Here is the rest of the story I posted a couple days ago. Please enjoy!
A Glimmer of Hope: Continued
I think back to a few days before I boarded the plane to London. David had invited me out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Ruby Tuesdays. The night was going so perfect; we had gone to a Jazz club to dance and were getting some dinner before heading home. I was wearing my favorite black spaghetti strap dress with my sparkly black heels. David was wearing his black dress pants with a white button down shirt and a black tie. I had never seen him so dressed up for a simple date, so I began to wonder if something was going on. Still, we were having a great time, chatting about the Jazz club and enjoying fine chicken salads. Never did I expect what was coming next. When David pulled out that sparkling silver ring, I nearly choked on my glass of water. Such a shame I didn’t have that water now.
“Terra Herrens, will you marry me?” He looked at me with those sky blue eyes, and that smile of his that always melted my heart. I glanced at him and then at the ring. I wanted to say yes, I should have said yes. But my anxiety took over. My face heated up and my palms began to sweat. For some reason, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I sipped some water from my glass then took a deep breath.
“I can’t.” Those were the words that came out of my mouth. I don’t understand what happened. It wasn’t as if I had not seen David’s proposal coming. We had been dating for five years and living together for three. He had become a big part of Susie’s and my life. Our father had left a few years after Susie was born, so she never knew him. And if that wasn’t enough, our mother had passed away only four years ago in a car crash. Having no other family to take her, I was all Susie had. Until David. He had found a place in Susie’s and my heart that had been empty for so long. Only now it seemed that was gone. I have never seen David look as hurt as he did at that moment. I couldn’t bear to look at him. I leapt out of my chair and hurried out of the restaurant. My cheeks became wet with tears, as I broke into sobs. This I couldn’t understand. Why was I crying when I had just hurt the man I loved? I close my eyes tightly as raindrops start to fall softly on my face. Sleep was what I needed. Only it seemed impossible.
* * *
The wind was growing quicker, blowing my hair about. I hug myself tightly, trying to desperately to stay warm. It seems a lost cause. The waves were growing in size, something I had hoped would not happen. Each one grew higher and faster, causing the raft to fill with water. For the past few days I had tried to make myself feel numb, but I couldn’t hide my fear. I wanted to live, but I didn’t think I would make it. I saw something that made my heart stop. A gigantic wave had just formed and was racing toward me. It was over twenty feet in size, and there was no way around it. I had no time to think. The wave hit me at full force and drew me deep under water. As I was pulled under, I started to wonder if this was it. Was I going to die here? I felt myself move upwards. My life vest. I had forgotten all about it. I swam to the surface gasping for breath. “If I could just find the raft,” I thought, but it was gone. I paddled through the water searching for it, but the raft was nowhere in sight. I was truly left out in the open. I was soaked in the icy sea water, as rain beat heavily against my head. The water continued to pass over me, trying to pull me under, but I stayed above. There I stayed floating along in the storm. Floating along and wishing that I would wake up and it would all be a dream.
* * *
Time passed as I floated along in the ocean. The chill of the water filled inside me and I shivered fiercely, with my teeth chattering loudly. I was so cold, my body was numb. If a shark came along and took a bite of my limbs, I wouldn’t feel the slightest thing. Maybe I was getting hypothermia. The waves gently hit against my face; the storm clouds still lingering overhead. I closed my eyes. So this was the end. I would continue floating along until I slowly froze to death, all alone, somewhere in the ocean. I only wish I could have seen their faces again, both Susie and David. I wish I could hold Susie and tell her that everything was going to be okay, but I couldn’t. And I wish I could tell David I was wrong. I should have said yes to his proposal. I loved him so much, and now I would never be able to tell him.
I opened my eyes one more time, and then gasped. Up ahead, I saw something that made my heart leap. I saw, the tall silhouettes of skyscraper buildings, and the sandy bank of a shore. I thought I was dreaming. I closed my eyes many more times and opened them again, expecting it all to disappear. It didn’t. I had found land. There came a roaring sound from somewhere nearby. I looked over and saw a man riding in a speed boat. He was heading straight for me. From his bright orange vest with yellow stripes, I could tell he was a safety guard.
“Hey!” he called out. “You shouldn’t be out in this weather!” He stopped beside me, looking very surprised.
“Do you need help?” he asked. I shook my head in what I hoped was a nod. He then reached over and pulled me into his boat. I could barely move my body, but I managed to get inside. The man covered me with a blanket that was lying nearby.
“Ma’am! What happened?” he asked. I tried to open my mouth and say something, but nothing came out. I hadn’t spoken in quite a while and it seemed that my vocal cords had stopped working. The man seemed to notice.
“Its okay,” he said kindly. “We’ll get you to a hospital.”
I smiled, but not just because of his kind words. I was so exhausted, but so extremely happy. I felt like I had just conquered some sort of life test. Soon, I would be seeing Susie and David again. Soon, I would have their faces smiling upon me. I was given a second chance. So, I told myself that I was going to live it to its fullest, and do everything I have dreamed of doing. Starting with giving Susie an endless hug, and if he will still have me, marrying the man of my dreams, David.
“It yet remains to be seen.”
-Emily Dickinson “My Life Closed Twice At the Close”