53 comments

Feb 26, 2021

Fiction Friendship Inspirational

The sea is more than we see, for she gives us most of the oxygen in our lungs. She wraps her brine around every limb as a mother, only ever asking for our respect and loving care. The wind was the orchestral conductor of the sea, sending waves into their crescendos' all through the ballad that was the night. All about me was the perfume of the salty water and the fine spray that came as boldly as any viola flurry. It was as if life herself had entered the water and the energy was so great that this great pulse came upward to form a steady rhythm.

Moving through her depths, I became aware of her currents; the sea is more a river in three dimensions with no need of banks. In them are schools of the living, the creation that remained in her watery embrace when we land-dwellers sought flowers and the shelter of trees. But unlike her fish, who swam with easy breath underwater, I must return to the boat that awaits, anchored for my return, as it rests upon her steady pulse.

I emerged from the depths of the sea where I had been documenting the behavioral patterns of great gray whales off the coast of California. The sea was my life, the song that sings to my bones and my soul, and ever since middle school, I had dreamed of becoming a marine biologist, to swim among the giants of the oceans. To dream among the creatures of the deep. 

I pulled off my scuba mask and clambered aboard my small yacht, Wind Dancer, the warm morning air rising to combat the cool air of the dawn. 

“So, Emmerson, how’d it go?” My best friend and soul mate, Fisher asked, chugging a bottle of water. He’d already stripped down to his swim trunks due to the warm weather. I set down my oxygen tank carefully on the side before answering. 

“Well, I saw the calf, but Moona wasn’t there. I’m guessing she was offshore somewhere else, feeding on krill.” I replied, talking about the small pod we had dubbed the Celestials, that returned to the same place year after year. 

We had been tracking and swimming among them for almost a decade, and they were more familiar to us than most of our own family members. Moona was the newest calf’s mother, and we had yet to decide on a name for the young whale. It was unusual for mother whales to leave their children’s sides during their first few months after birth, but the calf was surrounded by the rest of the pod, more than safe. Fisher nodded, setting the water bottle down. 

“I tracked her down close to where they were circulating around yesterday. Shall we head there?” He asked, and I nodded, pulling off my wetsuit arms, letting the material bunch around my waist. I toweled dry my wet hair and tied it into a loose bun. Fisher pulled up the anchor and started the engine. 

The deck was our land and the sky was our ever-changing art, made so beautiful by the clouds. Many days I had let my dreams float up to them as kites, to be the colors that swirled within the white-puffed shapes drifting onward. I had imagined my dreams to be playing with the birds, swooping and gliding as they did, reflecting the brilliant sunlight. Those planks so weathered under the sun, took on the appearance of a wise elder, of one who gave advice, simple ideas that feel right because they are true. Between the given wind and the nudge of the rudder, we sailed on as one company of souls.

The shoreline had become a figment as if it evaporated in the heat. I wondered if now the world is but one ocean, the waves moving freely, gathering pace. Perhaps that's what happens when you are adrift, you fear that the perfect circle of blue is all that exists. It feels as if the wind comes to bring some sensation of touch, a soft hello from nature. And I have learned, in this desert of company, that it is better to let the brain be as empty as that horizon rather than to suffer a loss of hope and the tide of emotions it brings.

We reached the spot where Fisher tracked Moona, and I peered into the cerulean blue off the side of the boat. Sure enough, a dark shape danced beneath the waves. I grinned at Fisher, and he smiled back, sitting down on the sofa that surrounded the front of the boat, and closing his eyes. I pulled up my wet suit and grabbed my snorkeling gear. She’s near the surface, so I don’t need to dive deep. 

I jumped into the water, bubbles streaming up from my legs and arms, and I bobbed to the surface, taking in a gulp of air through my snorkel. Moona is a beautiful whale, with a streamlined body and a narrow, tapered head. Her upper jaw is arched in profile and slightly overlaps her lower jaw. Her upper jaw is dimpled and each of the little depressions contains one stiff hair. But on her flukes is a long scar, from where we assume she battled a shark of some kind, and that’s her identifying feature. Every whale has one, and it is a mark of each one’s immense strength. 

It’s so amazing that in this vastness of water the land is just ten feet below the boat, rising to a ridge before plummeting to unseen depths. With the clearness of the water, I could see the rocks. I could dive and resurface so many times, and never stop being amazed at the acute majesty the sea has. 

After what felt like an eternity, but was only about a half-hour, I clambered out of the water and onto my boat. Fisher was sprawled out on the sofa, fast asleep, and I smiled at the sight. I tugged my entire wet-suit off and pull on my cover-up, content to stay in my swimsuit for the rest of the day. 

It’s Saturday, so both Fisher and I have the entire day to ourselves. Normally, we’d both be teaching at the University of California at Berkeley, Fisher a professor in marine phycology, and me a professor in marine ichthyology. Both of us bonded over our love for the sea, and every Saturday was our designated whale-watching and interacting day. We’d grab our picnic baskets and fill them to the brim with snacks and food, and spend the entire day, predawn to almost midnight, on the waves. We joked that saltwater ran in our veins because we’d spent more time out here than on land. 

We spent the entire day anchored off the coast, laughing and eating and splashing in and out of the water. The pod had followed us, or more likely, had followed Moona, and they accompanied us when we dove into the cerulean blue water. 

The sun was setting as we clambered out of the water one last time, and we toweled dry to the sound of the whales calling to one another, a symphony of sounds that made my heart beat faster and my soul sing louder. This is why I spend my day on the water, this was why I chose my career. Because nothing beat this, and nothing would ever beat this. I turned to Fisher with tears in my eyes, and he nodded in agreement, silver lining his own. 

This boat that is my land amid the water, is as bright as the last berry of summer. In this brine that is the playground of dolphins and the sanctuary of whales, I am rocked like a baby in loving arms. I felt the wind, gusting with the tempo of a fiddle, dancing with long and short bows, punctuated by soulful silence. I watched the billowed sail, rippling the same as water around, always ready to propel us onward. Under the setting sun, we watched the mast shadow grow and fade, yet it is a pale form of darkness and nothing at all to compare to the brilliance of stars in the night. Nothing is the same as the expanse of the inky night sky on the sea. And as we bobbed here, the boat, my best friend, and me, I remembered what my Grandpa would say, "There may be shadows in the sunlight, my love, but there will always be stars at night."

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53 comments

Litlover 📖
16:38 Feb 26, 2021

OMG!!!! Ok, let's get the annoying critiques out of the way: 1. I think that you need to remember to keep the tenses consistent, especially in the deeply philosophical parts where the reader doesn't want to stop to have to think about the grammar. 2. I think that the storyline was a little basic for something as broad and deep as the topic pictured in the beginning, because deep concepts require deep storylines and characters, so give us a DEEPER dive (get it?) Other than that, as usual the prose was beautiful and it shone like a bright sta...

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Nainika Gupta
16:43 Feb 26, 2021

1. You're absolutely right...dang it lemme edit...brb..ok I did...lemme know if it reads better now. 2. You're right, again, and YES AHAH I get it XD, I'll work on that :) Aw, thanks so much! Means a lot :)

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Litlover 📖
16:44 Feb 26, 2021

1. Definitely better!! 2. Yerp, I just like a deeper more speeeeeeeeeeeeeeecial storyline when exploring themes like death, the beauty of nature, loneliness, etc. NO PrOB!!!!

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Nainika Gupta
16:47 Feb 26, 2021

Yep!! Will dooooooooooooooooooo <33

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Litlover 📖
16:47 Feb 26, 2021

:DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD HOW'S GOL GOING????????

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Nainika Gupta
16:54 Feb 26, 2021

XDDD OOOOOHHHHH MYYYYYYY GOLLLYYYY So So So well honestly, im just flying through it but gHAA i'm expanding on the stories I submitted here to reedsy and its going so dang WELL!!!

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Oooh, this is kind of like a poem, right? I like this. I would say that there isn't much outward action, but this reeds a little more like a monologue than anything else. Great to see you back!

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Nainika Gupta
17:18 Feb 26, 2021

Kinda! Thanks so much, and yeah, I didn't want there to be that much outward action, but thanks! :)

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17:07 Feb 26, 2021

Yaaaay I'm glad you're back!!! :))) I loved this story! This was beautiful and deep. Much like Luke, the first paragraph (of the story) is my favorite. You do so well with this style! At this point, I'm pretty sure you can write an essay about physics and I'll still read it. Here's some very minor errors. "[...] most of the oxygen in our lungs. she wraps" --> She wraps "Many a day I had let my dreams [...]" --> Many days (or something else. "Many a day" doesn't really sound right) Great great job (I don't understand how authors publish sto...

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Nainika Gupta
17:09 Feb 26, 2021

Aw, thanks Annabelle <3 Ahaha right (you sure about that??) XDXD and yep, just heading over to fix them right now, thanks for catching them!1 AWWW thanksssss ;)) and we..well...just write??!!! XD

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17:26 Feb 26, 2021

Yes, I'm sure about that XD ahahaha I'll take that into consideration XD Your welcome!! :DD

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Nainika Gupta
17:39 Feb 26, 2021

XDXD :))

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17:43 Feb 26, 2021

:))) I have a question that I want to ask you

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Nainika Gupta
17:51 Feb 26, 2021

yeah sure??!

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Sarah 💜🌸
17:04 Feb 26, 2021

WELCOME BACK!!!! Glad your personal life is doing ok! Don't be afraid to take breaks. Now onto the story, what else can I say except I really liked this one? It was fresh and interesting. Maybe it's 2nd grade, obsessed with dolphins and the ocean Sarah showing, but this story was such a nice and calm ride. Gj!

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Nainika Gupta
17:05 Feb 26, 2021

THANKS! Really appreciate it, Sarah! Ahah, yeah but awww thanks :)

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Sarah 💜🌸
17:09 Feb 26, 2021

:D

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17:01 Feb 26, 2021

jkdgjhhgjhrajsdf Nainikaaaaaaaaaaaa I literally cried when I read your biooooooooooo I'm so glad you're backkkkkkkkkkk (and so glad you could sort out everything going on outside of reedsy for the most part) 😭😭😭😭😭 ok, anyways, back to the story this was so beautifullllllllllllllllll first paragraph felt like poetryyyyy one tiny thing:) very beginning, second paragraph I think, oxygen in our lungs. she wraps just need to capitalize the S:) hehe that was very nitpicky;) also, the way you referred to the ocean as a person near the beginning w...

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Nainika Gupta
17:03 Feb 26, 2021

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Thanks so much Luna <3 Means so much. And that's not nitpicky...I'll fix it now ;))) awwwww i understand what you're trying to sayyyyy XD CHOCOLATE MILLKKKK AHHH XD

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17:07 Feb 26, 2021

<3333 :) XDDD it's almost the weekend and I need it to get here fasterXDD yesssssss you deserve all of it after so many amazing storiesssssssssssssssXDDD

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Nainika Gupta
17:10 Feb 26, 2021

XDDDDDD I KNOW actually, I've had yesterday and today off school *happy dance* eheheheh AWWW XD

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17:11 Feb 26, 2021

XD me tooooo!!!! well technically it was asynchronous so we had just school work instead of live learning:DDD <3XD

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Nainika Gupta
17:22 Feb 26, 2021

oooh interesting XD <3

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20:27 Feb 26, 2021

Is the movie emoji Rango?

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Nainika Gupta
02:01 Feb 27, 2021

nope! it has matt damon in it :)

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Whisper .
18:46 Feb 27, 2021

is it We bought a zoo? Also, I loved The Great Wall, have you seen it? It also has Matt Damon in it! Have a good day!

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Nainika Gupta
18:58 Feb 27, 2021

Nope!! Oh I have it was so good!! And yep!! It’s one of those movies that instantly skyrocketed their careers!!

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Whisper .
19:03 Feb 27, 2021

Awesome! Although the tau tai were a little gory for my taste, but oh, well.

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Nainika Gupta
19:22 Feb 27, 2021

Oh yeah I def covered my eyes with a blanket during the gory scenes But yeah it was a really well developed movie!!

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Zoey Hailey
19:53 Feb 26, 2021

OMG this is soo good (as usual)!! I was hooked from the very beginning of it, and I absolutely love all the detail that you added to it! Keep writing, girl!

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Nainika Gupta
20:20 Feb 26, 2021

Aww, thanks Zoey!! <3

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Zoey Hailey
04:34 Feb 27, 2021

No problem!!

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15:12 Mar 01, 2021

Ok, is the movie emoji Good Will Hunting?

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01:58 Feb 28, 2021

part 6 out!

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Heather Mcquaid
14:38 Feb 27, 2021

I was swept away with the lovely imagery, Nainika. Well done. :) Only a few minor critiques... In this sentence the verb tense is strange and adds more complexity. "The wind had become the orchestral...." You could try something like: "The wind was the orchestral.." And this sentence was a little hard to understand: "Though to her fish, swimming is as easy as breathing underwater, it was no doubt time for me to return to the waves and the boat that awaits, anchored for my return as it rests upon her steady pulse." Maybe something like "But...

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Nainika Gupta
15:17 Feb 27, 2021

Aw, haha nice pun there XD Thanks so much! Really appreciate it, Heather. I'll fix that ASAP, thanks so much :)

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Arwen Dove
07:12 Feb 27, 2021

Love this! 🦁

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Nainika Gupta
14:32 Feb 27, 2021

Aw, thanks!

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20:42 Feb 26, 2021

HEHEHHEEHEHE PART 5 IS OUT XDDDD!

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Nainika Gupta
02:02 Feb 27, 2021

OML YAS

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02:16 Feb 27, 2021

:)))

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Maya Emerson
17:45 Mar 03, 2021

Hi :) Would you like to play Skribble today at 3:30 EST, even though we haven't played for a while. Also, if you want to ask anyone else if they want to play, feel free. :)

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Litlover 📖
13:55 Mar 01, 2021

ANIMAL FARM FOR THE PUZZLE

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