Soft, blue waves crashed on the clean, sandy beaches. Seagulls soared over the aquamarine ocean calling at the gurgling waves beneath. A light breeze blew against my shoulder as I sat on the warm sand beneath the comforting sun.
I laid back and closed my eyes as I breathed in the salty spray of the ocean and the sweet smell of the seaweed scattered on the beach. I had waited all of my junior year for this blissful moment of relaxation. I convinced myself through the long wee hours of the night hammering out essays and early mornings at the math lab computing code-like equations that it would all be worth it because I was going to the beach.
At that point in time in my busy school-career, I was blissfully unaware that my coveted time at the beach would be completely destroyed by my little brother. I woke up July 26th ecstatic to drive to Bodega Bay to skimboard and relax on the beach with my mom and brother. In Roseville, California it was over 100 degrees before eleven o’clock so I was convinced the beach would be wonderful.
The two-hour drive was completed without a hitch and was actually mildly enjoyable — singing Bohemian Rhapsody and playing Sweet and Sour with the passing cars. When we arrived, my mom suggested we drive along the coast and find a beach with ideal waves for wakeboarding and beautiful clean sands for laying out. The coast was not the sunny wonderland I expected.
It was cloudy, foggy and cold. The soft blue waves were also not what I expected. Those supposedly soft blue waves were dark, rough, and mean, throwing surfers and swimmers around like rag-dolls.
And the sands — rocky, dirty, and covered in remnants of crabs and seaweed regurgitated by the ocean. Total disappointment. Seeing the blank stare on my face from the car window, my mom suggested we go to lunch.
Great idea, right? Wrong. We chose to go to authentic seafood restaurant on a wharf to get fresh clam chowder. I had been looking forward to fresh clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl for months, the steam rising from the thick soup, and the soft soaked bread.
The anticipation of ordering and actually eating was enough to make me crazy. When the waiter finally arrived, I ordered my lunch, folded up my menu and handed it over. The waiter just stared at me blankly and I knew something was wrong.
They were out of clam chowder. No way. I was devastated. But the waiter went on to tell me that I could still order a bread bowl. Confused, I wondered why in the world I would want the bread bowl without the coveted clam chowder. Now extremely upset, I just ordered a salad.
After lunch, we headed to the beach. I mustered up all the excitement I could manage as I walked up the sandy dunes. Despite the cold weather and chilling breeze, I shed my sweatshirt and sweats, grabbed my skimboard and headed to the waves with my brother. Being both novice skimboarders, we fell and tripped and chased our skimboards into the waves for 15 minutes before we got the hang of it. Grab the skimboard, wait for a wave to recede, through the board, sprint after it, jump on, glide, repeat.
I had just gotten my rhythm and the hang of it, when I heard a shrill wail coming from down the beach. My brother was lying in the sand on his stomach clutching his foot, his skimboard floating away in the waves toward the horizon. I threw my board in the sand and sprinted towards him. His face was red with anguish and hot, steamy tears streamed down his contorted face. I pulled him to his feet as waves crashed around us.
Now, it’s important to know my brother is 5 feet 8 inches tall and 150 pounds. I am only 5 feet 6 inches and 115 pounds. I proceeded to drag my younger brother from the wet, stinging sand, up multiple sand dunes, and over 400 feet to my mom, my feet sinking in the sand and my calves burning. The whole time, he wriggled with pain, shivered in the breeze, and howled in agony, making my drag a lot longer and laborious then necessary.
When we finally got there, a on-duty lifeguard was there ready to make his assessment. Being an archetypical lifeguard, the assessment consisted of a make-shift brace, the words dude and totally, and the walkie talkie call the all other lifeguards claiming ‘skimboarder down’. The lifeguard hoisted my brother into his truck and drove him to the hospital as my mom and I followed.Feeling distraught and angry that my beach time was over after half an hour, I dragged my feet grudgingly all the way to the car.
Five hours later, we emerged from the emergency room of Bodega Bay with crutches, a cast, a manila envelope of x-rays, and a lost summer vacation. Everything that I had hoped for dissolved into an unexpected trip to the emergency room and somber trip home. My hope and dream for relaxation after a long school year was gone. Now, the first day of my senior year, I cannot help but to ignorantly look forward to my missed day at the beach for next summer.
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