TITLE : Into the Deep
GENRE : Young Adult Fantasy
I’ve always been afraid of water.
When I was four, I almost drowned in the sea. Ever since then I can’t even take a bath, only quick showers. I’m not sure if it’s the repressed memories or the horrible, emotional way Mom tells it that scares me more. No matter how hard I try, I can’t remember.
Mom says I’ve blocked it from my memory. Apparently, a rogue wave washed me over the side of a boat and I had to be revived. There are no flashes or strange panic attacks when I think of being submersed in water. I only know something bad will happen if I get in it.
Mom encourages my fear though I can never figure out why. Hopefully, one day, I can outgrow it.
Because I have a secret.
I am in love with the ocean. The fresh crisp smell of salt air, the mysterious creatures living beneath the surface, the many different colors it can change, even the sheer power; everything about the sea is a siren song tempting me to its shore.
Only one problem. Even as it tempts me, it frightens me, because the pull is getting stronger. If I told Mom she’d just stare at me with that fretful look of hers that leaves me feeling as if a huge secret is hovering overhead, teetering on the edge of a precarious cliff.
Maybe it’s the fact I’ll be sixteen in a week. It’s supposed to be a magical age – or so they say.
The bell ending sixth period snaps me out of my thoughts. I glance around in a daze. I missed most of Mr. Romaine’s history lecture. I love his lessons because he puts a humorous spin on things, like how hot Helen of Troy was or why Hitler’s mustache was so small. He makes class fun.
I close my books, tuck my unruly hair behind my ears, and push into the throngs of kids out in the hall, tripping over my foot in the process.
“Watch it, klutz,” a senior snaps after he sets me back upright.
“Sorry,” I mumble.
At my locker, my best friend Charlotte bumps into me with her hip. “Zoey, my dear, ready for practice? Thursday’s game is huge.” Waves of sunny blond hair spill past her shoulders accenting her pert nose and inquisitive blue eyes.
“Yeah, it’s just Mission High though and they’re weak. I only wish they’d let me play.”
“Sure, you and your two left feet. I love ya, Zo, but sometimes you’re a walking disaster.” She tugs on my hair playfully.
It’s true. I’m blessed with clumsiness and frizzy hair, but I cling to the hope I’ll outgrow it one day and blossom. I’m 5’9” already and as much as I seem to fall, my long limbs love to move.
“Don’t remind me,” I joke and change the subject. “I totally spaced out in History. Mr. Romaine lectured about the Spanish Missionaries and I was daydreaming about the ocean again.”