A Decision to Live with

Sun turned orange by the time I woke up in the evening and it was moving faster now into the pacific, than it did in the afternoon over our heads. Perhaps beautiful things live short. Like our trip on the Pacific. Fifty of us started to sail and just eight made it ashore this godforsaken island whose name no one knew. I always cursed myself for being a night owl but I believe it helped me the night when storm hit our cruise and I had enough time to jump into the lifeboat. And at times I envied couples but now I’m happy for being a loner, after watching Sansa.

Sansa made it into a lifeboat that night along with Jim, just before the steamer sank, and soon we all had to swim. Yes, the storm toppled the boats as well before it receded. We swam wildly with high waves drowning us once in a while and the rain giving us a hard time to take a breath. And then through the thick endless mist we swam for miles without a direction, when all of us got exhausted and separated and eventually, most ones quitted. Sansa was with Jim and she had to help him. He wasn’t good enough to save himself and she toiled with him for hours, trying in all ways possible to keep him from drowning, and pushed forward both of them into the directionless horizon. Soon it came to the point when a choice had to be made. Either both of them would die together, which is most probable, or she would try and save her own life, with uncertain luck. She never told who amongst them decided, but she was soon swimming alone.

But just when we found her reaching the shore, she started back into the ocean. We thought she went mad. Three of us ran after her till we were half drowned, and pulled her ashore. “I’ve to save him.. I’ve to save him” she kept on saying, and was sobbing all the time. It was only minutes after she left Jim and started to swim, that her feet touched the land. The mist didn’t let her see through and it was clear, there was no point going back. She cursed the sea, she cursed the mist, she cursed us all and more than anyone else, she cursed herself in unspeakable words.

It has been a week and she has not said a word. She would eat with us the coconuts, our only food on this island, and sit alone. Her eyes staring without aim, into the horizon.

-Avinash Kumar


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