Olivia Granger was battling the wind as she headed towards the wooden pier at the end of Lawson’s Bay. She had grown up visiting this beautiful beach and had done so much exploring over the years that she had learned the difference between the best rocks to climb to get the best views of a sunset and the ones to climb if you wanted to see more of the small beachside town itself. This evening, however, she avoided the rocks bordering the bay and walked in bare feet along the sand towards the pier. Olivia stopped at the edge of the pier and curled up her feet. She closed her eyes and soaked in the feeling of the soft sand between her toes for the last time before stepping on to the pier, where she planned to make her way to the end, dive in and live under the ocean forever.
Olivia had fantasized about living underwater since she was very little and, like many ideas that at first appear impossible, the more she thought about it, the more it made sense for her to transition from her life on the land to one under the ocean. There were three main reasons that Olivia had chosen to make this change. Firstly, there was the appeal of constant silence which contrasted sharply with the relentless noise of a life on the land. From the moment she was old enough to put her head under the water, Olivia was obsessed with the silence. There were no cars or buses, no dogs barking or loud birds. There was no one demanding her attention and, best of all, there was no one asking her the same questions over and over again, hoping for answers she could not give them. Olivia had tried to replicate this feeling of peace where she lived by using the pillows and blankets provided to her but nothing came remotely close to the calming sensation she felt when she was under the ocean water.
Then there was the view. Confusingly, Olivia had overhead many of the other children living with her mention that the vastness of the ocean frightened them. Perhaps this is how Grandma felt when she used to stare at a blank canvas with the paintbrush in her hand, Olivia thought. And, yet, when Olivia was trying to stay under the water for as long as she could while staring out into the depths of the ocean, she could do nothing except be filled with inspiration.
Then there was the potential for Olivia to start again. To not make any of the same mistakes she had made on the land and to live a life she could finally control. The ocean had been the one true constant for Olivia over the years and had gradually moved from being a place of fun and enjoyment to a home away from home, and, finally, to being the only place she felt that she could ever entirely belong. There were the obvious things Olivia would miss about being on the land, but even those had lost meaning recently as she continued to dream a life away from expectation and worry. That’s it, she thought. Worry. Under the ocean, there’s nothing to worry about.
An orange and purple sunset slowly moved across the sky as Olivia made her way towards the end of the wooden pier. Oliva crept her toes over the edge of the faded white line marking the end of the pier and looked out over the horizon. Half of her view was sky, the other half water, there was no in-between and, therefore, no other choice. Olivia placed her hands together above head and dove off the pier into the clear and endless blue water below.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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