First of all I need to apologize for posting this instalment so late. I wanted to post it in February but things got a little hectic and I really didn't have much time. Nevertheless I hope you'll enjoy reading it and if you like it you can leave me comment below. :)
Just when I thought I wouldn't have nightmares anymore they came back for more. Events of these past days occupied my mind. There were no answers to my questions. And the person that could give them is nowhere to be found. It makes me nervous, uncertain what should I do. Do I trust her? Should I wait and not jump to conclusions. If I would only knew the reason behind her disappearance. I guess time will tell. I can't lie to others where my mom is anymore. But especially I can't lie to myself.
It was the fourth night I spent in a house alone wondering what will happen next. Neighbours already became suspicious but I managed to convince them that mom is on a business trip. I hated it. I hated the lying, the feeling of shame that it gave me. Like it is my fault. But it is not. I realize that and yet that's how I feel. I don't want them to separate us. I don't want to lose her. Soon Madeline got suspicious too. She on the other hand wasn't so gullible as the neighbours. She's a good judge of character and she knew immediately that something was wrong. I tried to hide it but she saw through me. ''You look stressed. What's going on?'' she asked. ''Nothing, really'' I tried to avoid the topic. She didn't believe it for a second. ''Nah, something is wrong. You can tell me, Olivia.'' I hesitated whether I should tell her or not. ''It's just that I miss my mom and I don't know when she'll be back from the business trip.'' Well I didn't completely lie but I didn't tell her the whole truth either. But I think I didn't persuade her entirely. I felt so guilty and she noticed it. ''To cheer you up a little. What if you come to my house for the time being until your mom comes back.'' ''I don't know. I don't want to intrude and besides I don't know when she'll come home.'' ''Nonsense, you won't intrude. Stay as long as you like. You're more than welcome. Anyhow my mom and dad would like to meet you.'' ''Sure, why not'' I accepted.
I have been so comfortable in Madeline's house and had so much fun that I totally lost track of the time. It was almost two weeks since mom disappeared. Staying with Madeline's family gave me the peace I needed but at the same time it saddened me. It showed me how our family could've been. Perfect family in perfect home. They lived in the southern part of Bondi with exquisite look on the ocean and cliffs. You could hear waves breaking on the rocks. It was so calming. Her father Thomas is very understanding and entertaining. He lent us his car many times when we went to the city. Audrey, her mother is like another girlfriend with whom you could talk just about everything. Like Madeline she figures out people characters very quickly and she gives a lot of good advices. After all she is a counsellor by profession. And Mark. Well he is like a brother I wish I had. He thought me some new surfing tricks and how to observe the ocean conditions. Something I figured out is that he is very proud and protective of his little sister. He would do anything for her. From the way they were interacting you could see how much they love each other. Love we used to have in our family. I wish we could've been like that. And now everything me and mom started afresh is falling apart like a stack of cards. That sense of being loved and safe was long gone. It was hard to hide that pain from them. And they noticed.
Surfing, meeting new friends, barbecues and beach parties was what filled my days. Summer was in a full swing. Everyone enjoyed the time that was left. The same was with me and Madeline. Her 17th birthday was coming up and so she decided to throw a party. Kai, Imogen, Jordan, Hayley, Cameron and Mikayla were eager to lend a hand. She had it in the Bondi Icebergs Club near the Bondi beach. There was a lot of people that I've met for the first time. But soon I recognized some familiar faces. Mark and Logan came with some of their lifeguard buddies. There it was. The same chemistry I sensed last time between Madeline and Logan. She's definitely in love with him but I wasn't sure if he was. Nevertheless she is my friend and whatever feelings I may have for him I must suppress them. I don't want to ruin it for her, after all, what I feel for him could be just a rescue crush syndrome. It happens, that's what I was trying to convince myself.
It got pitch-black outside and party finally came alive. There was music, dancing, drinking and toasting in the Madeline's honor. People were having fun. Kai probably a little too much. It was the first time I saw him like that. Hyperactive and definitely drunk. For a moment I was worried for him. I just hoped others would prevent him from doing something stupid. I however wasn't in a party mood. I tried to mingle, dance and loosen up but it didn't feel right. I stepped outside on the terrace to have some fresh air. Right after I noticed that someone was behind me. ''You know a view is better in the daylight'' said Logan playfully. ''Yeah, I know but the air is fresher in the night'' I replied back mischievously. ''Why aren't you inside, partying with your friends?'' ''I'm not really in the mood tonight. And you?'' I asked. ''I'm not that much of partying guy. I rather surf and watch the ocean.'' That was something we had in common. We were standing on the terrace casually talking when we suddenly heard someone saying ''Let's go swimming in the ocean'' from outside the club. All we could see were shadows but we were able to see four people walking quickly and unstable to the beach. We both flinched as we grasped that those four figures were very likely drunk. And swimming in state like that in middle of the night is very bad idea. I prayed that the instigator wasn't Kai. He was drunk as a fish. We went inside to check what was going on. My gut was telling me that something bad is going to happen to Kai. I searched for Cameron, who was visibly intoxicated himself. ''Where's Kai?'' I asked even though I knew nothing reasonable would come from his mouth. ''He, ehm, he went toooo, ehm, beach'' he blabbed incoherently. In that moment I knew it was Kai who went with his friends to the beach.
I ran to the beach as fast as I could in direction where we last saw them. Logan was right behind me while Mark looked for his colleagues to help. In a distance I could see two of the boys already in the ocean and other two undressing for the swim. Conditions in the water weren't great and visibility poor. They could easily drown. Kai was one of the swimmers. To make the matters worse he was swimming in the Backpackers rip. Without hesitation I quickly undressed and jumped in the water. I passed the other swimmer as he was closer to the shore and safe, whereas Kai was faraway and in grave danger. Kai needed urgent help and I knew Logan would save his friend as he was right behind me. I had him in front of my eyes. Just few more meters. His swimming strokes became rarer and weaker. I realized he is going to drown if I don't come to him quickly. All of a sudden I lost sight of him. He went under the water. Completely focused I dove under the waves and grabbed him by his arms in the nick of time. Thankfully he wasn't unconscious but he swallowed a lot of water. The hardest part now was to get us out of the rip. The current was strong and our only shot was to swim linearly with the shore until we get out of the rip. It was tough but I managed to get us to the shore. Mark, Logan and some other lifeguards were already there taking care of the drunk boys. The other drunk swimmer got away without harm too. Logan came to the aid of bringing Kai up to the beach. ''What were you thinking!'' said Logan to Kai. ''Nothing'' he mumbled while throwing up water-alcohol mix. ''Exactly, you know better.'' I could hear some disappointment and anger in Logan's voice. ''I'm sorry, bro.'' ''You made stupid decision and we'll talk about it later. Right now we have to get you checked up, OK.'' Till this point I didn't realize they were brothers. Now I could understand Logan's anger. He checked his breathing and vitals. Everything seemed alright. Just in case he could be suffering secondary drowning Logan and Mark took him and his friend to hospital. Before they went Logan gave me an admiring look and said ''Thank you''.
Amazed by his look I stood there dazed not noticing how cold I was. All soaked with water I shivered. Although it was summer, nights were still breezy. Madeline came out of nowhere with a towel for me, saying ''Are you fine?'' ''Yeah, just a bit shocked. It was a close call.'' ''Thank God you two were there.'' ''Yes, indeed.'' I started to question myself if I could've prevented it. I saw him drunk and didn't stop him when I could have. All this wouldn't happen. We almost lost him. This happening opened my eyes. I am not prepared to lose another person close to my heart. I am not going to let my mom go away. I am not going to lose her like I lost my father. Not if I can do something about it.