwards and found herself wanting to belong more than she ever had. There was a man that was mostly kind in the town, he let the townspeople borrow his many jet skis without paying rent, though he insisted he take care of them himself and often didn’t tend to them properly.  The boy’s name was Arthur and he often raced with the jet skis, he seldom lost a challenge. The girl’s name was Trina and when she moved into the ocean town, she watched Arthur racing, she also watched the other youth and made many friends. She began racing herself and beat Arthur a couple times, and he would knock her off her jet ski and fall of his own in laughter. There was a boy who dove and explored the depth of the bay and ocean beyond, his name was Jared. Jared would ride the jet skis out to the reef often, but he never raced much. He had a unique connection with the reef, it was as if the fish would turn and follow him when he swam by, it was beautiful. He would hold onto the reef and just listen as long as he could. Trina often came with him to the reef and he taught her to listen to the music of the life there. She watched his face light up and learned what kept him smiling.

Both boys often left the ocean town, often for long periods of time. Trina would spend the time they were gone as well as she could, though she often found herself turning to say something to them and they weren’t there, and her heart would sink for a moment. There was a night amid all the chaos that she found herself in the middle of the town, trapped and lonely. To escape the buzz, she ran to the quietest place she could think of, a little abandoned building with a flat roof, she used to imagine it was carved out of one stone and left for someone like her to find it. She laid on the roof and gazed at the stars, mesmerized by their beauty until she heard a noise. Though she could still hear the buzz of the town party, she knew this sound was closer, out of place. A rustle in the wind, a clinking shuffle. Climbing to the edge, she saw Arthur kicking rocks around below, but that didn’t explain the shuffle, turning she noticed Jared sitting on a tree branch nearby. Smiling the picked up two pebbles and tossed one at each of them, motioning them to join her, and so they laid on the roof through the night, sometimes talking, but mostly just sharing in that heart silence together.

One day when Trina was preparing to race Arthur, her jet ski’s engine failed to start. Contacting the old man was no use, he was out of town for the week and Trina waved Arthur on, planning to go back to her cottage, but he suggested instead they raced together, there was no need to be alone. Smiling, Trina hopped on behind him and held on tight as he zoomed off, Trina had never before been able to truly appreciate how Arthur raced. His sharp cuts and high speeds weren’t just for showing off, but she felt the great joy that came with them and laughed when he clipped a wave and it splashed back in their faces. At the end of the race, he zipped off past the reef and onto the open water. Trina held on tightly to him as they mounted wave after wave and then he let go, and they fell into the water together. The engine’s automatic cut off engaged and the jet ski bobbed in the waves nearby. Trina surfaced laughing and punched Arthur in the shoulder before climbing up on the jet ski. “Can I tell you a secret?” Arthur leaned against the jet ski and Trina nodded, pulling him up. “You can’t tell anyone, okay?” “Alright,” Trina smiled. “What is it?” “Well,” Arthur slid into his seat and patted the handles. “This jet ski is mine, or I think of it as mine.” Trina raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?” “I sneak in and take care of it, change the fuel, clean it and such.” Trina leaned against the back, “How do you know it’s the same one?” “Has to be, I’m the first one there every morning.” He kicked in the engine and they zoomed back to the port.

Over time, they all faced life and battles that come with growing up. Often they faced these apart, but Trina found they never had to face them completely alone. She was glad for both of them. She almost lost them both at different times, and the bonds developed were not easily broken, she cared for them both and loved them deeply. As they grew older, she began to love Jared in a different way, and eventually he began to love her that way as well. She spent more and more time with him at the reef with him and even in the town, they spent time together on the roof, watching the stars. She felt like flying, her heart never stopped racing.

Racing.

Trina yawned and stretched, she could finally hear the sound of liquid being poured into the gas tanks. She pulled herself up and walked into the boat dock, it was directly underneath the old man’s house, to keep the jet skis out of the sun and easily accessible  “Ready for a race?” Arthur jumped a little and smiled, “Didn’t expect to see you here.” Trina smiled, “Eh, I thought I’d give your methods a try, just once. Will you give me a hand?” Arthur smiled and helped her prepare another one of the jet skis. “Now you know, it still won’t run near as well as mine, since it hasn’t been taken care of every day.” He winked, “But I’d still beat you even if we switched.” “Would you now?” Trina laughed. “Yes.” Trina shook her head, “I don’t believe you.” “Try me. We’ll switch, just this once.” Trina’s jaw dropped involuntarily at the suggestion but he grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the dock and back into town. Trina didn’t object, as he had been very secretive about his caring for the jet ski she assumed no one should ever find him there too early. They mingled in with the coming crowd of morning racers and made it to their respective jet skis in well enough time for the race. Of course, Arthur still beat Trina despite switching jet skis, but can I tell you a secret? He had been caring for hers every single day he prepared his own, never saying a word.

Though she loved Jared more and more every day, she never once took Arthur for granted nor ever loved him any less than she always had. Sometimes when she was diving with Jared, she would see the jet skis pass over and she would shoot to the surface quickly enough to wave at him, or stick out her tongue, and every week she would try to beat him at a race, she began to catch on to his caring for her jet ski, but she never quite found the words or reasoning to thank him, often they preferred exchanging thoughts in silence rather than words, and she dearly hoped he got the message.

~Tori Lynn

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