Whispers in the Waves


Jhanvi Karthik '23

She stared out at the stormy sea through the large bay window. The waves,rough and choppy, exploded against the side of the cliff in a clash of azure and white foam. They pounded against the side, relentless in their pursuit,sometimes so violent that small droplets of foam reached the window and stuck to it like cling film. Turning her gaze up, she saw that the sea was set amongst a backdrop of dark clouds, rolling low and ominous above the water. A small sliver of the moon peeked out, casting a small patch of the cliff in its silvery light.And as she stared out into the sea, she began to remember:

It was five years ago. The day was crisp and clear, the sun shining brightly on the horizon, illuminating the cliff and rocky beach. She and Amber were playing on the beach, trying to find the smallest seashell possible to add it into their ever-growing collection. Frolicking among the stones, they both saw the perfect find: A small white seashell with swirls of pink adorning its sides, tucked away behind the corner of a rock, right at the top of the rocky beach where it met the cliff. They tried to run up the beach as fast as they possibly could, desperately trying to get the shell before the other.
“I bet I’ll get it first!”Amber had cried out. “No way! I’ll get it first, just you wait!”

They both ran until they were out of breath, painting with flushed, rosy cheeks. But as they both  got near the top where they had believed the shell to be, it was gone. The two girls, both wanting to find the shell, searched the beach from top to bottom, scouring all the rocks and leaving nothing unturned. But after what felt like hours, neither of them had found it. All the while, the sun had been slowly dipping into the horizon, painting the sky in hues of red, purple and orange, as if to announce its departure.

From the distance, Amber thought she saw something. “Look!” she cried aloud. Both girls looked up to see black clouds, a sure sign of a storm. “I guess it’s time to go back,” the other girl said, as they both began to clamber up the cliff. But just then, Amber gasped. Running down the beach, she turned to look where Amber was pointing, a pale hand trembling in obvious excitement. She had found the shell that they spent the afternoon searching for, and it was so close. Only a few steps away from the coastline, it stood out amongst the pale water, a bright gem amongst chunks of rock.

“I’ll go and get it really quickly.”

“Are you sure Amber? Those clouds don’t look inviting.”

“Yes, I promise,” Amber called back out, having already stepped into the water. Just as she took one step in the direction of the shell, it began to rain. It began to rain so hard and fast that the other girl was swept back, seemingly repelled by the force of the storm. Running up the beach, she entered the house that they both shared. And all around, the rain continued to pour, a constant stream of droplets battering against the cliff and windows. She saw her friend pick up her skirts and seemingly find the shell. But then, the rain picked up, creating a curtain impossible to view anything through,so she turned away from the window. She waited all night, hoping Amber would come back.

That was the last time she had seen her.