“Wake up Max. You’re going to be late for your trip!”
Upon hearing his mother, Max took his time to get out of bed to prepare.
“Relax mom. We booked the ship ourselves. I highly doubt that they’ll leave without us.” Max shrugged, replying to his mother. “Besides, it’s the holidays. We should cherish these moments before hell starts once again.”
When he had finished preparing and went to have his breakfast, he was surprised to see his friends in the living room.
“Hey Max.” Wilhem said after noticing Max coming down the stairs. Wilhem wore a blue cardigan with slim cut jeans, his hair all spiked up. For a moment, Max thought they were going out on a normal outing instead of a voyage to find the mysterious treasure.
“Has everyone arrived yet?” Max asked whilst looking at his watch.
“Almost everyone. Haley said she will meet us there directly”
“That’s Haley I suppose. That’s the reason why we decided to meet an hour earlier” Max said while letting out a laugh.
Max went to the kitchen before turning to his friends. He wondered how this group of people had managed to stay close over the years. In the living room sofa, there was Sam who brought his laptop along for his studies. ‘The internet is the key to our survival’ – he once said.
“Anyways, the sea ain’t going anywhere guys.” Max said while going to the kitchen. “Have you guys eaten?”
“Yeah we ate before coming here. Come on Max. Treasures are waiting for us, waiting to be found.”Jane, sitting beside John said, unable to contain her excitement. Dressed in a pink T-shirt and shorts, she stood up and began walking around the house. “Come to think about it, this is the first time I’ve been to your house Max”
“ Give it a year or two and you’ll know the contents of everything in Max’s room”
“Okay fine, give me a few minutes more and we can set off.”
Soon, the five of them packed their bags and after everything was settled, Max walked towards his mother and noticed his mother was looking worried. Even though he knew his mom would be worried, as he looked towards his mother’s troubled face, his heart ached.
“Mom, it’s going to be okay. I’ll be back before you know it.” Max said before hugging his mother tightly as that was the only way he knew to comfort his mother. “I came back after the previous time remember?”
“Max…. The last time you said that, you had wounds all over your body. In spite of those worrying times,it feels different now. Something feels different Max” his mother said, trying her best to hold back her tears. “ Please promise me you will take care of yourself”
Max gave his word to his mother before giving her another hug. Despite him going on multiple trips before, this time his mom had truly tried her best to convince him to cancel his trip. “Besides, I’ll have them with me”
When the car had turned a corner, Max looked back towards his mother. A tear fell as he saw his mother on her knees, cupping her face. He then made a promise to himself that he would be back in one piece and would bring a discovery so great that it would bring the smile back to his mother’s face.
As soon as they got to the pier, they rushed towards the furthest end as the anticipation to look at their boat took over. It was a blue motor yacht boat, the length of 13 meters. It was as majestic as advertised. It stood there with pride, showing off its beauty to Max and his friends. They were satisfied with the accommodation. As they were busy admiring the exterior of the ship, a rugged man dressed in leather wearing a cap that had parts of it bitten off approached them. They almost mistook him as an actor for those pirate movies that they always watched.
“A thing of beauty, isn’t she?” the rugged man asked. “Bought her when she was nearing the end of her life and made some changes myself.”
The group of five came back to their senses and nodded their heads, still admiring the ship.
“Name’s Ory and I’m going to be your captain throughout the trip.” Ory introduced himself to the group.
Max went up to Ory to introduce himself and his friends. Halfway throughout the introduction of the ladies in the group, for a minute second, Max noticed Ory giving off a smirk before returning to his smile. Max knew there was something wrong and wanted to call him out but he held himself back. He needed to gather more evidence. He decided not to warn his friends as that would only alert the captain. However, he also felt that that moment could be all his misunderstanding. After the pleasantries was done, Ory brought the group to tour around the ship, before letting them familiarize themselves with the interior of the ship. Max was impressed with the interior of the ship. The rooms were spacious with ample room space. They took about fifteen minutes settling down. Max took the room closest to the door as he could easily access the deck of the ship to know the situation. Max could not contain his excitement as the time for their adventure was close. The sea breeze beckoning them to venture forth.
As they were relaxing on board, they heard a girl’s voice from a distance. Once the figure was nearing the ship, they went straight to the girl. Haley was panting by the time she reached the ship. She wore a yellow tank top, with blue hot pants along which seems to further accentuate her figure.
“Sorry guys, too many things to pack and too little time to do it. So I brought only the essential stuff that we need for our voyage” Haley said in between breaths, while pointing to the 4 luggage behind her that was carried by her butler. She took off her cartwheel hat to cool herself.
“Are you planning to go and never come back?” Max asked in disbelief trying to process the four huge bags now placed in front of them. “I think we’ll most likely capsize halfway than to make it there safely.”
“Max!” Haley gasped before continuing, “don’t come begging when you’re sunscreen’s out” the group laughed and joked around before Max introduced her to the captain.
As soon as they helped Haley get settled on the boat, Max nodded towards the captain. The captain horned several times before setting sail. As they noticed the shore getting further and further away,reality sank in. They are going on their very first voyage.
The group of them decided to rest on the lounge area as they were still feeling the adrenaline pumping. They were discussing how they were going to spend the riches once they did find treasure. On the furthest side of the room, Sam was sitting on the bench, his attention solely on his laptop. Max was always amazed at how fast Sam’s typing speed was. Not wanting to disrupt his friend’s concentration, Max jsatthere for a while before heading back to the deck to view the ocean.
As he was gazing into the horizon, it took him awhile before he noticed Ory standing beside him.
“Y’know kid, the place you wanted to go, there is nothing there.” Ory decided to break the awkward silence in the air.
“Then why’d you decide to take us then? Think it’s easy to take advantage of us kids?” Max replied, looking towards the ocean instead of Ory.
“You really think that low of me huh kid. I decided to take you because you reminded me of myself when I was young. Wanting to go on adventures with my mates, enjoying life when we still could. But..” his voice trailed off.
Max looked at the captain but the captain looked away, avoiding his gaze. Unable to make out the captain’s expressions, Max continued gazing towards the dark sky.
Max felt conflicted. What seemed to be sincerity from the captain’s might be a façade to throw him off the trail. The captain was not wrong in one part. Everyone told him that there was nothing in the place that he was looking for. Max was tempted to believe them and cancel the whole thing but his gut feeling prevented him from doing so. There was something in that place. At this moment, he also felt warmth in the gestures of his friends. They could have not only rejected the idea of Max going alone, giving him plenty of excuses but they even went along instead. He knew he could not let anything happen to his friends and that was why he had to keep his guard up around the captain. His only wish was that they manage to find whatever was there and return safely. Max returned back to his room to try and get some sleep in before they reached their destination.