This is an excerpt from my latest new adult romance, coming May 2015.
In brief… “Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day tsunami tore through their beach resort in Thailand. Just days after forming a life-changing bond, both were missing and presumed dead. Unbeknown to each other and haunted by one of the biggest natural disasters in world history, Isla and Ben are living very different lives, until over a decade later when a chance encounter throws them back together.
Based on real life events, The Day of the Wave is a story of healing, learning to let go, and figuring out when to hold on with everything you have left.
‘Don’t go!’ I yell at the boy. It’s the eight-year-old who showed me a plastic container full of tiny crabs on the beach and told me his name was… I can’t remember. He had sand on his face then, but now there’s only blood. He’s crying, spinning around. A lady in an I heart Bangkok T-shirt is trying to lead him back out of the room. ‘Don’t go!’ I yell again.
He turns in my direction. His watery, red eyes land on my face. I can feel my heart breaking and bleeding like the rest of me as I try to sit up and the crushing pressure in my chest makes me flop like a ragdoll. I’m worn out, useless. My limbs won’t do anything I’m asking them to. ‘It’s me!’ I call when he looks away again. ‘It’s me, remember? Please, remember!’
The boy doesn’t look back this time. He doesn’t hear me because my words aren’t really coming out. ‘Don’t go! Don’t you recognize me?’
When he scans the other beds and sobs into the chest of the tourist, I know no one would ever recognize me. I’m blown up like a bunch of helium balloons; I can tell that much. My organs and tissues have absorbed what feels like half the ocean through my lungs. My long brown hair is a blooded, matted clump and the only people here who’d know me through any deformity at all are dead.
‘Come back!’ I beg anyway as they make for the exit. ‘Don’t leave me, please! I have no one!’
The door shuts. I’m alone with the dying. The water roars over me again; so real it makes me choke. My lungs are full of cold, wet sand. I’m drowning from the inside out.
‘Come back!’ I wake up blubbering, sweat sticking my pajamas to my skin. I reach out to the other side of the bed but it’s empty. I sit up, swipe my hands over my face, throw the covers off. ‘Colin!’
The flat echoes with my voice.
I flop back down again. Jesus Christ, Amy. This is her fault. I guess it didn’t take much for the dreams to come back. It’s probably good that Colin’s not here. Yes. That’s my gratitude done for the day already. I’m grateful Colin’s not here.
I drag myself up, head to the bathroom, almost trip over Sega as she curls around my legs in the hallway, purring. I rest my head against the cool mirror. I look like pooh and Colin’s moved my Body Shop bath salts. I move them back into alignment – the pink jar, the purple jar, the baby blue jar and when I look into the mirror again I see my mother, as usual, buried deep in my reflection. She’s always in my eyes, so Maria says.
I imagine her hand stroking my hair back now, telling me things are OK, like she did when Charlotte’s dad let us watch Nightmare on Elm Street that time when we were nine and I woke up three nights running, thinking Freddy Krueger was about to slash my neck.
My mouth is so dry. I put my head to the tap, take three huge gulps, peel my damp pajamas off and turn the shower on, but as I step under the stream I almost fall. Shit. That stupid dream… making me all shaky. I can see it all again. Mom now, too.
‘Do you want her wedding band?’ the Irish nurse asked me as I squinted at the body lying glassy-eyed and soulless on the table. I was waiting for the recognition to sink in.
‘That’s not my mom,’ I said. How could it be my mom?
But it was, they said. The ocean had filled her up; squeezed the soul out of her beautiful eyes, ballooned her like it had me, only she was never swept away to safety and neither was my dad. There must have been nowhere for them to run to, from that hotel room.
I stand up, shake out my entire body, force myself to stand under the shower. I squirt three blobs of Dove cream onto my hands and try to lather the memories away. I know they’ll come back again, though.
‘It’ll do you good.’ That’s what Amy said the other day, when she threw the purple envelope onto my keyboard, mid-type. When I first pulled out the glittery invitation I wondered what she was talking about, obviously. We get a million press invites at Sweet Eats and while they’re definitely fun, none of them ever do us any good. They just expand our thighs and corrupt our livers, usually.
‘Thailand,’ Amy beamed. ‘In four week’s time!’
This is an excerpt From: Becky Wicks. “The Day Of The Wave.” Add it to read on Goodreads now