Frozen Sea

Sixteen-year-old Alaska's whole world is slowly but surely starting to crumble. Her boyfriend is charged with the rape of her best friend, and she is staring at a long, lonely summer of secrets and unimaginable pain. Losing herself in surfing and her night shift at the local pub seems like the only way to pretend none of it is actually happening for real. Until she meets Connor, a mysterious musician on a holiday of inspiration, Alaska finally realises that sometimes the only way to move on is to face up to reality.

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2. I

My mobile vibrated in my pocket, making me jump. I  fixed my gaze rigidly on the early breaking dawn as I fumbled around in my jacket pocket, and pulled it out, flicking open the screen. It was dad. 'Hi, honey. I woke up, and you're not here. Again. Please come home.'

My eyes stung with stupid, embarrassed tears as I stuck the phone deep down into my pocket again. The sea was the only thing keeping my brain focused on anything but Carter's wide smile, the smile I had fallen for only several months ago. My dad was worried, I knew it, but somehow I still couldn't come home even when I knew it was what he wanted. It wasn't his fault that he couldn't understand why I spent endless hours just aimlessly walking by the ocean. To my dad, the sea was a bottomless crater where countless sailors and fishermen went to die, but to me, the sea was a place of escape. A place where no one judged me for allowing my boyfriend to rape my best friend. 

The sand felt warm and soft between my toes, even though the morning was chilly. Needless to say Duckpool would be packed later with the inevitable holiday makers and surfers taking advantage of the unusually warm weather, especially for the summer. Summers in Cornwall had been cold and rainy ever since I could remember, and that was around the age of six, when my mum had chosen to opt for a glamourous life as a model in America and pack me off to live with my dad in inclement Cornwall. 

For a split second I turned my head, searching for anyone who might see me at this ungodly hour. There was always an occasional dog-walker, a hiker, a painter with a flask of coffee trying to catch the sun-dappled ocean on paper. But this morning there was nothing. I always wondered what they thought of me: a tall, skinny sixteen-year-old girl wearing a light blouse and faded cut-offs, mousey blonde hair pulled up hastily into a messy ponytail and an expression to sober the most hilarious comedian. Maybe they thought I was tiresome. Bored, even. The average teenager living in a seaside town with little to look forward to but a purposeless stretch of summer and the start of A-Levels in September. 

Somehow though, my mind kept on drifting back to Carter. There was a reason I had fallen in love with him. Now, it was hard to remember what that reason was. With every step into the squelching sand a moment of our time together flicked before my eyes like a movie. All the times we had shared coffee together. The late night suppers in the Italian bistro in town. The French films he would trail through with me just because he knew I loved them. I never thought, not even for one second, that he was that kind of guy. Of course he was good looking. I could tell he was just by the looks I would get in the corridors at school, the angry stares that said, 'you know you're not good enough for him'. But then again, who could blame them? Carter's ink black hair; the way it was so perfectly disheveled every day, effortlessly gelled, his body; tan and lean, that somehow happened to always mould so completely into mine, and his humour. Until you met Carter, you didn't realise that you could laugh so much. But you did. And it was always when your relationship was over that you realised that none of his jokes were actually funny.

Lily was the opposite. So different to Carter it was no wonder they just never seemed to get on. Every moment I was with Carter it was a constant battle of whose side I was on: and that meant choosing between my best friend and my boyfriend. I had met Lily on the first day I moved from London to Cornwall, and I had never looked back. Lily was smart, sensible, and always knew the right thing to say in every situation. Despite being intelligent, often too much for her own good, Lily was also unarguably beautiful. She had long chocolate brown hair reaching almost to her elbows, with equally dark eyes and long lashes. Her clothes were always bought from unheard of boutiques down the outskirts of town, only known between Lily and her mother, and although slightly eccentric, it only added to the points scored of all of the boys in Seaview. Lily's mother was artistic, quirky, vegan; running yoga classes and a herbal remedies shop in town, and somehow I loved her. Isla was kind, open-minded, supportive; all three I hadn't got from my mother.

I hadn't been to see Isla since her daughter had been raped. I only think it would make things worse if she saw the person to blame.

That person was me.

Sighing, and knowing I couldn't put it off any longer, I turned on my heel and went clambering back over the rocks, on my way to face my dad. 

 

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