Nick tasted the salty air of the bluff beach that morning, the deep blue rolling waves crashed on to faded crystal sand. The grey clouds hung in the heavens above as Nick scrubbed his board with the sticky clump of wax. A single strand of hair fell out of his small bun and teased across his sullen expression. It had been four months since he was in the car accident that shifted his life. Driving with his mate and a moment of distraction along with a just not quite enough speedy reaction and another 100km/h car. It ended with a best mate gone.
Nick attached the sandy leg rope to his ankle and swung his cold stiff board under his arm. As his toes touched the icy water and jogged deeper and deeper into the waters, the wetsuit clung to his body loosening ever so slightly as the material became wet. Nick jumped onto his board and sat with his legs straddled on either side. He let his body rock as he passed over smaller waves. Nick’s mind was buzzing, he had hoped that the sweet wave would nurture his mind and allow him to escape the nightmare his reality had become. He tried to push the noise of screeching wheels out of his mind and focus on the waves. The current of the waves push and pulled at him as he felt lost and alone with himself. Finally, the set came he tipped the nose of his board under the wave. Water rushed to his face, and for a moment under the waves he felt peace, submersed in the underwater world. He came back up and took a deep breath of air and the cold bit at his nose. The second wave approached him, a monster of a beast. Nick turned his board towards the shore line. He felt the tail and the wave push him forward, one arm after the other he paddled and rode the monster’s back. The time came and he jumped to his feet, he swerved the board to his left and felt the water spray onto his board. A horn of a truck down the coastal road altered his attention, without hesitation he put his arm across his face from instinct, but he lost balance and the board flipped.
Nick’s arms broke the surface of the water. He tossed and tumbled liked the car in the accident. A fuzzy a noise filled his ears as the water rushed around him. He opened his eyes and the salt stung. The ankle rope pulled him as his board was carried by a wave. Nick felt he was being dragged by a siren, he was clawing against her for the surface. The rope snapped and he was free from her grasp. He went up to breathe but came face to face with another beast and Nick was smothered with a hand of white foam. A flash of his mate’s bloody face filled his mind as he not only felt the drowning sensation from the water but his own demons. Why did he take his eyes off the road? What did his mate’s parents think when they see him? Blackness occupied Nick’s body, he could no longer tell what way was up and he was helpless. The bile of panic began to rise in his throat. His heart began to sink. Nick reached again for the surface but was slapped by the cold hand of the beast. The pressure crushed him into the ocean floor hitting his head a rock that knocked him out cold.
Caleb was running along the beach when he saw a black figure floating in the water. He stopped and looked at the figure, it was a young man a few years younger than him. Caleb threw his phone out of his pocket along with his earphones. He waded into the water towards the young man and grabbed him under his arms. His face was pale and his lips were blue. He dragged him to the shore and placed his body on the ground. He checked the pulse and put his ear close to his nose to hear if he was breathing. No response. He grabbed his phone and dialed 000 and tucked it into the crook of his neck; he began CPR on the poor bloke. Caleb began compressions and talked to the calm lady on the other end.
Nick came to the surface; his vision was blurry and his head ached. His wetsuit cut down the middle and his bare abdomen was exposed with cords attached to pads that stuck to his skin. He had slight tingling sensation. A man in a green jump suit and with a bald head lent over him and a younger man next to him in sportswear. He took a breath, the war inside his head began to calm as he accepted the pain.