Somehow there is a terrible loneliness that comes form knowing that you are in love with a place that no one else can fully comprehend. I want more than anything to go back to my island. So we were saved, we were “rescued” by the Coast Guard. But it feels more to me like I was banished from a magical place. And I must be the only one who remembers taking showers outside in the rain, roasting the fish we caught over open fires, the hot sand feeling like dry, gritty fire under my bare feet until the cool ocean water melted it away. Because my parents have already forgotten. They’re too busy trying to figure out how much they owe to all these bill collectors. And to my brother. . . he’s just glad he’s back here in time to get all the latest video games. I’m the only one who remembers, I’m she only one who misses it, and that’s why I’m completely alone. Leaving Nueva Playa has left me heartbroken and it just might take me a lifetime to recover.
But you can believe I’m not about to find out the hard way. I’m going back there as soon as I can, even if it means swimming out into the ocean. It’s where I belong. It’s the only place where I belong.
©1999 Tiffany Gholar