Peaceful Nightmares


(Google photo) This picture represents the island in which Bianca and her friends were trapped on after being pulled out to sea.

Marissa Dintino, Staff Writer

Convincing my parents to allow me to go on a small day trip in a boat with my friends was difficult enough, but it is never surprising when something seems to go terribly wrong. I always seem to have the worst of luck when it comes to anything that is difficult for me to earn.  Taking a peaceful boat trip to celebrate the summer seemed like a perfectly normal, everyday situation; however, it turned out to be anything but peaceful.


It was a beautiful summer day to find peace in a boat in the Gulf of Mexico. The sky was as blue as ever, many pure white clouds drifted around to shade us from the incredibly bright sun, and the waves were very small and serene. Just the thought of such a relaxing day pacified me further. Oliver, Faith, Paul, Skye, Ed, Carla, and I loaded the boat around noon with everything we would need for a few hours. As we sailed off the shore and into the sea, our parents waved to us, and we began to happily converse with each other.


“It looks like it’s going to rain guys,” Faith spoke suddenly while staring up at the sky.


“Didn’t you check the weather Bianca?” Oliver asked me.


“It said we had a twenty percent chance of rain, so I don’t think it’s very likely,” I told him.


“Can you check again?”


“I would but there’s no service out here.” I shrugged, pulling my phone out of my bag to confirm that there was no service.


“Well…” Skye cut into the conversation, “Maybe we should stop at that island over there and wait until the weather clears up a bit. It may be too risky to keep going around.”


“We probably should. Besides, I’m hungry,” Carla added.


“You’re always hungry!” Ed groaned. “I don’t understand it. If I ate like you, I would be five hundred pounds!”


“Thanks!” She chuckled. “Gosh, I feel so loved!”


Ed chuckled, then attempted to hug her, but she slapped him away, causing him to give her a pitiful pouty face. We all laughed at their stupidity.


When we arrived at the small island, I pulled a giant blanket out of the boat and laid it across the sand by the seaside. As the clouds overtook the bright blue sky, we ate lunch in peace.


“It looks like it’s about to start pouring,” I muttered.


“You’re right…” Faith agreed, beginning to pack her vegetarian meal back into her bag. We made out way into the forest and sat under the thick brush to defend ourselves from the rain. It was then that Paul began to panic.


“We didn’t park the boat! It could drift away!” He exclaimed, causing everyone to run out into the open again. I stared in shock at the boat, which was so far away from us that we almost could not see it.


“I’m going to swim over there!” Oliver shouted over the rain pounding in the sand.


“You’ll die!” Skye exclaimed nervously. “It’s raining anyways, and you can easily drown or be eaten by something!”


Faith began to cry while I ran over to comfort her.


“We just have to wait it out and hope it doesn’t go too far,” Carla sighed, speaking calmer than she actually was.


“There’s an undertow. It will not be in sight when it’s gone.” I muttered under my breath, but Faith heard and began to cry harder. Feeling discouraged and hopeless, we walked back into the woods.


“What if there are people on this island?” Ed spoke up suddenly.


“There could be,” I smiled encouragingly, trying to act positive for Faith’s sake.


As predicted, we could not even see the boat when it ceased to rain. We had hope of a better tomorrow as we cuddled into the small blanket and attempted to fall asleep. Although we did not sleep very much, we had enough energy to wander the island in search of life. To our dismay, we only found monkeys, birds, bugs, and wild turkeys.


“I’m starving,” Edward mumbled as we searched.


“You know how to hunt, correct?” Skye hinted at him.


“NO! You cannot kill animals in front of me!” Faith frantically yelped. “That’s so evil!”


“We wouldn’t do it in front of you.” Ed sighed, annoyed. “Besides, you’ll starve if you don’t eat something. The leaves could be poisonous and I doubt you would want to eat leaves anyways.”


Faith groaned with disappointment. She was a strong believer in vegetarianism and she had been trying to convince us all to follow in her path for months. “I’ll find something.”


Although she claimed she would, Faith never went searching for a vegetarian meal on the island. That very night, she ate with us, but explained how disgusted she was with herself. She must have learned that she would either have to give it up or starve to death. After all, turkey was the only food we could get, and we had to savor it. I was so thankful to have guys that knew how to hunt and make a fire. Without them, we would have never made it through the day without feeling as if our insides were being smashed.


I had always loved adventure, but this journey was turning out to be extremely stressful and miserable. Although we all loved to do it constantly, sleeping was difficult. We were all covered with dirt constantly and all we could eat was turkey. Our only protection was the trees. We could only stare out to the sea hoping to see something. Even though we had only just gotten here today, I began to fear being stuck here forever. I feared isolation. I feared death.


Nobody had hope anymore by the third day on the small island. How could a satellite not see the island? Why had nobody gone looking for us? Oliver and Carla even began to quarrel over their individual blanket space. I got so frustrated with their shouting that I climbed a tree and sat there, staring into the ocean for the rest of the day.


This life proved to be extremely difficult. I hated having to depend on others to give me food. I could only drink salt water from the ocean, which was gross and I was constantly dehydrated and starving. I had nowhere to go and nowhere to stay. I had to learn to take advantage of every small thing. I had to learn to stop trusting my friends. I had to learn independence in a matter of a few days. I do not see how anybody could enjoy this type of life. It was not even as peaceful as it is thought to be.


I found a small area at the tip of the tree where there was room to lay down on the tangled branches. I knotted a few more branches into the mix to make it sturdier, and then began to spend most of my time up there. Each minute felt like an hour. Time seemed to go by so slow, as this was so much different from what we normally did, and we were in desperate need of so many necessities. We had no time to think of wants.


It began pouring again on the fifth day. I laid flat on the ground and felt the cool drops splashing on me and I opened my mouth to have fresh water. I have to admit, it was very nice to have something normal again. Nobody else seemed to savor the natural beauty of the rain besides me, possibly because nobody had uttered more than small ‘thank you’s to each other in the past two days. When the rain stopped, I climbed the tree again and began to shake the leaves to have some more fresh water. I only got a few droplets, but it was better than nothing.


It was the sixth day. After staring at the ocean for hours, a small boat became visible in the water. I yelped for the others to look, and they saw it approaching too. As it got closer, we noticed that it was yet another boat, similar to the one we had on our day trip. We began to dance around to try to get their attention, and to our luck, it was coming straight towards us. My friends and I rejoiced and hugged each other tightly as the boat approached, even though we had not done much for each other since we had gotten here.


As the boat got closer to us, we realized that it was employees at the boat renting company. We sighed with relief and packed everything before they even got to the island. Satisfied, we hopped into the boat. The employees of the company questioned us the entire way back about how we survived and how we got there in the first place.


“That was a manmade picnic island,” one told us. “We didn’t think that people would become trapped there.”


I didn’t care much for where I was. All we wanted was real food and water at the moment, so they gave us some sandwiches and chips that they had packed. Faith was overjoyed to be back in her vegetarian habits.


My parents had been very worried about me and told me that I should never plan anything as bizarre as a boat trip with my friends ever again. I agreed with them, to their surprise. I knew that I would appreciate every droplet of fresh water, every crumb put on my plate, and every natural beauty from then on to the best of my ability. It is insane how much a small experience can change your life, is it not?