Saving Coralie.

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  • Published: 1 Jan 2017
  • Updated: 1 Jan 2017
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Coralie and Erin are more like sisters and friends. They've been through everything together, the good the bad and the ugly. Which is why when Coralie kidnaps Erin and takes her to a secluded beach house, Erin gives her the benefit of the doubt. The girls find themselves in Pembrokeshire, the beautiful West coast of Wales, and the beautiful scenery is almost enough to make Erin forget that she's been kidnapped. Almost. She knows that Cor's acting weird and she thinks that she knows why, a memory that she's pushed to the back of her mind that keeps trying to force its way out. The one thing she does know for sure though is that Coralie needs saving. The trip turns out to be more tumultuous than either girl could ever have imagined. A story of love, friendship, grieving and unforgettable summers.


8. Chapter 8.

“I mean despite the fact that I wanted to sleep in all day, this is pretty nice,” I smiled into my coffee. Cor, Seb, Iddy, Sim and I all sat around the circular dining table in our kitchen. The boys had surprised us by making an early morning bacon trip into the village and had cooked mounds of it, with a side of white bread toast lathered in butter, or a ‘heart attack on a plate’ as Cor had so delightfully described it. Neither their boisterous cooking, nor the smell of bacon had managed to wake me up however and apparently it had taken both Sim and Seb singing my name in unison to wake me up. As I groggily pulled on a pair of leggings I decided that perhaps I should keep the revelation that Seb could sleep through a fire to myself considering it would make me quite the hypocrite.

“You wanted to sleep all day? You lazy shit,” Seb replied, grabbing another plateful of bacon, as if baiting me to say something. I almost argued back but I was mid bite of a piece of warm heavenly toast and it butteryness rendered me wordless.
“No sleeping today I’m afraid RiRi, why’d you think we made this energy packed breakfast? We’ve got shit to do.”
“Like what?” I said around my toast, ever the lady.
“We better be doing something really active to shed this food baby we’re making,” Cor said, making it at least her fourth complaint about the fat content of our breakfast within the last ten minutes, despite the fact that she was simultaneously stuffing her face with a handful of bacon.
“Mine’s food triplets,” Sim lifted his top and ballooned his belly to an impressive size and Seb patted it lovingly.
“Don’t worry Queen Coralie. It’s a surprise but a good one I promise,” Iddy winked at her and she rolled her eyes, trying her hardest not to look amused.


“I don’t think this suits me,” Coralie turned from side to side in a full length mirror, “Can’t I just wear my bikini?”
“Well yeah if you want some banging bruises on your ribs and your hip bones. Oh or a nice friction rash. But I mean I’m sure that’ll suit you. More than a wetsuit anyway,” Iddy replied, his tone teasing.
We found ourselves in a little surf shop that was overlooking a beautiful stretch of beach that Iddy had announced was called Newgale. As I watched the sea through one of the shops’ windows, I could see that Newgale was definitely living up to its name. Despite the bright sunshine, there looked to be a strong breeze down at the seafront, the lifeguards’ flags flapping madly, girls swiping their windswept hair away from their eyes.

“Perfect weather for surfing,” Iddy had exclaimed as we’d parked up in the pebble adjourned carpark and stood for a moment watching the generously sized waves crashing onto the cushiony sand. The ‘surprise’ outing had been slightly ruined when we’d gone out to the carpark to find the boys’ surfboards roped precariously on the roof of Seb’s car. The surf shop had wood panelled floors and white walls and was brightly lit and sweet smelling, like Sex Wax and new wetsuits. I browsed the wall of postcards, bead bracelets and incredibly comfortable looking hoodies as the boys sorted out which surfboards to rent for Cor and I and tried to get Cor to choose a wetsuit to borrow. After much deliberation and in which time I’d ended up giving in and buying one of the super soft hoodies, the boys finally decided to get two longboards for me and Cor that were apparently better for beginners, and Sim, despite having his own well-used board, decided to rent a fun-board, insisting that he needed a bit of fun in his life after the stressful year of uni he’d had and claimed that he didn’t care that the name of the board wouldn’t dictate how much fun he’d actually have.

Once we were all rigged up and Coralie was satisfied that the wetsuit she’d chosen hadn’t given her a major uni-boob, we made our way across the busy coastal road towards the little incline of pebbles, which separated the beach from the rest of Newgale. The surfboards were heavy so Cor and I let the boys do all the hard work and waited on the pebble bank whilst they carted the boards down to the water, one by one. I tugged on my wetsuit and me and Cor laughed as I struggled to yank it up over my bum. I was so glad to see Cor looking happy that I forgot to be nervous about trying surfing for the first time.
“I take it back about this wetsuit not doing me any favours, I swear to god that lifeguard is checking me out,” Cor said, raising one perfectly shaped eyebrow at me as she gestured to a lifeguard dressed like a lollypop in red and yellow, standing outside the portable lifeguard hut that was perched on top of the ledge of pebbles.
“So you think that he’s ignoring every little kid in the sea who could be drowning and calling out for help and is instead staring at you?”
He had wiry muscles, a mop of wavy brown hair and was wearing dark sunglasses, making it impossible to see what he was actually looking at. Truth be told, it did seem as if he was more concerned with posing than doing any life-saving, so it was possible that she was right.
“Well let’s hope he’s still staring at you when you fall of the surfboard and he’s not too concerned about his hair getting wet to jump in and save you.”
“I might actually throw myself in just to get saved by him,” she winked, still grinning at me as she began running towards the shallow of the water to join the others.

“Right so neither of you have any clue about surfing then?” Iddy said once we were all down by the tide, the chilly water caressing our toes.
“Nope,” Cor and I chorused which caused us to giggle childishly, earning us a stern glare from Iddy. For an activity that he’d proclaimed would be fun, he was definitely taking it very seriously. He’d apparently been surfing all his life, coming to this beach since he was tiny and becoming a master, taming Newgale’s ferocious waves. Or at least that’s how he’d put it.
Seb and Sim who’d been surfing almost as long as Iddy were already in the sea, skilfully manoeuvring their bodies and boards to the rhythm of the waves.
“Ok well to be fair these waves aren’t gonna be great for beginners but the fun’s in the trying after all. I guess,” he mumbled, less than convincingly, “so if I just give you guys a step by step demonstration I’m sure you can get started at least.” The uncertainty in his voice was audible and his grin seemed to be one of amusement rather than of encouragement.

I’d never imagined surfing to be so taxing. The powerful waves pulled and tugged in all directions and the heavy board sloshed around from side to side as if it wanted to float away and be free in the ocean. We watched Iddy’s demonstration as he swam out with his board, making it look deceivingly effortless, before selecting the perfect wave, paddling to its rhythm, gripping the sides, pulling his legs between his arms, crouching low, stretching taller, riding the wave for almost a minute before plopping back into the sea. Oh how easy he made it seem. Oh how it wasn’t.
After about an hour in, I’d mastered the art of choosing a good wave and assembling myself into a kneeling position on my board, letting the sea sweep me along, surf splashing around me like a cloak, salty and frothy, and then I’d fall in. I’d given myself a good few goes of trying to stand up but had fallen almost instantly, the board crashing painfully into my body. I eventually decided that kneeling was a good enough advancement for one day. Cor however had needed lots more help, her whoops and screams of exhilaration and fear made me laugh but also terrified me, the sound balanced perfectly between pleasure and pain. For once however, she and Iddy got on like a house on fire, probably since neither of them had a chance to talk too much, both concentrating, both in hysterics over Cor’s lack of balance.

Cor was sitting on the shore now, allowing the sea to lap at her outstretched legs, looking almost content. I allowed her expression to give me a moment of peace. I knelt on my board and took in my surroundings, the long stretch of sand framed by the pebble banking, the green clifftops in the near distance that jutted into the sea in protruding, unique patterns. The happy families on the beach, dogs digging pointless holes in the sand, children building castles and moats. The simple beauty of the scene before me caused a lump to form in my throat. The moment was short-lived however as I noticed Sim skidding towards me on a gigantic wave, his board apparently out of his control and not so much fun anymore, as I flew under the water in what turned out to be a very narrow escape.

After the near miss I decided to give up. Sim had given me a huge bear hug and apologised over and over, only half joking when he overdramatically gritted his teeth and said, “ I thought we were both dead Ri. Sleeping with the fishes.”
“Oh ha ha,” I’d tried not to grin as I’d moved to join Cor on the shore instead.
“Dangerous this surfing thing, I really don’t think the effort’s worth how cool it looks. Not that it looked very cool in your case,” Cor laughed as I plonked myself down beside her, having been a spectator to the whole thing.
“Very funny. Got to admit I swerved death pretty well though.”
We wandered further up the beach after a little while, to where the sand was drier and softer and took out wetsuits off, laying them out to dry on the warm pebbles. We lay back and let the sun caress our skin for a little while, chatting about nonsense, watching the boys now and then. I also helped Cor wordlessly flirt with the lifeguard who was now shamelessly watching her from afar. I kept an eye on him, letting her know when he was watching her. It was a bit of harmless fun and it was nice to feel carefree and relaxed for a little bit. Until she asked me to put sun cream on her bum the next time he looked over and I decided to tap out and told her that she was a sicko.

The boys got out of the water not long after Coralie’s botched attempt at lathering up her own bum, which we were both convinced had turned the lifeguard off her as he hadn’t looked over since.
“Don’t worry too much, with those aviator sunglasses and Elvis wannabe hair you could tell he was a bit of a prick anyway. Plus you wouldn’t want to make Iddy jealous,” I’d nudged her playfully before rolling onto my belly so that my back could get some sun.
“What do you mean?” Cor replied shortly, colour rising in her cheeks. I hadn’t actually meant much by it, I was only going to say that they’d looked cute play fighting during her unsuccessful surfing lesson. But seeing her normally collected composure ruffled took me by surprise and started me thinking that maybe I’d actually hit upon something.
“Wait, you don’t actually-“
“Girls I’ve hit my threshold, my hands have gone numb and I could eat a horse,” Seb interrupted me. He was standing over me, blocking out the light, cold sea water dripping onto my sun-warmed body.
I squirmed and he laughed menacingly before bending down and attempting to grasp me, at which point I was forced to roll into the grainy sand and leap to my feet to escape his ice cold embrace.
“Keep away from me you animal, you’re soaking!” I screeched, stumbling clumsily as I tried to run on the sand, Seb close on my heels.
“Wait, I just wanna comfort you after your near death experience.”
“Yeah, you seemed so worried as you glanced in my direction then carried on surfing,” I squealed, still attempting to run, my feet moving to little avail and slipping continuously through the sand.
“I was trying to keep you calm with my casual expression see,” Seb’s voice was so close now that I shivered even at the thought of my partially baked skin making contact with his bitingly cold wetsuit. Just as I thought I was making leeway, Iddy and Sim appeared from my side, both of them gently grasping either arm with cold, water-pruned hands. I screamed involuntarily just as Seb manoeuvred around us and grinned at me. As I looked at him in that moment, hair damp and sticking up at all sort of angles, salt water still dripping down his deeply tanned face, eyes bright, I’d never hated or loved him more. Then he pulled me into a cold, wet hug and I just hated him.


The boys took way longer than me or Cor to change, only partially because they’d had the task of taking the surfboards and Cor’s wetsuits back to the surf shop but mostly because when they’d opened the boot to fetch their clothes they’d found a rugby ball nestled like an egg under their bags and were tossing it around.
Cor and I sat inside the car, largely because I had a bad track record of getting hit by rouge rugby balls, our feet up on the dashboard, listening to music on the radio that somehow had the ability to make us feel thirteen again. We sang and danced along, almost forgetting where we were.

The boys finally got ready and clambered noisily back into the car, Seb reluctantly giving in to Cor’s relentless pleas to drive, claiming that his feet were still too numb to use the controls anyway.
“Where to now then?” Sim bellowed. He was sat in the back, squashed between me and Iddy. He was huddled against Iddy, announcing loudly to the car that it was for warmth, then leaning down towards me whispering that really, it was because he liked having a cheeky feel of Iddy’s guns.
“Few bevs are in order I think?” Iddy suggested, although it came out as more of a command, “I know a place where we can go and watch a few proper surfers while we’re at it. Make up for the shambles you lot were earlier.”
Coralie cleared her throat and glanced at Iddy in the rear view mirror, one eyebrow raised.
“Except Coralie of course,” he said.
“Brown-noser,” Seb quipped, earning himself a nudge in the ribs.
“Ouch,” Seb protested, feigning hurt.
“Say something please Erin, your friend just attacked me with her lethal skinny arm,” he said, playing up to the part and rubbing his apparently damaged rib.
“No. You didn’t even react when your friend tried to kill me with a surfboard remember? And even after that you actively encouraged both of your friends to pin me down so that you could attack me. So deal with your rib injury alone Sebby.”
“She’s got a point Sebby,” Sim said, leaning forward and patting Seb on the head, “I did try to kill her.”
“Well that’s not my- Oh whatever, I’d keep up this charade and argue if I had the energy but to be fair I’ve got sides of steal so it didn’t even hurt and I’m just gasping for a pint now. Whitesands is it Iddy mate?”
“Aye, its nice down there this time of day and we can sit on the front for a bit.”
“Ok get on it then Cor, let’s see some of this amazing driving you boast of,” Sim said, settling back with his arms resting behind his head obnoxiously.

I scoffed, knowing that he wouldn’t be looking so relaxed once he actually experienced some of Cor’s ‘amazing’ driving, especially since he was trusting her with his car, his baby, his soul mate in car form, as were the phrases he often used. I didn’t say anything, knowing that the element of surprise would be more entertaining. Instead I leant my head against the cool glass of the window and settled in for the ride. In a strange way I enjoyed the way my head bobbed against the window as the car shuddered to life, the sensation reminding me of when I’d been younger and I would fall asleep on long car journeys, waking up to my head bouncing gently against the glass to the rhythm of the engine.

I sat up after a while to take in my surroundings. We were driving through winding country lanes, green fields framing the narrow road, mountains on the horizon being illuminated green, white and brown by the low afternoon sun. It felt as if we were driving further away from the coast but Seb had firmly assured Cor mere moments ago when she’d had a mini breakdown whilst trying to squeeze the car across a ramshackle little bridge, barely wide enough for one car, that ‘he was not an idiot and his directions were flawless’. It was comical watching the two of them bicker light-heartedly, the look on Seb’s face one of constant fear, his hands now gripping his legs as Coralie screeched a little quickly around a corner. After a while though, clearly realising that she was on the verge of giving Seb a heart attack to go along with his rub injury, Cor decided to comply and slowed down, manoeuvring the twisting road as well as she could, Seb finally settling back into a semi-calm position. We all settled into a sleepy content silence after that. Old Pine was playing on the radio and the sun, getting lower, was dazzling, everything draped in a golden sheen. I glanced at every person in the car in turn and couldn’t contain the smile that played around my lips as I turned my attention back to the window.

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