The sun was shining in the clear blue sky. A cool breeze was blowing and the scene of the waves lapping the shore just added to the beauty. Nothing in the world could spoil it. 17 year old Emmeline lay on the beach letting the waves lick her toes. She glanced to her right where her best friend Nadia was doing the same. This was a much needed relaxation for them both after a gruelling month of exams. Emmeline had just answered her 12th and Nadia her 3rd year of college. There was a 3 year age difference between them but they hardly ever felt it, and although Nadia was already in college, she really was a child at heart and a most loyal friend. “This is the life!” Jonathan exclaimed. Emmeline turned to her left where her other best friend Jonathan was lying flat out on his back letting himself be gloriously tanned. He was in the same class as Emmeline but not in the same school. They had become really close because they were all in the same social group.
“You can say that again” Nadia replied. “I can’t believe that we are free at last. I thought that the exams would never end!”
“So true!” said Emmeline “and what better way to start the holidays than with a picnic at the beach with your best friends? It feels so good to just do nothing for a while. Just lie back and pretend to be lazy”
“Well that must be easy for you, being a natural at it.” teased Jonathan.
“Ha - Ha. Very funny...” replied Emmeline sarcastically.
“You’re one to talk Jonathan” said Nadia “I bet you didn’t even work half as hard as Em and me. You just slept away your study holidays before the tests.”
“And still he gets better marks as us!” complained Emmeline.
“Elementary my dear Watson! I have brains. Something that you two wouldn’t understand. And for your information Nadia, I didn’t sleep during my study leave, I was watching movies.” calmly replied Jonathan while pulling his shades over his eyes.
“NUT” screamed both the girls and started pelting him with wet sand
“Hey!” The three of them looked up to see Joshua, another one of their friends, standing over them. “How about you guys stopping your fight to come and play a much more sensible game of volleyball with us?”
Nadia, Emmeline, and Jonathan had come for an overnight picnic with their friends. Their friend Shania had a house quite close to the beach and she had invited them all.
“Yeah, we want to play!” answered Nadia.
“I don’t” replied Jonathan sitting up to squint at Joshua “I couldn’t play volleyball if my life depended on it”
Shania walked up behind him with another friend David. Hearing that, David jumped on Jonathan and retorted “Don’t be stupid Jonathan. Your life doesn’t depend on this game. We’re just playing for the fun of it. Come on! Don’t tell me you are such a chicken” he teased.
“Now that’s the last thing I am!” retorted Jonathan “All right! I’ll play! But if I hit any one on the head with the ball and knock them unconscious by mistake don’t say I didn’t warn you”
And so the game started! Since there were 6 of them and everyone wanted to play, each team had 3 members. Joshua, Emmeline and Nadia made one team while Jonathan, Shania and David got ready on the other side of the net. It was fun. Nobody really kept score because as David said, they were just playing for the fun of it and nobody was playing with rules so it was really a wild game. Joshua took the 1st serve and aimed it straight at Jonathan who panicked and threw it behind him where Shania managed to aim it back at the other team. She hit it so hard that it rich rocketed off the sand at such a speed before anyone could blink! Next Emmeline took the serve and hit it to David who aimed it at Nadia who was day dreaming.
“Nadia!” Everyone screamed. She turned around and just had time to hit it but had to twist herself in an awkward position and fell with a scream of pain. She had sprained her ankle. They all stopped and ran to her. Shania ran to her house to get an emergency medical kit while the others tried to convince Nadia to go into the house and rest her ankle but she insisted on remaining on the beach because she wanted to see them play. Shania returned panting not because her house was far, but because it was on top of a hill and she had run up and down the slope as fast as she could. She applied the cream to Nadia’s leg and she immediately felt better. So the game continued without Nadia with a few narrow escapes at permanent injuries when Jonathan did one of his wild smashes. “Watch out! Are you trying to injure someone else to keep Nadia Company?” Joshua shouted. Jonathan laughed “I told you I was a dangerous player...”
Emmeline playfully chucked a sand ball at him. That was the end of the volleyball game and the beginning of a sand fight! Jonathan took a bucket filled with sea water and threw it on Emmeline and David who was his constant partner in crime followed it with a bucket of sand. “Aaaaaargh!!!!” she yelled and ran after them for revenge. The teams were disbanded and it was the survival of the fittest. Emmeline, Jonathan, Shania, David and Joshua were just flinging sand balls at each other. Until Jonathan went into the water and came out with his hands dripping with sand slurry which he poured down Shania’s back. Not to be left out, Joshua did the same thing simultaneously to him. It was a mad rush and everyone was soon sandy from head to toe. The game ended only when they all flopped down where Nadia was sitting exhausted but happy.
“Good game everyone.” cheered David sounding like their coach or team captain. Jonathan agreed with him “Yeah it was a good game! No one was mortally wounded by me.” he said. They all chuckled at this statement. “Yeah, this time it was David who wounded Nadia” Joshua said with a sideways grin at him. “If I wasn’t so exhausted Josh, I would have shown you how I can purposefully wound you.” David answered him. “Peace my people!” Shania said. “I’m sure Nadia has no anger against David so don’t bring up an argument Josh.” “Nadia are you ok?” Emmeline asked.
“Yes, thank you.” Nadia replied “It wasn’t a bad sprain and the cream helped a lot! Thank you Shania”
“You’re welcome. I’m glad it helped” Shania smiled
Emmeline turned towards the water and smiled. She thought about Nadia and Jonathan her two best friends. All six who had gathered at the beach were good friends. But the three of them were like family and all three supported each other anytime without a second thought. ‘what a great day this is turning out to be’ She mused.
Suddenly she stopped looking and started staring hard at the water. Something was wrong. The sea water was going back and this didn’t seem to be because of the tides. This time the water was just receding without returning back and the water was turning greenish. Rocks that were not normally exposed were suddenly visible. It was like the sea was shrinking. Then Emmeline got frightened. She knew what was happening. She had read about it. She had even heard about it but had never seen it. By this time every one was staring at the newly exposed land but nobody knew what to do.
Then Emmeline screamed
“TSUNAMI! IT’S A TSUNAMI! EVERYONE RUN! RUN TO THE NEAREST HILL! RUN!”