"Lin! Wake up. We're here!"
I lazily open my eyes and mutter something under my breath.
He's shaking me now.
"Okay, okay, I'm awake."
I turned and looked at the face of Ty, the boy sitting next to me. His eyes are sparkling as he eagerly looks out the window.
"Look, look, look!" He frantically points out the window.
I turn and see the public restrooms.
"Wow, that's exciting."
"Ugh, no, you just missed it!" Ty groaned. "And it was so pretty, too..."
Suddenly, a face popped up from the seat behind us. It was Keith, the class prankster. "Okay, why don't you two love birds kiss already?" The kid next to him, Evan, laughed.
Ty threw him a dirty look, but then he blushed and looked down at the seat, and then he looked up at me. "Um, Lin..." He started.
What? What was the problem? What did I do-
I suddenly sat up quickly. I could feel my face getting hot and I was super embarrassed. I can't believe I fell asleep on his shoulder! Oh, gosh, how long had I been laying like that? Did I make his arm fall asleep. Dang it, I'm so stupid!
The teacher then started talking in his monotonous voice about all of the safety procedures. I secretly breathed a sigh of relief as he droned on: Make sure you stay in the sight of an adult, if you go into the water, make sure your feet can still touch the floor...
Ha! I snorted. That's not gonna happen for me.
As the teacher kept talking, I noticed Ty shifting uncomfortably. He was less than 20 feet away from feeling his toes in the sand, and his whole being knew it.
Ty, Keith and Evan were the three surfer dudes in our class. They loved the ocean- no, they worshiped it. They spent every spare minute they could there, always on their surfboards.
As soon as the teacher stopped, he said, "Any Questions?"
The bus was dead silent as it slowly cruised its way right up to the sand, and stopped ever so gently and opened up its doors.
"No?" The teacher continued.
Ty was gripping the seat in front of him so hard his knuckles were turning white. Keith and Evan appeared to feel the same way.
"Okay, then." The teacher finally said. "Let's get out there and have fu-"
But he never got to finish. Ty, Keith and Evan sprinted out of there so quickly that the rest of class just had to follow, and we ended up becoming a big, sweaty, screaming blob.
It's so funny how such a similar group of people can react so differently to the same thing. I mean, we're all teens, we all grew up at the same school together, and we're all pretty much friends. But take us to a foreign place, unleash us, and sit back and enjoy the show.
The surfer kids hopped out, threw open the storage compartment, grabbed their boards and ran out to the water, whooping and hollering. It always made me kind of happy to watch them. They were excited, pumped; thrilled at the prospect of surfing when they'd normally be studying. I really enjoyed seeing Ty that way, though. He was always so... alive.
The California babes- And I mean the REAL beach girls, the ones who were simply born to lay on the beach- were so happy to be there. They just stood there, smiling and laughing. One girl literally flung herself down onto the sand and just lay there, giggling to herself. Another girl actually burst into tears. I kind of frowned at them- I was confused and a bit concerned, but I just shrugged it off.
Then there were the beach-a-phobes. They were whining and complaining the whole way here, and grumbled when we actually arrived. Now they were upset with how dirty the sand was, and how salty the water was, and how it was too bright, and how the sand was way too hot, but how the water was way too cold, and I wanted to claw my ears off my head.
And then, of course, there was me. My people. We didn't really mind the beach, it was nice. Well, it's definitely better than doing school work any day, but we didn't love it and we didn't hate it. It was just kind of... there.
Oh, yeah, and I should probably let you know that I can't swim. The thought of breathing in water, drowning, choking... it doesn't really appeal to me.
So I took a couple of my friends and we walked down relatively close to the water, but not too close. Then we laid out our towels and stretched out on them, having a short discussion as to who was going with who, who was in detention for what, and other things of the sort. Then I kind of put my head down and dazed off.
I don't remember falling asleep, but I guess I did. I had this amazing dream where I was on a surfboard with Ty. I wasn't doing so hot, considering I've never surfed before, but I think I was doing all right. Then, Ty gently reached out and placed his hands on my waist to steady me and I got butterflies in my stomach. I guess he could feel them to because he leaned forward an whispered into my ear, "It's okay. You're doing great!" His breath felt warm against my skin in contrast to the cool ocean breeze.
Then, all of a sudden, I started falling, and I crashed into the cold ocean water. Panic seized my heart and made it beat twice as fast. I fought my way up to the surface and thought, I'm drowning, I'm drowning! I was coughing and sputtering and gagging and choking and then I realized that I wasn't dreaming.
I wasn't in water, I was still on my towel, but I was sopping wet and I couldn't breathe and my head hurt and I kept coughing up water and I was scared- terrified half out of my wits, and when my eyes finally focused, I saw a large group of people surrounding me. They were my classmates and they were all shaking. Wait, not shaking... they were laughing. Huh? I was so confused. Then my eyes focused on Keith and Evan for a second, and Keith was holding a bucket, but I couldn't put the pieces together because it was all happening so fast and I was still coughing up water. Then I turned around and saw Ty running up to the scene, but for some reason he wasn't laughing. I didn't understand why.
"What..." I started, gasping for breath.
"Huh?" Ty asked.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" I screamed.
Ty took a step back and looked like he had been slapped. His eyes widened and I realized this was the first time I'd cursed, but I was too angry to dwell on the fact.
"Don't you know I can't swim?"
Keith frowned, looked at Evan, but he just shrugged. Nobody was laughing any more.
Ty was frowning, and shaking his head, and saying something like, "Lin, of course I do! You think I'd... I'd never... You got it wrong..."
But I wouldn't listen to his lies any more. I got up and started walking away.
"Lin!" Ty called, but I just walked faster.
I kept walking until my class was out of hearing distance. I sat down on the sand and wiggled my toes until they were buried and hidden from the world. I hugged my knees up to my chest and silently watched the waves come and go.
I checked the time. It said 12:30. We still had two more hours here. I groaned inwardly and sighed, drawing a little frowny face in the sand. After a while, I could feel my legs starting to fall asleep, so I got up and started walking. I passed my class and nobody seemed to care, but that was just fine with me. I kept walking until I found a little secluded area that was kind of hidden. You wouldn't notice it at first glance, but you could find me if you really wanted to.
I waddled out into the ocean a little bit and let it run up to my ankles. I fought down the fear that was rising within me and contented myself knowing that this little bit of water couldn't hurt me.
Then, I heard and angry grunt right behind me and saw something sail over my head and land with a splash in the water. I figured someone was venting by throwing rocks and called out, "That's definitely a safe thing to do!" I smiled and turned around before I realized who I was speaking to.
It was Ty.
He looked just as shocked as I felt, but then he spoke first.
"I am so sorry." His voice quivered and he looked away.
"No," I said, "I am. That was really stupid of me to not know it was Keith. I don't know why I blamed you."
He looked a little relieved, but still guilty. "Yeah, but I should have stopped Keith."
"It's okay." I smiled.
"Weeelllllll," he started, in a very suspicious high tone, but then stopped himself.
"What did you do now?" I looked at him, trying to keep a smile off my face.
"I kind of got really angry at Keith and punched him in the face after you left."
I gawked at him, my eyes wide. "Are you kidding me?" I couldn't keep the laughter out of my voice.
"Naah," He smiled. "But it's okay. We're both serving detentions every week for the next month."
"Wow." I laughed. "You really are something, you know that?"
He laughed a warm, happy laugh. "Come here, you."
He threw his arm around my shoulder and we walked back to our class, smiling.