I open my bedroom window, the dawn breeze invading me. I look outside, contemplated by the light emanating from the moon, amazed by its beauty and form. Furthermore, I cannot stop thinking of him when I do it. How could I not think of him? That was the best three months of my life. It might have been a summer love, but for me, it was living for real, which I have not done in years. Depression took over me at sixteen, when I lost my parents in a car accident. I was the only survivor. Now I live with my grandma, Madeleine, but every night a keep seeing our car rollover and be dragged off the road to dive into the sea. The last three weeks have been a real nightmare. The dreams are getting more and more present. I see figures around the house, I have panic attacks, I hear my parent’s voices and I cannot sleep because my mind is too busy trying to figure out what happened on that tragic day. I still cannot understand how I survived such a tragedy. It was more than sixty-five feet in height, and the sea was too rough. I had the seatbelt on, and it made things a little difficult for me when the car went overboard, and I tried to escape. My parents drowning in front of me, crying out for help. The explicit horror on my face. I did not know what to do. We were all drowning, unable to breathe or get rid of the seatbelts. I cannot remember how I got rid of the seatbelt that had been jammed by the water shock. I just remember seeing a very bright light and later waking up on the beach and seeing the firemen and paramedics rescuing me, the bodies of my parents locked in black bags with a zipper, being transported far away from there. I wish I could erase that from my memory, let them go in peace, just keep the good memories, but I cannot do it. It is stronger than me. I should have died with them in that accident. I did not deserve a second chance. Not after what I did. I should have tried to save them, but I was so scared and in panic, that all I could do, was to set myself free from that damn seatbelt. My parents being shaken by the sea, two dead souls with their opening mouths, like if they were still crying for help.
Brent, the guy I met last summer, was the best thing that happened to me in three years of guilty and depression. We were only together for three months, the time he came to Norwich. His parents are divorced, he lives with his mother in Newport and his dad lives here in Norwich, and it was during the summer he came to spend time with his father that we met. We exchanged our first glances at Caster-on-Sea beach. I was wearing a white bikini with pink stripes, and I was with my best friend, Brittany. He was with his nine-year-old half-brother. Brittany and I were both sunbathing when someone walked through us and got us wet. The water seemed so cold in contact with the warmth in our backs that Brittany cried out and we both jumped out of our towels, visibly angry. Jonathan, one of the most popular guys at our school, was also there with his friends, and as he had a crush on Brittany, he did everything to get her attention. I thought he was unbearable, but Brittany thought he was funny. A minute later, she was running after him, wanting revenge, wishing he would kiss her. She was in love with him since kindergarten, but he was not a guy for just one girl, and she knew it. I sat back on my towel, reaching my knees to my chest, watching the sea, it was a troubled night due to nightmares, and I was feeling exhausted. And it was watching the sea, the same sea that took my parents away from me, that I saw him. Tall, with an athletic body that sat perfectly on his blue and yellow shorts, standing before me, with a nine-year-old boy by the hands, with armbands in each arm, that I felt my heart-melting. I had never felt anything like this before. It was like if he had bewitched me. And in fact, he had. I wanted to look away, but it was stronger than I. Brent also did not look away. We were focused on each other. Completely oblivious to everything that was going on around us. He smiled at me and approached me, his brother now sitting on the sand building a very shapeless and clumsy castle. I wanted to run away, as I always do when someone tries to get close to me, but it was like if he had hypnotized me.
― Hey, ― he said as he was close enough. ― Are those guys bothering you?
My mouth opened, trying to articulate a simple word, yes or no, but the sound would not come out. I looked like a mute person, choking, and dying to shove myself in a hole.
― Do you speak English? ― he asked me, looking funny with my stupid reaction. Gosh, I could be such a weirdo sometimes!
― Yes, ― I could finally say.
― Yes, you can speak English, or that those guys are bothering you? ― he continued.
― Yes… ― Dang it! I could not articulate a sentence! The words ran through my mind, and he had such a penetrating and mesmerizing look that I could only get lost in those two bright blue globes. He might think I’m an idiot. Crap! Where’s Brittany when I need her?
― Ok, ― he said, a smile spreading across his face. The most beautiful smile I had ever seen. Able to melt and ice cube in less than five seconds. My God, who is this guy? How can he make me feel all these things with just one look, unable to think clearly? And make my legs feel wobbly like this?
― Brent, look at my castle. ― His brother cried out. Brent looked at the kid and gave him a “like” with his hand. The boy was overjoyed and continued to strive to perfect his castle, while Brent returned to me.
― No, ― that was all I managed to say. God damn! I looked like a real freak.
― No? ― he asked, confused.
― They are not bothering me. ― I finally managed to say.
Brent approached a little more and sat next to me. There were still no signs from Brittany. I was on my own.
― For a moment, I thought you could not speak English. ― he laughed and I followed him. Now his eyes were watching his brother, who was still playing in the sand. Focused, like a real artist. Children splashing in the water behind him. Adults running everywhere. A whole life going on at that moment on that beach. ― Are you from here?
I nodded. ― And you? ― I asked.
― I am from Newport. I came to spend the summer with my dad and my half-brother. ― He said, confident and smiling. ― That little brat you see over there thinking he is building a castle when it looks more like dog poop.
― Of course, he will never know about that. At least, not by me. I must encourage him to make his art stands out. ― He continues.
― Even if it looks like shit? ― I said.
― The greatest artists started with shit and made millions for it. Maybe Thomas is a Picasso. ― We laughed. It felt so good to be there with him. The rest of the afternoon was full of laughs and we walked through the beach, like lovers do, waiting for the sunset. I had only just met him, but he gave me peace and I felt safe with him. And for the first time in my life, I wanted to avoid running away. It was as if I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Death at that moment made no sense to me. Not the death I dreamed so much about.