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Authors: Gracie Marie

Shark Lover

Shark Lover
 
By
Gracie Marie
 
 

 

Copyrighted © 2013.
Gracie Marie
Prologue

           
The
sun was shining down the horizon along the coastline of the shore beginning the
end of a gorgeous day on Stinson Beach. Ruminants of children’s existence lined
the beach in the form of sandcastles and abandoned sand buckets. The beach was
less crowded at this time of day with the exception of couples taking a
romantic walk down the beach. He wished that she could have been with him in
this moment; soaking it all in. She would have already been deep in the water
calling for him to come join her. She was brave and had a sense of pride that
he had always admired since the day he met her. He missed her smile, the way
she said his name so care freely. With her memory in his mind he joyfully sat
in the sand reminiscing of the perfect love he had.

 How
great it felt to be alive, to have the world at his feet, ready for the taking.
He sat along the coastline taking in the gorgeous view; life was too short to
waste time doing anything that didn’t bring him happiness. He knew the ocean
was where he belonged. His dad had taken him to this beach. When he was just
five years-old he had mastered the art of surfing a wave with his bare hands.
It was an art not a skill, his father had told him. Surfing was a skill that
used both the mind and the body; forcing them to come together to create
beautiful magic.

He
looked into the dark blue water thinking the waves seemed to be calling his name.
He grabbed his long red surfboard and put it under his left arm. His surfboard
had belonged to his father. He brought it with him as if he was bringing a
memory of his magnificent old man with him. Red was his father’s favorite
color, he said the board was composed of good luck. Red was the color of blood
which brought life; not death.  His father was not only his teacher, but his
best friend. He missed him on warm ocean days like this.

His
wetsuit was still dry and his dark brown hair had yet to become wavy from the
salty ocean water that he loved so much. His light brown eyes glimmered from
the reflection of the cool blue waves he throttled into. He pounded the board
into the water and jumped on top of it as fast as he could. He paddled along
with the waves. As his father would say, it was as if he and the water worked
in unison; they had truly become one.

Where
he surfed wasn’t for the faint of heart, it was a place where serious surfers
came to catch a wave along the California coastline. She was the reason he had
come back to this beach. Without her, he would have never faced his past or
done things that put fear into the gut of his stomach. Ever since his dad died,
a piece of him had been missing. Through her he was starting to find himself
again and the things that had brought him true happiness in this world.

It
had been a long time since he had been on a board. In the wake of his
depression, he had given up everything that made him who he was. He had
forgotten what surfing had meant to him. It used to mean everything to him. He
would wake up and run to the beach across the bays of San Francisco, his
beautiful hometown where he had been born and raised. He would get on his red
board and surf the day upon end. His dad would meet him at the beach around 5
o’clock to watch his son’s amazing strength and talent unfold across a sea of
crashing waves. He would loudly clap his hands as his son rode the waves with
the true graces of a pro.

And
to think he had almost gone pro, but life had a different path for him. Through
school he realized his dream was to be a marine biologist. Studying the amazing
creatures of the ocean had become his passion. He appreciated sea lions most.
They had become some of his closest friends. He loved to swim and dive with
them, when he wasn’t working of course.

Shrugging
off his thoughts, he realized that he had already paddled out deep into the ocean.
The coastline looked like a small speck of sand that had looked unreachable at
this distance. He started to worry that he had come out too far. What had he
been thinking? He hadn’t surfed in years and here he was deep out in the ocean
with only a few other surfers behind him. He decided to momentarily
decompensate the fear as the perfect wave approached him. He hopped on the
board and took off like a rocket. He zipped in and out of the wave until he
fell off of his board. The ocean pulled him into its strong currents as he came
up laughing with glee. That ride had felt amazing. He had remembered what had
drawn him to the ocean in the first place.

He
drifted back onto his board with a huge smile plastered across his face. This
was what life was all about. Taking chances and living with no regrets. He
could feel his heart scream with happiness. This is what he had been missing
all of those years. He didn’t know why he had ever agreed to give it up. As he
began paddling on his board again, he noticed something gray swimming
underneath him. He hoped with all of his heart that it would be a sea lion. He
stuck his head into the water and saw white fluffy whiskers and dark brown eyes
staring back up at him. In his mind he silently named him, Oscar. He smiled and
ran his hand over Oscar’s head. He handed him some shrimp from his back suit
pocket as he began paddling for the next wave. Oscar swam away quickly as the
water became rougher and the waves came crashing down.

He
smiled as his newly made friend splashed away into the deep currents of the
ocean. He caught wave after wave, each one bringing more excitement then the
next. He looked down at his watch, surprised it was already 5 o’clock. He
realized it was time to get back now. The sun had almost set and he needed to
get home. He paddled quickly back to shore, ignoring the forceful waves crashing
down around him. A dark shadow was creeping up underneath him. He smiled hoping
it was Oscar coming back again for some more shrimp. His smile went dead after
he saw a sharp key shaped fin and a razor cut tail pop out of the water.

There
wasn’t even any time to scream. His board felt as if it been snapped in half
and the Jaws of Life were already cutting his intestines in half. He tried to
get away in panic throwing his body to the half of the board that was left and
pushing his feet to kick. It was no use. The shark had his entire body in his
mouth and it didn’t seem like he planned on letting go anytime soon. The
pushes, thrusts and kicks were getting him nowhere. The shark pulled him
underwater and shook him as fiercely as remotely possible. He was losing
conscientiousness
and his world was turning as black as the ocean. He couldn’t give up without a
fight. He tried punching the tip of the nose of the shark in the hope he would
let the rest of his aching body go. He used the knuckles of his fists in an
effort to fight off the terror that was now his life.

By
some miraculous act of God, the shark’s jaws left his stomach and sank back
into the ocean. He couldn’t feel his legs anymore. All he felt was intruding
pain all throughout his body.  The thought of moving killed his soul. He didn’t
want to die here in the middle of the ocean alone and bloodied. He used his
last ounce of strength to get back on the small piece of his board he had left.
He tried to regain his composure for her. He couldn’t die here, he couldn’t
lose her. Surfing had been replaced by her. She was his everything. He fought
to stay alive for her.

 His
last thoughts were on the way her blond hair curled around her face when her
hair was soaked from the ocean. He loved being in the ocean with her. He loved
being with her. Period. But he grew tired losing his strength and his will to
live. She had to know she was his everything if he died. He struggled to take
out a pen in his back pocket that luckily remained a piece that was part of his
body. He uncapped the pen with his mouth. He pulled his bloody hand up on the
board to write her name and that he loved her. This might be the last piece she
would have of him, he wanted it to be special.

All
he saw was red all around him. His hands were soaked in blood. As he reached
down to touch his stomach, he realized half of it was gone. He took the gold
ring off of his left hand and placed it above his scribbled writing. His
fingers slipped off his board as the world around him blackened. He sank into
oblivion, becoming the one thing he never wanted to be. A statistic of another
death in the Red Triangle.   

Chapter 1

Present
Day

She
always believed that God had a plan for everyone, she just didn’t think hers
would turn out this way. She sat on a rock overlooking the sun setting across
Ocean Beach, reminiscing about the better times in her life. Three years ago
everything had been perfect. She thought things were too good to be true and
apparently she had been right. She had just finished her graduate degree in
Marine Biology, landed her dream job at an aquarium and had met the love of her
life. In what felt like an instant it was all gone.

Nothing
had been going Cathy’s way lately. She hadn’t worked in over a year. It wasn’t
that she couldn’t find a job; she was just too depressed to even look. The
aquarium had laid her off two years ago. They had told her to take some time
off and grieve. They hoped she would come back eventually, she just never did.
Marine life wasn’t her passion anymore. It reminded her too much of him.
Everything
in the aquarium
reminded her of him. She couldn’t quit crying when she went to work; not that
being at home all the time made her feel any better. She wasn’t the same person
she was three years ago and everyone around her knew it.

Cathy’s
mother had been worried about her constantly. She suggested Cathy pursue
therapy to start the process of dealing with his death. Cathy was too strong-willed
for therapy. Since she was a child, she had been fearless and never let
anything in the world hold her back. She’d jumped across rivers, climbed
mountain tops and even survived surfing in the Red Triangle. She didn’t feel so
fearless anymore. She didn’t do anything in the water anymore. She barely made
it to the beach even though she lived ten miles away from it.

She
ran a hand through her sandy blond hair and let out a small sigh. She didn’t
know what to do with her life now that he was gone. He had been her rock, her
salvation. He always knew how to protect her from danger. From the day she met
him, she knew he was the one. A tear ran down the left side of her cheek as she
thought about the day he first told her he loved her. They had been walking
along the sandy beach together hand in hand. He looked deep into her crystal
blue eyes and told her he loved her more than anything in the world. He asked
her if she felt the same. Cathy didn’t even have to think about the question.
He could see the answer in her warm blue eyes.

Everyday
life was too painful to live without him. When he first died, she figured she
would just lease another apartment other than the one they shared so much time
together in. It ended up being too hard to get rid of the apartment. Too many
great memories had occurred there. She couldn’t just throw all of his stuff
away and move on. She had lost many friends since his death. It wasn’t because
they hadn’t been supportive, it was just she didn’t want to talk to anyone let
alone go out of the apartment.

She
stood up and started walking back to her apartment in the heart of San
Francisco. It was supposed to be the city of love, yet she felt so painfully
alone. She watched the sun finally set into the distance and let her back turn
on the light. Life was even harder to live now because she finally had the
answers. She thought for three years she wanted to know, but right after the
moment she found out she knew she had made the wrong decision. Her life had
changed forever. She had to accept it as it was or suffer the consequences. There
would be no turning back now.

Chapter 2

Three
years earlier

The
moment their eyes met across the room, she could feel the spark. She knew he
was the one she was meant to share her life with. From one look into his dark
brown eyes, she was sold. Cathy tried to intently focus on Professor Tyson as
he droned on and on about Molecular Evolution, but the new mysterious
attractive guy sitting in the last row of the bio lab had her full attention.
She gave the cute guy a slight smile and looked down, hoping that Professor
Tyson would think she was studying her notes. He didn’t buy it.

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