What’s stronger? True love, or soulmates?
Strings
CHAPTER
27
Wave Breaks
“Okay, well I should go.” I say, giving Leo a kiss on the cheek and waving to Ruby and Liam.
“I should too.” Ruby says, standing up.
Liam and Leo had been let out of the hospital for Marcus’s funeral but now they were both on strict bed rest.
As it turns out Leo did in fact have a stroke, a complication with the surgery, that’s what the doctors had said. Apparently it was a minor stroke and so far he’s had no neurological side effects which according to the doctors is a good thing.
Ruby and I fall into step in the hospital hall.
“All through Marcus’s funeral I was imagining it as Liam’s.” Ruby confesses.
It hits me then, like a rock. I had been doing the same thing and I hadn’t even known it.
“Is that bad?” She asks, as we step into the elevator.
I shake my head. “I think everyone does that. Something bad happens to someone and you can’t help but think ‘what if that happens to someone I love’.” I say
“Did you do it too? Like with Leo?” She asks.
I nod, slowly. “I think I did, I just didn’t realize it until you said it.”
Ruby nods in agreement and we step out of the hospital and into California’s blinding sunny day.
“See you later.” She says, waving.
I start down the sidewalk when I spot August. He sees me too and waves, I wave back.
“Hey,” he says, smiling.
“Hey. “ I grin.
“Do you know how to surf?” He asks me.
I shake my head, “I’ve never tried.” I say.
“You live in California and you’ve never tried to surf?” He asks.
“Sue me.” I laugh.
“Well I’m from landlocked Ohio so I’m going to learn how to surf.” August says, smiling. “I’m heading to the beach right now, armed with knowledge on how to surf from Wikipedia.”
“Wikipedia, nice.” I laugh.
“Hey, you should come.” He says. “That way if I almost kill myself you can be there to call an ambulance and save the day.”
I laugh, “I have to drop some stuff off at home and change then, I’ll meet you there?”
Twenty minutes later I’m walking towards the beach, towel in hand. I spot August waving at me, standing close enough to the waves that the water washes over his feet with each wave.
“Hey.” He says.
“So are you actually going to try this? Because I can see it ending really badly.” I say, dropping my towel and bag a little away from where the waves reach.
“Oh ye of little faith.” August mocks. “I have Wikipedia knowledge and a rented board.” He says, pointing to a surf board sitting in the sand.
“I’m not even sure people surf here.” I say.
“I’ve seen a few.” He says. “Mostly in the morning, I like to come before sunrise.” He says.
“Do you ever sleep?” I ask.
He laughs.
“I hope you have a phone because this could end badly.” He laughs, grabbing the board and heading into the water.
Almost immediately August is taken out by a wave, and not even a big one at that.
The wave starts sucking the board, which August has fallen from, into the ocean and I run towards the water and start swimming to grab it. When I turn back August is stumbling up and blinking the salt water out of his eyes, I’m about to laugh when I wave comes behind me and crashes over me.
“Rule one of the ocean, never turn your back on it.”
Something my father told me once.
I pop my head up and blink the water out of my eyes. Gingerly I stand up, I was thrown onto a deposit of larger shells, some of which scraped my arms and legs.
“I take it you’ve never been to the ocean.” I say to August, who seems to have been taken out by the wave like me.
“I told you, I’m from a land locked state.” August says, shaking some broken shells from his blond hair. “Besides, you just got taken out.” He laughs.
“I turned my back on the ocean, my mistake, but you’re still the one who lost the surf board.” I say. Then I realize it. I look around, the yellow board has made it’s way pretty far from shore, almost to where the big waves break.
“You were saying?” August laughs.
“Come on, you said you rented it, you don’t want to loose it.” I say, starting to swim towards it.
“Why are you coming? It’s my board.” August says.
“Because I clearly have to be here in case you start drowning.” I say, smiling.
The thing about swimming in the ocean is you always feel like your going farther than you actually are. Maybe it’s the waves or something but I always feel like I’ve traveled far when I really haven’t.
It takes ages to reach the board, and when we do a big wave begins to break.
“Go under it!” I shout to August, who clearly has no idea how to swim in the ocean.
I duck under it and when I pop back up, the remnants of the wave bubbling around me, August is no where to be seen.
“August?” I call out. No answer.
The surf board is floating a few feet away from me and I have to duck as another wave begins it’s hasty decent.
“August?” I shout again when I break the surface of the salty sea. “August!” I call out.
Another wave begins to break and just before I begin to duck under it I see a flash of blond hair.
Beneath the waters surface I start swimming the direction I think I saw August. I break the surface again and take in a gasping breath but my timing is far from perfect because another wave begins to break again and I half to duck down again with barely a breath.
As much as it hurts I squint beneath the water, searching for August. With my lungs screaming for air I break the surface and spot another flash of a blond haired head.
“August!” I shout.
His head whips around to face me, green eyes almost afraid, then another wave begins it’s decent.
I duck down and this time I see August do the same. I swim towards him under the waters surface, my eyes burning. I reach him and grab his hand, together we break the surface and take gasping breaths.
Another wave begins to break and I begin to duck, August follows. We start swimming back towards the shore, the waves carrying us but pulling us back at the same time.
When we reach the shore we quickly retreat from the waves crashing against the cool sand. We sit there on the beach for a moment, catching out breath.
August turns to me. “I honestly didn’t think I would need you to save me.” He says, his green eyes rimmed with red from the salty sea.
“I didn’t think that either.” I confess.
“I’m glad you were there.” He says, smiling. “I don’t think I’m going to surf.” He decides.
“Yeah, maybe try mastering actually swimming in the ocean first.” I laugh.
August’s smile fades. “I’m going to have to pay for that board.” He sighs, and I laugh, mostly with relief. That could’ve ended very badly.
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