Embracing the Water | Teen Ink

Embracing the Water

February 3, 2009
By Bella PLATINUM, Belleville, Illinois
Bella PLATINUM, Belleville, Illinois
20 articles 3 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"loving someone who doesn't love you is like worshiping the behind, of a wooden statue, of a hungry devil." -author unknown

My feet were dangling off the edge of a small dock. 'Rachel, lunch is ready!' my mother yelled and I got up. I lived in a town called Alton and it was summer. As I ran toward the little white house and my red hair flew back. It was the year of 1993 and I'm only seventeen years old. It was Tuesday July 26, and the Mississippi river was dangerously high. As I at down to eat I noticed that our town was in a flood watch. 'They said earlier that the river would crest Saturday.' Father informed. 'Shouldn't we leave?' My brother, Jasper, asked. 'The river won't raise this high!' Father laughed and I was shocked. 'I'm going to go with my friends to New York, I'll be back soon.' Jasper explained and was walking out the door. 'Have fun!' I smiled and he nodded before taking off with his friends. 'Hey, some of my friends want to go out for dinner, can I go?' I asked. 'Sure, but stay out of the water.' Mother nodded and after lunch I went upstairs to get an outfit ready. Later on, I went outside and got in my car. As I drove by the river, I looked out at the swirling water. One of my friends nearly drowned when he was younger; his name is Quinn. I liked him a lot, but I doubt that he liked me at all. We've known eachother for two years and he's very amusing. 'Hey, Quinn, Cassie!' I called as I approached them. 'Hey, Rachel!' She smiled. 'Hello!' Quinn replied and I sat down next to Cassie. 'Did you here about how much rain they got up north?' She questioned me. 'They got like 8in.' Quinn voiced and he shuddered. 'I hope this area doesn't flood.' I muttered and we ordered. 'Did you see Kayla, she dyed her hair pink!' Cassie giggled. 'She looks like she fell in a cotton candy machine!' Quinn laughed. 'I can't believe she'd do that, her hair is frizzy enough!' I sighed and I glance outside. It was getting dark and I knew my parents would start to worry. 'You have to go?' Quinn guessed and I nodded. 'Bye guys, see you soon!' I beamed as I walked to my car. I drove home with my mind still on Quinn's face and hurried inside my home. 'Did you have fun?' Mother inquired and I nodded. 'Goodnight mom.' I yawned and then I went to bed. I dreamt that I was swimming and a current pulled me down. I thrashed about, but I couldn't reach the surface and water began to fill my mouth. I woke with a scream trapped in my throat and realized that my best friend lived threw that. Falling back to sleep, I shivered and turned.

In the morning I got up and saw that it was raining. I made myself breakfast and went to sit out on our deck. There was a roof overhead, so I didn't have to worry about the light rain that was falling. The birds chirped and soon the grey morning was filled with song. When I finished, I walked out from my protected deck and wandered out into the wet grass. Even though the sky was grey, I realized how beautiful this place really was. 'Rachel?' a voice called and I turned. I saw a familiar boy with pale white skin and wavy brown hair. 'Oh hi, Quinn.' I blushed because I was wearing a tank top and some pajama pants. 'It's supposed to rain all day.' He muttered as he glanced at the raindrops that were soaking my hair. 'Yeah, I just came out here to check on our pond.' I lied because I really came out here to play in the rain and I walked over to the pond. 'You're going to fall in if you get any closer.' He informed and sure enough I slipped on the grass. I landed in the pond with a little gasp as I fell. My head hit the side and my vision blurred a little. 'Rachel, are you okay?' he asked as he bent down and scooped me up in his arms. 'Owe, my head kind of hurts.' I confessed and he carried me to the deck, where he sat me down on the bench. 'You are so clumsy!' he chuckled and I glared at him. My mother came out and gave both of us a stern look. 'What's going on out here?' she demanded. 'Your daughter fell in the pond and she hit her head.' Quinn explained. 'Are you okay?' She wondered. 'I'm fine mom, I just smell like fish.' I teased. 'Go take a shower and put on some clean clothes, I'm sure Quinn will be back later.' She ordered when I didn't move. 'Bye and thanks.' I sighed and he waved as he walked back toward his house. I gathered up a short sleeve shirt and a pair of shorts, before I escaped into the shower. When my hair was dry, I noticed that the sun had decided to peek out from behind the clouds. 'I'm going out, bye mom!' I called over my shoulder as I slipped out the door. The air was tinted with the promise of more rain, so I had grabbed my umbrella. I walked in the moist grass without thinking about where I was going until I was on Quinn's doorstep. I knocked and he opened the door. 'Hey, did you come back so I could rescue you from another shallow pond?' he teased and I laughed. 'No, I was wondering if you'd like to walk with me over to Cassie's and we could all walk to town.' I smiled. 'Sure, but do you want me to grab you a life jacket?' he grinned and I glared at him. He chuckled and together we set off for Cassie's house. 'Hi Quinn!' Kayla called and we both turned. Her very bright pink hair was extremely frizzy from the moisture in the air and she was fluttering her eyelashes. 'Hello Kayla.' He sighed and I laughed quietly at him. She turned when I laughed and her face went sour. 'Oh, hi Rachel.' She sneered and then Quinn surprised me. As I tensed to smack her, he put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me away. 'Nice hair Kayla, you look like a clown.' He laughed over his shoulder and I laughed too. We continued onward and he still hadn't removed his arm from my shoulder, but I didn't mind. I knocked on Cassie's door and she joined us, but I saw her smile at his arm that was still there. I've always been jealous of her relationship with Quinn, but it was clear right then that she didn't like him like that. 'We ran into Kayla this morning and she was extremely rude to Rachel.' Quinn grinned. 'He told her she looked like a clown!' I smiled and he ruffled my hair. 'Come on, I want to see if they have rocky road at the ice cream shop!' Cassie rolled her eyes and Quinn's arm fell from my shoulders. I noticed that his skin was very cold to the touch, but I regarded as the moisture of the air. Together we walked into the ice cream shop and selected our usual ordered. I was happily eating my spumoni ice cream when I saw that cotton candy pink hair. 'Oh great, here comes trouble.' Quinn whispered as Kayla's group walked in the door, but to our pleasure they ignored us. With Cassie leading the way, we went to the little souvenir store. I found a really pretty charm bracelet chain. I bought it and saw that Cassie had found a mood ring. 'You're crazy about those things!' I grinned and she bought it. I didn't see what Quinn bought, but he was holding a bag too. 'Shall we head home?' he murmured and we started heading back. Once Cassie had left, I realized something. 'You didn't tell her that I fell in the pond, thank-you.' I pointed out. 'I thought you would be embarrassed.' He shrugged, but I was amazed by his kindness because if it had happened to Cassie he would have told. We were standing in front of his house now and it was time to part. 'Bye.' I sighed. 'Bye and don't fall into any puddles.' He called and then he disappeared into his house. I was still laughing when I got home until I turned on the TV. The weather forecaster was explaining that the river would crest Friday and that many places were already flooded. It was also suppose to rain tomorrow too. 'Oh dear, I hope it's not as bad as it sounds.' Mother gasped as she walked in. 'should we leave?' I asked. 'I don't know.' She whispered and I went upstairs to my room. I glanced out my window and lightning flashed across the sky making me jump. The storm grew more intense and I did not sleep well at all. At one point the thunder was so loud I jumped and the light in the hall flickered. Finally, I fell asleep when there was a lull in the storm.

I woke to the sound of heavy rain pounding on my window and I looked out. There was water lapping at our deck and I gasped. 'Dad, come look at this!' I yelled and my parents rushed to my room. 'Oh my god, we need to leave!' mother whimpered. 'It's too late to leave, I bet the road out of here is flooded.' Father murmured and I found comfort in my mother's arms. We gathered up food and prepared to wait this out, not knowing how bad this was going to get. There was a knock on the door and I opened it. My two best friends were there and I let them in. 'I'm leaving tonight.' Cassie frowned and I gave her a hug. 'I'm going to stay, but I thought we could have a going away party for Cassie.' Quinn explained. We sat down and watched movies until it was time for Cassie to go. 'Bye.' I cried as gave her another hug. 'Bye.' She sobbed. 'I'll be back after I make sure she gets home safely.' Quinn promised and I nodded. 'Don't think of it as good bye, think of it as I'll see you soon.' Quinn smiled and we nodded. They both walked out into the nightmare storm. 'She'll be safe.' Mother promised and I nodded. 'Jasper just called and said that a city north of here is submerged in water.' Father grimaced and I knew we had to get to higher land. 'We should go to Terra Point.' I suggested. 'I called and they're over crowded, we have to stay here.' He muttered. 'What about all of the people who could die down here!' mother hissed. 'That's what I said.' Father sighed and I heard the door knock again. I let Quinn in and I know he could see the sadness in my eyes. 'What's wrong?' he asked. 'A city north of here is submerged in water and we're next.' I breathed and he pulled me into his arms. I sobbed on his shoulder, but he didn't seem to care. 'Would you like to move to my parent's house we live on higher ground?' He asked my father. 'Would your parents mind?' father pondered. 'No, they would love to help you.' Quinn replied. 'Oh, thank-you Quinn!' mother beamed and I smiled at him. 'Lets hurry over before it gets dark.' Father ordered and we gathered up our stuff. I was carrying one of my suitcases and one for my brother. I had packed his favorite posters and all of his photography things. 'Here I'll take that.' Quinn offered and he took the heaviest suitcase. He acted like it wasn't even heavy, but I knew it was. 'Thanks.' I gasped because I was struggling with my bag. We walked out into the storm and water licked at our knees. 'Mother, father, I've brought us guests, their home's in flood danger.' He called out and his parents appeared out of thin air. 'Please make yourselves at home, we're happy to help.' His mother beamed and I knew she was delighted to help us. 'Thank-you, for your kindness' father sighed and Quinn's father showed my parents to their room while I followed Quinn. We were all sleeping on the second floor. 'Here, you can sleep here.' He informed as he gestured toward a spare room. 'Thanks, I really appreciate this.' I yawned and outside the sky was deep ink black. Suddenly there was a flash of pure white and then the lights went out. Thunder shook the house and I jumped. Quinn grabbed my arm gently and led me out into the main room where my parents were. 'Rachel?' mother whispered and I could hear the fear in her voice. 'I'm here mom.' I called and Quinn took my hand in his. 'The river's suppose to crest tomorrow.' Mother muttered. 'What are we going to do?' I thought aloud and Quinn put his hand on my shoulder. 'You're safe with us.' He promised and I believed him. He walked me back to my room and I fell asleep quickly. I had the dream where I was drowning again. There was a difference though, when the water filled me lungs, someone pulled me out. I realized I was crying and that someone was holding me in their arms. 'You're okay.' Quinn breathed and I leaned my head against his chest. 'I had a dream that I was drowning, I couldn't breathe, I'm so sorry you had to live threw that.' I sniffed and I felt him freeze. 'Did you know you talked in your sleep?' He chuckled lightly and I nodded. 'How bad was I?' I asked. 'You kept calling out and then you started sobbing I can't breathe, help me, but worst of all you started to make choking sounds.' He murmured and I noticed how icy his hands were on my shoulder. 'Did anyone else here?' I whispered and in the darkness I saw him shake his head. I yawned and he got up to leave. 'Would it be too much to ask you as a friend to stay until I fell asleep?' I called softly. 'I thought we were more than friends.' He grinned and sat down next to me. 'Thank-you, for everything.' I laughed and he laid down next to me. 'Sleep peacefully now.' He breathed and I drifted off. He fell asleep too and I realized he admitted that he liked me.

I woke and the floor was moist. 'Oh my god!' mother screamed and I rushed to her side. The road was slowly filling up with water and I could see the river. 'Our house is probably underwater.' Father gasped. 'We need to leave, grab your bags and meet here in five minutes, we have two boats.' Quinn's father ordered and we all rushed to grab our things. I was wearing my little charmless charm bracelet and Quinn walked in. 'I bought this for your bracelet and I want you to have it before we get on the boats.' He admitted and I flushed red. He gently grabbed my wrist and then dropped it. On my bracelet now hung a solitary eagle charm with its wings spread wide. 'It's beautiful, thank-you.' I gasped and he suddenly had me in his arms. 'Do you really mean that?' he asked and I nodded. 'Of course I do, you know how much I love the eagles.' I laughed breathlessly. 'Do you trust me?' he asked and his voice grew serious. 'With my life.' I admitted and he leaned in. I closed my eyes as he kissed me ever so gently. He pulled away and I blushed. 'Come on, we have to go face the storm.' He grinned as he put his arm around my shoulder. 'Okay, Quinn and Rachel will ride in one boat and the rest of us will ride in the other.' His father explained and we headed outside into our boats that he had brought out. Quinn lifted me easily and then we were out on the deep floodwater. Waves licked at the boat and our boat was began to roll. 'Hold on!' Quinn called out and I heard his fear. Suddenly, the boat rolled forcefully and I crashed into the water. I slipped under, but came back up quickly. 'Help me!' I screamed before I was dragged under again. 'Hold on Rachel!' He replied as I started floating down stream. I saw a tree limb above the water and I braced myself as I slammed into it. Pain erupted from my head and my arm, which hit the tree at full force. With great effort, I grasped a higher branch and pulled myself above the water. I could only use my one arm though because the other one hurt. With that one arm wrapped tight around the tree, I struggled against the current that had its hold on my legs. 'Grab my hand!' Quinn yelled and he was shaking hard. I was so tired and I fell into the water. 'Rachel!' he called as my head hit the branch and I blacked out. My motionless body sank to the bottom and tangled in a hammock. I woke and fought against my hold while water began to fill my mouth. Above the surface Quinn was locked in panic. He was reliving his drowning before he had changed. He came to his senses and drove into the brown water. I was floating in the water and then I wasn't alone anymore. Quinn ripped the ropes that tangled me and I saw that he was talking to me. My throat burned and my vision clouded. 'I won't loose you, don't give in!' he shouted threw the water and then our heads were above the surface. I was barely conscious as he dragged me onto the boat and water poured out of my mouth. 'Breathe!' he ordered and I felt him smacking the water from my lungs. Water erupted from my lungs and I gasped. 'How'how did you talk under water?' I choked as I coughed up more water. 'I'I'I don't know what you're talking about.' He stuttered and he looked ashamed. 'He whispered and I nodded. You saved my life, I don't care if you're an alien and I love you.' I hissed. 'I think you hit your head too hard.' He sighed and then he took me in my arms and kissed me. 'Why won't you tell me?' I asked. 'It's not my secret to tell and I need to get you to a hospital.' he admitted and looked away, but I took his face in my hands. I kissed him fiercely and he held me close. He paddled us toward the shore where the others were waiting. 'What happened?' my mother asked and we looked into eachother's eyes. 'A strong wave knocked Rachel overboard and she hit her head on a tree branch.' Quinn explained as he gently handed me over to my father. 'Sir, I'm a nurse, maybe I can help?' a woman called and mother beckoned her forward. 'She looks like she has a concussion and she might have aspirated some of the water, there's a doctor up the road.' The woman informed and my father carried me along the way, but his arms grew tired, so Quinn took me. 'Oh my, bring her in and we'll help.' The doctor ordered and I was laid on a table. 'Yes, she's got a concussion, but there's no more water in her lungs and she's got a fractured bone in her arm.' He sighed after he examed me. They wrapped my arm tightly, which really hurt and they put a wet towel on my head. I was so tired that I fell asleep when Quinn moved me to a guest bedroom.

I awoke, but I couldn't open my eyes just then, and that's when I heard voices. 'Can we trust her?' one said. 'With her life, she'd never tell anyone, she really cares about all of us.' Quinn whispered and I realized he wanted to tell me, but his parents weren't sure. 'I'm not sure right now's a good time because there's something else wrong with her, I can smell it.' His mother hissed and I realized my head was burning with pain. The pain was so great that I twitched my arms and legs causing me to knock over something. Suddenly, Quinn was by my side and he locked my arms down, so I wouldn't damage it. 'What's wrong?' he asked and I struggled against him. 'Make it stop, it hurts!' I sobbed and I realized how bad I was shaking. He placed his cold hand on my head and I stopped moving as the pain numbed a little. 'You're very sick, we need to get you to a real hospital.' He murmured, but I had fallen asleep again. He left for a moment and returned with the doctor. 'She was screaming and struggling, her head was really warm, I think she might have more than a concussion,' Quinn informed. 'There might be internal bleeding in her head, there's nothing I can do here if that's the case.' The doctor frowned because he didn't want this girl, who survived the flood to die. 'She's going to die, isn't she?' Quinn asked and the doctor could only nod before he left. Very gently he sat laid down next to me and stroked my head. 'I've fought so hard to save you and it turns out I just made death for you harder.' He whispered sarcastically. 'Quinn?' I murmured in my sleep and he pulled me into his arms. His unnatural body temperature kept the pain dulled, so I could sleep peacefully. 'I hurt!' I gasped as I woke awhile later. 'Calm down, you're alright.' Quinn sighed, but I couldn't think. My head felt like an atomic bomb had blown up inside my skull. 'Make it stop, please make it stop!' I whimpered and I could tell that my pain was coming to an end. 'Hang in there, please, I'll tell you a story.' He pleaded as I tossed and turned in his arms. 'I was drowning, when a man jumped in the water to save me, I was dying and he bit me.' he paused as my frantic moments began to slow and he sat up before pulling me into his lap. 'He turned me into what I am today, a vampire, and that's why I acted like I never loved you, I was doing that because I didn't want to hurt you.' He whispered and he leaned down to kiss my forehead. 'Help me.' I breathed as my heartbeat started to become irregular. 'I don't want you to die, but I don't want you to become this monster that I am.' He admitted and I grew still in his arms, only by my heartbeat, could you tell I was alive. 'My baby!' my mother called and I heard her run from the room as someone approached us. 'If you love her, then save her, but don't let yourself be miserable.' His mother hissed and I tried to open my eyes. 'Forgive me love.' He begged as I slipped unconscious. He sank his teeth into my arm and the venom raced threw my dying veins. I flinched in his arms as my eyes flew open. He had his lips against my arm still and I gasped as this new pain took over my body. 'Stop!' I managed to say and he pulled away from me with bright red lips. I could see the pain in his eyes, but I could also see the joy that I was going to live. He held me tightly as one by one my organs went threw their transformation. With one last painful pulse, my heart stopped and I was a vampire.

'Rachel?' Quinn asked and I turned my head to look him in the eye. 'I'm here.' I replied and my voice sounded like the soft pattering of rain on the ground. I blinked because everything was so clear. 'You have to lie down now and not breathe or move because your parents can not know about what we are.' He explained and I nodded. Deep down I loved my parents, but I knew it was time to let go. I went limp in his arms and cut off my breathing. The door opened and my parents came in. 'She died in my arms.' Quinn sobbed and I heard sorrow in each word. 'She was only seventeen!' mother cried and I felt her warm hands push away the hair from my eyes. 'She was always the selfless child.' Father whispered beside her. They left the room and I heard them making plans to stay with Jasper. The doctor was avoiding my room and I opened my eyes. 'They're going to bury you tomorrow, you can not move, just relax until I free you and then we can leave.' He breathed into my ear. 'I love you.' I whispered as I closed my eyes. 'I love you too.' He replied as he kissed me before he went to sit in a chair. I let my body freeze until I looked just like I would if I was really dead.

The next day, I remained limp as they placed me in a coffin. I heard family members say a few last words and then the door was closed. My eyes opened and I felt myself being lowered into a hole. Though it was pitch black, I could see everything. I was in a white dress and on my arm was the charm bracelet. The sounds of crying and heartbeats were very clear to my new ears. Finally, the footsteps disappeared and I was submerged in silence. Waiting was the hardest part, but soon I heard the sound of digging and then sunlight flooded into my crypt. 'Sorry it took so long, we had to drive your parents to an airport.' He apologized. 'What happens now, I mean I have no family anymore and I can't speak to my other best friend.' I questioned and he gave me a sympathetic glance. 'We get married and move somewhere remote.' He suggested as he helped me up. I shook off the dirt and gazed out at the newborn sea. 'Sounds go to me.' I replied as we walked toward the edge of the water. Hand in hand, we embraced the water as we sank beneath its surface and approached our new life.

The author's comments:
This story was inspired by i trip to Alton where you can still see the 1993 flood line today.

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