Ever since that afternoon with Logan and the lifeguards, life seemed easier and less complicated. I don't know why, but his presence makes me feel relaxed. Like I can tell him anything and he won't judge me. Before I could realize it, I spent most of my time with him and his group of friends. Even though it was nice to meet new people I knew I had to tell my friends what was really going on. They were concerned because of my recent absence. Specially Madeline. Though I could tell she was also a little suspicious about me and Logan. I couldn't avoid it. I had to trust them.
It was during the last weeks of summer when I decided to spill the beans. We went surfing at Tamarama beach. Weather was nice so we stayed a little longer. Conversations brought up the subject about our parents and how some didn't like the way they were treated by them. At first I didn't want to speak out, but then I felt the need to finally reveal the whole story. »Well, I get it in a way. My mum still treats me like a child. She doesn't really tell me how she feels or what's going on in her life. But to some extent she just wants to save me from the harm. I believe it's the same with your parents« I said. Cameron half-agreed: »Yeah I guess. But it is still annoying. I'm basically almost grown up«. Kai abruptly added: »At least you have someone that cares for you«. Whole group suddenly became silent. Cameron and others were glancing at each other. At that moment I felt like an outcast because I didn't know what was the situation with Kai's parents like others did. But I quickly comprehended it. To break the silence, I shared my story. »But sometimes even if you have someone who cares for you, that doesn't make the difference. You can still feel like you're all alone« I responded. Suddenly they all looked me surprised and at the same time puzzled, Kai included. He asked me: »What do you mean, exactly? « I felt very vulnerable and nervous telling them. I could hear my inner voice telling me 'They will pity you, don't do it, don't trust them'. Somehow I managed to find the strength and say: »I have a mum, who loves me to pieces. But she herself can't fill up the hole my father left in her life when he decided to leave us, let alone be there for me. She tries though. That's why we came here. To start anew. However, nothing changed.« I could see everyone glancing each other not knowing how to react like earlier with Kai. But not Madeline. She looked at me compassionately, although not in a pitiful way. I think she understood what I was saying. »At first it seemed we were ok. Nevertheless, one day she disappeared and I was all alone, not knowing where she was. Thankfully, I spent my time at Madie's house until she came home. Still, I can't shake off that feeling of being abandoned, finding it hard to trust anybody. And I'm sorry that I lied about it. I was just scared they would separate us, since she had some health issues in the past« I concluded my story with tears forming in my eyes. In an instant they all showed me support, saying they are there for me and that I shouldn't keep that to myself. Even Madeline, who was probably hurt the most from this. My fears of being pitied vanished in the air. By the time we were going home, I was filled with a sensation of warmth feeling relieved and loved. Feeling I longed for so much. Of belonging.
After that, the days seemed shorter and shorter. School was practically on the doorstep. I managed to divide my time between observing mum at home, surfing with friends and hanging out with Logan and his mates. I convinced Madeline spending time with him wasn't a big deal. That he was just a friend. At least that's what I was telling myself. She didn't directly confirm me that she had a crush on him, however I could tell. Anyways, while hanging out with him and his mates, I learned quite a lot about surfing, rescue techniques and ocean conditions. For some reason I loved that. It was natural to me. They picked up Logan's joke about me being almost like one of them and also gave me a nickname 'Ollie'. Maybe, just maybe I will become one of them in the future.
One day after once again a bad time at home, I went surfing at Bondi to cool my nerves. Who would've thought that this helps. The swell was incredible. Two to three feet big waves. I was going for my last ride of the day when I suddenly saw another surfer by my side. He was getting closer and closer to me. Careful not to cause a collision I tried to stay in my lane at a safe distance from him. I didn't recognize the surfer until I came back to shore and noticed it was Logan. You couldn't miss that grin on his face. »You were playing with me, didn't you« I said jokingly. »Somebody had to« he replied playfully. We sat on a sand all tired. »That was a good ride« he said. »Yes, indeed. I needed that« I sighed. »Those days again, ha«. »Yes, unfortunately. Although not that bad, just weird.« »What do you mean? « he asked confused. »She just acts suspicious. Like she wants to hide something from me. And her behaviour became erratic. One day she's super excited and then the other day she's super melancholic. I just needed to get out of the house«. »Have you tried to get her checked by a doctor? « As soon as he said that I remembered the last conversation with my friends and I knew right then that I had to tell him. »She has been hospitalized for a nervous breakdown in past after dad left us, so I guess it would be a good idea to get her evaluated«. He didn't look perplexed as I thought he would. He understood me. »It's probably just too much for her, moving and all that, you know« he said. I felt like he knew what I was going through, but I didn't want to probe. Yet he said it himself: »Me and Kai went through something like that when we were younger. Dad was out of the picture and mum, she tried to be there for us both as a mum and a dad. But she couldn't hold on. Soon she was gone too. « I could see the pain in his eyes and I instantly understood why Kai acted like he did. They lost their mother. »Anyhow, we got it through with family's support. And you and your mum will too. Believe me. Just help her while you still can« he added. We chatted a little while about our lives until it started to get dark, therefore we decided to go home. Before that talk, that day I didn't believe we would've had so much in common. But we did. It was like I've found my kindred spirit.
I came home to find everything in a mess. Mum went totally crazy. She was still in her ecstatic mood searching for something, though she tried to hide that fact from me. But I wasn't blind. Something was very wrong with her. I attempted to calm her down without luck. It had a reverse effect. She became even more enthusiastic. I couldn't take it anymore, so I went towards my bedroom to cool off, when I saw a piece of paper laying on the floor with my father's picture on it. It was a document from a private investigator. What got my attention was his residence. He was living a new life here in Australia. Shocked about this discovery I grasped that was what mum hid from me all along. The truth why we came here. I couldn't believe it.