We kept going. The sun beat upon us with authority. Both of us were really quite responsible at putting on the sun block, though, and that was a saving grace. It seemed like we were about a half mile offshore. We must have been two. I say that, because that is what I have heard- you are usually twice as far across the water as you think you are.
We decided we wouldn’t soon reach the azure waters. Our “scary” fluids kicked our brain into common-sense mode and we turned back for shore. Not long after, I heard sirens. From over the tips of the palm trees, I saw the top of a firetruck.
Skim made no mind to them. I watched her for a minute.
“Firetrucks,” I said sideways.
“Yeah, but I don’t see smoke,” she said casually turning her red head from side to side.
I shook my head. My eyes opened wide. “We are the smoke!”
“NO!” she laughed lowly.
“Yes,” I quietly insisted.
“No, can’t be!” she chuckled. The embarrassment in her laugh was a give-away that she believed me.
“Look at the people on the shore pacing about.” There were not many there to begin with. It was only early June. But those that were present had given us their attention. “They think we are in trouble.”
“Oh my gosh. I think you’re right,” she began to laugh hysterically. “What should we do?”
The firetruck pulled up along the sidewalk on the beach. A young, fit lifeguard rested a surfboard on the back of a four-wheeler and hopped on. He drove up and down the beach as if to figure out his mode of rescue.
“What should we do?” she repeated, now annoyed.
“Dunno. If we go straight in, we will have to fill out a report, and blah-blah-blah. Stupid. I’m so disgusted. I mean, look, one guy with a surfboard. He can’t make it out this far before we get in. And how is one guy gonna rescue the two of us?
“So, what are we gonna do?”
We looked at each other and just kept paddling. “I am going to head for the far end of the beach. They will hopefully get the drift, ha-ha, that we are not afraid or in danger and leave. False alarm. I don’t want to wave them off, because they may think we are waving for help.”
“Yeah. Okay. And what if we get to the shore and they are still there?”
“Well, I am not getting off this raft until they leave. Keep your face down. Look at me and talk to me. Ignore them.”
She sighed. “Right. I am the only girl on the island with bright red hair! Like I won’t be hard to discover! I have to be at work in an hour, too!” Her temper was rising.
We paddled into the choppy waves. My neck was really beginning to torque. We laughed. It was so hard to believe. The firetruck remained. It must have taken us nearly an hour to get near the shore. Within about thirty minutes our rescue crew surrended to the false alarm and parted.
I just wanted to know, how was one guy on a surfboard going to rescue us? I wanted to secretly write an editorial about the ill-prepared rescue forces on the island and deliver it to the news department.
I never did.
Written by Jori Sams