Chapter 1: The Song
“Serena, get up!” I groan as I roll over onto my side, trying to wrap myself in the warm sheets of my bed. Unfortunately, the voice plaguing my sleep decides to come into my room and confiscate my covers. “Come on Rena!” My eyes pop open in a glare trained on a pair of similar ocean blue eyes attached to the grinning face of my elder brother.
“Caspiaaaaan!” I groan as I throw my pillow at him but, of course, he had to go and dodge it which didn’t improve my mood at all. He knows that I’m not much of a morning person, and yet he persists in doing this every morning of every day.
“You’re going to be late for school if you don’t get up!” He laughs as he tosses my sheets onto my head and runs out the door.
“Dammit. Why should I even go? People don’t like me anyway,” I mutter as I think back to the judgmental glances I get in the hallways. That started with an incident-that shall never be spoken of again-involving water and other people. In any case, I end up rolling myself out of bed with something in between a growl and a groan rising from my throat.
“Is she up yet?” Someone calls from outside my door as I lay there on the floor, contemplating on if I should crawl back into bed or not.
“She should be,” Caspian replies as I hear his footsteps stop momentarily before continuing, eventually fading altogether.
“Rena!” I groan once again as my door swings open once again. I crack my eyes open, once more, into a glare trained on my second older brother, who’s currently staring at me with the goofiest expression upon his face.
“What do you want Zale?” I ask lowly as I drop my head back into my pillow.
“I want you to get up so you’re not late,” he says as he takes away my pillow, tossing it to the other side of the room. An effective way to disrupt my sleep.
“Alright, I’m up!” I say in defeat as I sit up in bed whilst rubbing my neck.
“The dead has risen!” I hear a voice chuckle as I narrow my eyes at the familiar blonde head of hair standing in the doorway. My third elder brother, Rodion, stands in the doorway smirking at me. I roll my eyes as I push my brothers out of my room so I can get ready for the dreaded day to come.
Getting up in the morning is one of the more difficult feats of the day and usually requires the efforts of all four of my brothers. Yes, four, I have four older brothers. The last one to whom I am closest in age to would be Arion, who is currently lounging on the couch looking at some TV show I know nothing about. I don’t even say anything as I enter the kitchen and take a seat at the island. I allow my eyes to roam about the kitchen for a second before turning to Zale as he places a plate of pancakes down in front of me.
“So where’s dad?” I ask as I grab the syrup and pour it over my pancakes.
“He went to the beach again,” Zale replies as he starts washing the dishes. Caspian chooses this moment to enter the kitchen, taking the empty seat next to me.
“He left earlier this morning before any of us had gotten up,” he finishes as he takes a fork and steals a pancake slice off of my plate. I don’t even try to protest since I’m used to this by now. Instead my thoughts drift towards my absent father. My mother died when I was eight. She drowned in the sea during a storm and ever since then my father would go to the sea and spend his time looking out over its watery depths with a longing look in his eyes. Once on one of these trips I went with him and he had begun to sing out onto the ocean. Clearly it was meant for my mother with the way he would stare longingly out into it. In any case, it isn’t a strange thing if our dad disappears because he spends all of his time at the beach.
“Did he say when he would be back?” I ask between a mouth full of pancakes. Zale shook his head as he flicked my forehead with a small smile.
“Chew first then talk,” he says with a laugh as I swallow my food before asking again.
“Did he?” I ask as I put my fork down on my empty plate and look up at him. Zale sighs as he shakes his head.
“You know dad. He’ll be there for hours and then come back all smiles,” he explains as he takes my plate and washes it. I was about to ask another question but I’m interrupted by Rodion entering the kitchen whilst staring at his phone.
“You know you guys only have like twenty minutes to get to school?” He asks as he looks up at me with a bored gaze. My eyes widen as I jump out of my seat and bound up to my room to grab my bag. By the time I get back downstairs Arion is already standing there waiting for me with his bag slung over his shoulder.
“Come on slowpoke!” He calls as he runs out the door and jumps into his car. I say a quick goodbye to my other brothers before joining Arion outside in his car...
Unfortunately for the both of us, it doesn’t take us very long to get to school but we’re not even afforded a moment to complain about it because we’re already running straight to our lockers. I grab my history textbook as Arion grabs his calculus book. I shut my locker and turn towards him. Even though we have like five minutes until the warning bell people are still loitering about the hallways as though they have nowhere important to go. My gaze finds the adoring glances of some of the girls in the hallway as they appear to be whispering about my brother. All four of my brothers have been blessed with good looks inherited from our parents, naturally. So it comes as no surprise that they attract a lot of attention.
“So, are you going to the beach again today?” Arion asks, effectively snapping me out of my daze.
“Yeah,” I say softly as I smile at him. It’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. I feel inexplicably drawn to the ocean and it makes me feel better just to stand near it. Most people think I’m strange because of these thoughts but I honestly couldn’t careless. Besides, it doesn’t help the fact that the beach is pretty much our whole backyard since we live by the ocean.
“Alright then. Just be careful of any weirdos okay?” He asks sternly as I roll my eyes.
“Yes mom,” I say sarcastically as Arion frowns.
“Serena,” he says a bit lower as I, once again, roll my eyes. Brothers... I think with a sigh and a quick shake of my head.
“Yes, I know Rion. Now will you quit being such a worrywart?” I ask as I watch him release a sigh before going back to his usual smiles.
“This counts as a con for having four older brothers,” I murmur as I rub my temple. “So damn overprotective...” I mutter as the warning bell rings.
“See you after school Rena!” Arion calls before running off to his class while I begin making my way towards my own.
By the time I got to the last class of the day I was already anticipating the last five minutes until the bell would ring, signaling the end of the day and my freedom. As the teacher drones on I continue to carefully watch the clock. I count the final seconds until the bell with barely restrained anticipation.
5...4...3...2...FINALLY! I think as the bell rings and I slide out of my seat. I’m already the first out the door as I sprint to my locker and toss my books inside once I reach it. Beside me, Arion is already in his locker checking his phone as he puts his books away.
“Arion!” Someone calls quite annoyingly. I hold back an irritated groan as my gaze quickly finds the source of my vexation, Raquel Woods. Immediately following her call I find myself shoved backwards as she takes my place beside Arion’s locker. My brother smiles at her politely as I glare daggers at the back of her head. In that ditsy little head of hers’ I don’t even exist so it’s easy for her to just push me aside when my brother is in her sights.
“I’ll see you later Rion!” I call as I make my way towards the exit whilst rolling my eyes exaggeratedly.
“Rena! Don’t you want me to drive you there?” He calls back as he breaks away from Raquel who glares after me in annoyance. I glance back at him as I shake my head.
“No. I can walk,” I say before continuing on my merry way. Honestly my brothers worry too much and I always have to reassure them that I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself but what use is that when you’ve got four protective older brothers hellbent on making sure you don’t get hurt. Oh well. Brothers will be brothers... I think with a shrug as I walk out of the school and make my way towards the beach. It isn’t much of a walk considering all I have to do is cut through the school parking lot and walk straight past the lines of shops across the street.
Upon getting to the beach I do a quick look around to see if my dad is still here, but I don’t see him anywhere making me wonder if he returned home. He probably did but he never leaves us for too long even though we’re not little kids anymore. So with that I head up to the cliff and sit there gazing out at the sea. From here I’m able to see the endless white sand, the guard tower, and the houses forming a line in the distance. However, I never pay any of it much concern since my gaze is always drawn back to that huge body of water that beckons to me oh so sweetly.
A song comes to mind as I sit there staring at the crystal waters below. It’s a lullaby that my mother used to sing and it’s all I have of her since I was pretty young when she died. Before I even realize what I’m doing the words begin falling from my lips in bittersweet melancholy.
A sense of calm washes over me as the last few words fall from my lips and carries across the sea on the wind. I listen to the sea for a bit while breathing in its fresh scent when suddenly...
"Swayed by the waves that set you free,
Will the ocean carry you back to me?
Many long years I have waited,
To meet again is surely fated...”
My eyes pop open as the same lullaby, I had just finished singing, sang back to me. The voice, however, is not my own. The voice is beautiful, but there is an underlying sadness to it as it sings back to me. Eventually the song ends and I find myself staring out upon the sea in curiosity. What was that...? I wonder as I feel my phone vibrating in my pocket. I take it out and find the Caller ID belonging to Rodion glowing on the screen. I take one last glance at the sea before sliding my finger across the screen to answer it.
“What is it Rod?” I ask as I turn and lay on my stomach whilst using my bag as a pillow.
“Is dad out there with you?” He asks with a bit of concern interlaced in his voice.
“No...” I breathe as my breath hitches in my throat. “I thought he went home. Is he not there?” I ask, all of a sudden feeling very worried. After all, dad only really goes to two places. Here and home, and if he did go elsewhere he would tell one of us first.
“Dammit,” he swears as I hear talking in the background. “Hurry up and come home Serena,” Rodion says seriously before hanging up the phone.
“What’s going on?” I wonder aloud as I sit up and look back at the sea again. The waves gently lap at the shore while seagulls cry out from above making it seem as though there’s nothing wrong but amidst all of this I feel an underlying sense of fear. With this in mind I take up my bag and run home without missing a beat...
This cover is temporary. I'm currently working on a cover for this, but it's not yet done so this will be in its place for the time being. Also, updates occur every Friday.