I leap into the cold winter air and feel every bit of its freshness. It is blue all the way to the horizon where the ocean meets the sky. No matter how many times I view it, the gorgeous open canvas mesmerizes me every single time. This is the only time of the day I come to the top of the ocean to see the brightness and the burning golden sun, otherwise most of the time I remain underwater. I don’t think coming to the ocean’s surface is something mother likes. I have a vivid memory of the story she told me of my sister Anna. Some greedy people shot her while she was adoring the view. Since then she dreads me coming out in the open. So, I sneak out only when mom goes out for errands.
After hours of staring at the sun and basking in its warm blithe, with reluctance, I head back home. As I swim towards my adobe, a weird tingling feeling crosses my mind. It is as if something bad is about to occur.
I enter the home before mother’s arrival. I feel good to reach before her as I don’t have to do any explanation of my ruse. I finish my homework, have a snack and complete a half-read book. She is still not back. It is unusual of mom to stay late and my worry gradually starts to mount. To deviate my mind, I turn on the television. But after hours of watching some random cartoons mom has still not returned.
My nervousness forced me to go out and look for her. I check the shop where she always goes, aunt’s house, which is her favorite place, and the neighborhood, but I fail to locate her. I check the hills under the sea where I used to swim down when I was a kid and every place I can think where she can go, but she is nowhere to be found.
Tears roll down my cheeks. How I wish mom would come and hug me like she always does. Tired of my ordeal I sit outside the Whale Tribunal – the local News Office thinking about her sudden disappearance. And then I peek inside the office. What I see made me shudder. I read the evening paper headline, “Lucinda Bertha, a whale resident of Water Wire Town, is most likely dead. It all started when she was searching her son, Max Bertha. While out in the ocean she got trapped in a whirlpool and sunk into the infamous ravine. All whales caught in that ravine had never been spotted again.”
It is now crystal clear to me. Mother must have returned early and when she couldn’t find me she must have turned nervous. And in the hullabaloo of searching, she accidentally got caught in the ravine.
I swim, as fast as I can, all the way to the whirlpool. The last thing I want is mother’s carrion flowing through the ocean. I observe the vortex as it creates force making the water move at very high-speed. I must save her she cannot be gone, leaving me all by myself. With renewed hope, I plunge into the ravine. The gyre swirl around me and I lost my senses and sink into the abyss.
A few hours later I feel someone patting my back. I open an eye and see mother, and then I open my other eye with great interest.
“Mother?” I ask with an awkward feeling. I am unable to speak properly, and neither is Mother. She is happy to see me alive. I narrate everything to her in details. “I heard you calling me so I come here for you,” I said smiling with a glee.
“You shouldn’t have come. We are stuck here forever. It is impossible to swim out of this ravine. I tried for hours, but not once successful.”
I thought for a moment and said. “Mom, we may be stuck today, but I know we will get outside this ravine soon. Maybe the water changes its directions or a magical sling pull us back up. We might escape from a slit in the ravine walls, or find a nearby drain and escape through the culvert. It may be hard swimming against the force of the water, but if we keep working and keep trying together, we will succeed. And one day, we will be out, not you or me, but you and me, together.”
Mother smiled so did I and I drift to sleep on mother’s lap remembering the beautiful horizon full of colors above the ocean.