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Sink (Short Story)
Callie Scott sat on a plane to Brooklyn, NY, her mother was sitting next to her, and her father next to her mother. Callie couldn’t help but think of how unfair this whole situation was, it was only happening because her father was receiving more money from this financing company. She wasn’t on good terms with her parents at the moment, especially when she remembers what she left back in California. Ashley and Callum, who were are her two best friends, and the boys she left. She had always loved California, since they moved there when she was ten, she had always found comfort in the waves crashing against the shore, and the celebrities walking the streets in Los Angeles. All she wanted was to spend her last summer, before senior year, with her two best friends catching some waves and hanging out with boys.
Callie sat - slouched - in her seat, with her arms crossed over her chest for the whole flight. Her parents chatted endlessly about all the new opportunities they would have in the Big Apple, and ignored her poor attitude and sullen expression. So when the plane stopped, and it was finally time for them to get off, Callie sat in the same position.
“Callie,” her mother called gently. She just ignored the woman, who gave birth to her, and looked at the striped patterns on the seat. “Callie?” her mother shook her gently, as Callie began to glare at the seat in front of her.
“Snap out of it Callie,” her father told her. “We know you don’t want to be here, but it is for the best. Stop acting like a child, so we can get off of this plane.”
Callie rose, in one swift motion, and purposely left her bag for her father to get. She was beyond angry, and unfortunately, she did not believe her parents could fix this for her. Unless, by some miracle, they wanted to move back to California. Callie, really, could not see that happening though.
For Callie’s birthday, her parents surprised her with a round trip ticket to Sydney, Australia! Now here she is back on a plane, ready to spend two and a half months in the Australian winter. She had luckily been warned to bring a jacket, when they landed it was only fifty-seven degrees outside. Callie walked into the airport, and immediately went for her luggage. After receiving her luggage, Callie walked to the door, and ran across a man holding a sign with her name on it.
“Welcome to Australia Ms. Scott.” He told her.
It had been over two weeks, and Callie has done everything she possibly could. She’s gone to the Sydney Opera House, taken long walks on the cold beach. She has visited the Sydney Harbor, she even went to the Botanic Gardens. Now she sat in her hotel room, without even a book to read. She sat there flipping through the TV channels, until she felt she might go mad.
That was the afternoon she met him. He was the boy who ended up changing her, for better or for worse, it has yet to be decided. Callie can still remember him like it was yesterday. He was one of the, very few, people sitting in the middle of the beach, watching as the waves rolled in. His red hair immediately caught her attention, as his pale skin reflected the sun. He had immediately taken notice in her, as his red hair swayed in the breeze.
“Hey,” he said as she walked passed, heading back to her hotel.
“Hi,” Callie replied back shyly. She proceeded to tuck a black strand of hair behind her ear, as the wind blew wisps across her face.
“You’re not from around here, are you?” This strange boy asked her.
“No, I’m from America.”
“I’ve got a cousin that lives in New York. You don’t sound like you are from around there.”
“I’m from all over really. My father works for a financing company…”
And that was how it all started. The - two month long - affair, that is.
Callie had loved him dearly, they spent nights just talking on the phone. They spent days together on the beach, wrapped in blankets and eating vegemite sandwiches. They talked about life, about love, but they avoided the talk about their future. It never came up until a week before she was to leave. They sat on a bench next to the Sydney Opera House, sipping coffee and eating pastries. Callie had only nibbled on hers, she was afraid of what was to come. When he had asked her to come meet him at a café by the opera house, she knew something was up. He never asked her to meet him anywhere besides the beach, with the exception of his house.
He had shown up with a coffee and a pastry for each of them. They had sat down on a bench overlooking the Botanical Gardens, and hadn’t talked once. It wasn’t until she thought she would scream from the silence, that he finally spoke.
“Callie, I love you.” The way he said it though seemed as if it were more of a curse than a blessing. Which in a way it kind of was. They lived so far away from one another and that kind of distance in a relationship would never work. “I love you so much, that I’m willing to go to the United States for you.” It was a statement, but she could hear the question in his voice. He was asking for her permission to go. At first Callie did not know what to say, then she slowly came to her senses.
“You can’t,” she told him. His face crumbled like a stale cookie. “I lo-“she started but then thought better of it. “I really like you too,” like was a safe word. It would show she wasn’t as attached as he was. “But, you can’t leave Australia for me. Your life is here, your family and friends are here, I could never ask that of you. I’ve had such an amazing time with you, but we knew from the beginning there would be a time where we wouldn’t be together.” He didn’t say anything, which confirmed what she already knew. He had fallen, so far past love there was no way to save him from downing.
Telling him ‘there are other fish in the sea’ would not work this time. They were both going to sink. She didn’t want to leave him, but there was no way she could ask him to give up his life for her, she would never be able to live with the guilt.
“Okay,” he told her. She didn’t know at that moment, but he had just lied to her. The pain in her chest became almost unbearable by the sound of that one word. ‘Okay’ he had said, not realizing that it wasn’t okay, it wouldn’t ever be okay. “Just promise me something?” he asked her.
“Anything,” Callie replied, staring down at the cracks in the pavement.
“Try to forgive your parent’s for me,” he told her. She was shocked. She thought he would ask her to be happy or find love without him. She was relieved, but at the same time hurt. She had wanted him to break down and beg her to stay, yet she knew it would make it, just that much harder for her to leave.
“I will,” she replied as the dived into silence once again. Everything that needed to be said was said, except for three words that Callie would not say to him.
It had been a week since Callie arrived home, and all she has been doing is moping. Until the night they found her crying in her bathroom.
“What’s wrong?” Callie’s mother asked. Callie told her what had happened, and her mother and father just sat there patiently hanging on to her every word, and stroking her hair.
“I know it hurts right now, but it will get better I promise,” her mother whispered in Callie’s ear. Callie looked from her mother to her father, and didn’t say a thing. The words didn’t need to be said, she had forgiven them for giving her such an amazing life. Even with her sinking in the despair of losing him, she knew she could forgive him as well for loving her.