Breaking Free

The day was hot and humid, the ocean bluish brown. Andi, Kirk, Kirk’s brother Ian, Josh, Jesse and I decided to go to Rat Island. It felt like a good day to go. The ocean was calm and it seemed like there weren’t any jellyfish out. We had been kayaking for a while and every stroke we made, the lonely island began to get bigger. It seemed like we would never get out there. It was in the late afternoon, when I would normally be taking my nap, so I was tired. Andi’s shoulder was also bad so I was doing most of the paddling. But that’s ok; I have good upper body strength. My arms ached and my legs felt useless as if they couldn’t do anything but watch as my arms suffered with every stroke.

Half way out there Kirk, Ian, and Andi decided to take a break and jump in the water to refresh themselves, my arms rejoiced at the rest. I didn’t go in, because I have a small fear of getting in deep water and not seeing whats around me. After the rest we continued our way out there. The island became bigger and bigger until I was actually standing on the beach. It was a beautiful day, but quite hot. We then made our way to the back of the island. There is in fact a rock that we swim to jump off of. Last time I went to jump off that rock I ended up getting attacked by a jellyfish, it was a fight for my life. Though I won the fight, the jellyfish left me with a cool battle scar. Whenever my friends suggest that we jump off the rock I start to get butterflies in my stomach, because of the adventure that lies ahead.

Kirk lead the way, as he always does, Andi second, Ian, and then myself. Josh was helping Jesse get to where we were, so they were a little bit slow. The swim out to the rock was dangerous; every swim stroke could be a jellyfish waiting, a rock unseen, or a huge crab wanting to suck you under and eat you alive! From where I was swimming I could tell that Kirk was able to get on the rock and help Ian up. Then I heard Andi yell out in pain, and it wasn’t one of those girl screams but a manly scream. Kirk then helped her onto the rock quickly, for a jellyfish had stung her on the leg. However, I was pretty lucky for the jellyfish was going in the opposite direction so I didn’t get stung as well. As I waited for my turn, my hand hit the rock next to me, cutting my finger in half! Well not really, but it did slice it pretty badly. Blood started to pour out of my skin and I could slowly feel the life draining out of me. I felt weak as if I wasn’t going to make it, but I was able to overcome that. When I finally was able to get to the rock Kirk told me to put my foot on a ledge, then held out his hand for me to take, and asked, “Your not going to let go of my hand are you?” There is a story behind this question, one time I did let go of his hand and went head first into a ditch. Ever since then Kirk has asked me that question when helping me. When I took his hand, his grip was hard and I could feel that he would not have let me go. It reminds me of God, how He is always there holding out a hand to help us through our lives. However, most of the time we find our own way, thinking we can do it on our own and in the end we end up getting hurt like I did when I fell. And when we do take His soft but yet hard griped hand, He doesn’t let us go.

The rock was warm once I got up onto it. Then we were about to jump off when suddenly a jellyfish came into view. One after another like the jellyfish were playing follow the leader, they came. We couldn’t jump off for fear of being stung and we couldn’t go back the way we came because of the jellyfish as well. We were marooned. With no food and no water it was a dangerous game. We had then decided to wait out the jellyfish rather than get stung by their stingers. When Josh and Jesse suddenly came into view, we told Josh to go get some sort of stick or pole to help kill the jellyfish with. Once he did, he slowly made his way out to us. Jesse stayed on the main island, as she is not the adventurous type like us. Once Josh made it out there, he wasn’t really much help for he was now marooned with us. Andi and I sat down and started to talk since there was nothing for us to do. When she saw my battle wound (the deep cut I got) She dramatically took off her shirt, don’t worry she was wearing a bathing suit, and started to rip it up. She soon had a strip of cloth for me to tie around my cut, but before she wrapped my wound up she took out a piece of rock that was still in it. The pain was so horrifying, but I was stronger than that. For I have had worse, then she gently wrapped my wound.

We five; Andi, Josh, Kirk, Ian, and I were marooned on the rock. Hunger began to slowly haunt us. The jellyfish began to win the battle, but we did not let them. We decided to wait them out. Since we had nothing to do I lied down on the rock and Andi came and lied down next to me, soon after Josh and Kirk came to join us. While Ian was trying to catch some jellyfish for us to eat; well not really, because that kind a sounds gross. After awhile he gave up and came to join us as well. So we pretty much just hung out on the rock waiting for the jellyfish to pass. I believe that it was the most peaceful time I have ever had with my best friends, I also think the left side of my face got a tan. As we lied on the warm rock we started to talk about the past, present, and future. We began to tell other stories of our trips out there, kind of like when little kids tell scary ghost stories around a campfire; however, ours weren’t that scary. It was good to laugh at old times and good to hear about our plans for the future. It was encouraging just to lye on a rock with your best friends, not worrying about the outside world but just what was happening at the moment. We encouraged each other, prayed for each other, and loved on each other. None of us cared about the time or the position on the sun, for it was close to sunset at this time.

Intermission
(This is where you can go to the bathroom or get a drink, preferable coffee.)

Finally we decided to take the way we came and face the jellyfish. The journey was a scary one, but I knew my friends had my back and wouldn’t allow me to get stung or hurt. Fear began to eat away at me, but I couldn’t become a coward and let it take over. I was the last one to jump off the rock, and I saw how the men and Andi did it. It seemed like nothing; however, I still had butterflies. As I jumped into the water, it felt cold but refreshing, since I had been lying in the sun for a while and was a tomato red on the left side of my face. The water surrounded me and it felt as if it didn’t want me to reach the surface but suck me under to the dark depths of it’s cold body. When I came up out of the water I scrambled onto a rock near by. As I waited for the next move I saw that Kirk was already on another rock giving directions as to were Ian should swim in order to avoid the jellyfish. The jellyfish were smart, but not that smart. For one thing, our brains are not made of water and jelly. Well our brains are mostly water, but not made of jelly! Anyways, slowly we were all able to make it out to the mainland and to safety. We had won the battle!

We were finally able to make it to the beach without getting stung by the jellyfish. Back on the island we decided to try to get on top of another rock, that Kirk had always wanted to get on but was never able to. Kirk was looking around at the bottom of the rock trying to find a foothold and while he was doing that, Ian decided to jump onto it. It was a mighty jump and it seemed like the world had suddenly gone into slow motion. I can still see Ian floating in the air looking like a ballerina with one foot in front and the other in the back, with his arms out above him. He landed on the rock with such gracefulness that it seemed he weighed no more then a white feather. From there he was able to find a place for us to climb onto the rock. Kirk was the first one on, then Andi, Josh, and me. I was the second to last one to climb to the top and the view was amazing, Josh came close behind me. I could see the proud look on Kirk’s face, he was finally able to beat the rock. For no rock can win against Kirk Maverick Saint Fraiser, he gets his way one way or another. We then wanted to jump off of the rock into the water; however, we were afraid that the water might be too shallow or there was a rock near by. So we did not, but we may someday.

It then began to get late, the sun was just over the hills and we still had to make it back, clean and put away the kayaks. We went back to were we left the kayaks and got our lifejackets on and made our way back to the real world. I was hesitant to leave; to go back to where suffering is, back to our everyday problems, and back to a place where we feel judged with every move we make. For Rat Island is a place where we can be free of that and just be ourselves. There is no suffering on Rat Island, except the ones we bring with us. But I have my friends nearby, they wouldn’t let me fall and if I did, they would be there to help me back up. We are always and will always be near each other to help, to encourage, love, and pray. That is the some of the best qualities of friendship.

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~ by Katie on February 28, 2010.

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