I always loved the ocean. It seemed endless, like it extended forever on the horizon. Standing on the shore it was hard to imagine that there was land miles off in the distance. Feeling the push and pull of the ocean has always filled me with awe; like it wanted to take me away from all the terrible problems of the shore.
That’s probably the silliest thought anyone could have… but mom never thought it was silly. We sat there on the shore, feeling the waves underneath us. Her and dad fought over his business, how he was always away, how he should spend time with me because I was the youngest child and I was already in middle school. It’s true I never saw him but I didn’t mind. We lived next to the ocean because of dad’s business. He was always on his research ship, either hunting or examining specimens. He left us here with mom and grandma, visits fewer the older I got. Mom missed him. I had laid my head on her shoulder as we watched dad's ship take off out to sea; problems unresolved.
Mom had sighed and told me that they weren’t going to be together anymore, but “it was worth it,” she said, “true love only comes once in your life and it’s magical. It’s something that only one soul can give you, and you must always take your shot with love. Cherish it. If you're happy, it was worth it.”
She had passed away later that night. The doctors said it was a heart attack. That it was unusual and awful that it happened to someone so young. I disagreed; I believed her heart was broken. That dad was her soulmate but was too blind to see it. Father didn’t hold a funeral for her and he never cried over her loss. He didn’t know what to do with my siblings and I; after a screaming match with grandma he took us with him on his ship and hired an on-board tutor for homeschooling. I hated life on the ship, but mostly I hated my father.
Three years later, on my sixteenth birthday, father gave me a gift that made me hate him slightly less: a deep-diving submersible designed to reach depths almost as deep as the Deepsea Challenger: which had reached the bottom of the Marina Trench. He had me trained how to man it on my own, and then my siblings. Soon after my older brother received a pod as well and I never stayed aboard the ship if I had the option. The crew weren’t as pleased with kids using expensive research technology as toys but I would have cared less. Life became less miserable then, I would be in the pod from the beginning of the day until the end-watching the undersea lifeforms pass me by and exploring everything. Dad gave me another gift months later which heightened my love of the sea: diving equipment and upgrades to my pod which allowed me to explore outside of my pod. My life seemed happier than it had been, but everything changed too. My eyes were opened to a whole new world, wider…. but also, darker. Had I known about the oncoming storm I wonder if I would have changed anything….