Chapter 1:

She opened her eyes. The bright sun made her blink uncontrollably for a moment, her head pounding.  She was confused. As she lay there she was thinking of the ocean. Smelling it. That fresh salty, cool breeze, dancing under her nose. 

Katia Richards, was laying on a beach, smelling the fresh salt water that surrounded her. She felt paralyzed. Katia took a deep breath, trying to focus, when she choked on her breath. A million thoughts running through her head. ‘What’s going on?’ 

She reached her right hand out and examined it carefully in front of her, turning it over and over, not really absorbing what had just happened. Laying there, she finally felt the feelings of what was happening to her. 

Katia started to breathe heavy in panic. Trying to sit up, but her head felt like it weighed a thousand pounds. Again she tried to regain her balance. She put both hands down to help herself up. She collapsed, only to realize she couldn’t use her left arm because of the pain. 

“Oh my God,” Katia cried. “Help! Someone, anyone please help!” 

She rolled over onto her right side, sobbing profusely at the pain that suddenly set into her body. 

Katia scanned her surroundings to see if there was anyone, or anything around her. The sun, just going down on the horizon was blinding her, and made it hard to see. She squinted and slowly pushed herself to a sitting position, feeling weak and dizzy. 

She looked around, observing her surroundings. Something her father taught her as a child. Katia could hear the sound of her fathers voice as if he was standing over her shoulder, telling her to look at everything around her, ‘Take it all in,’ he’d say to her. ‘Make sure you look for anything that could tell you where you are if you’re lost. Look for a street sign, a building, anything that might help if you ever get lost.’

Lost, she thought. I am lost. Katia was shaking. The sun was now below the horizon and just a light glow peered over the water. Once again she looked around, able to see a bit better. Across the beach she noticed something in the sand. She grabbed her left leg with her good arm. Good she had feeling. Katia took off her sweater, tied it around the midst of her stomach and around her shoulder to keep her arm from moving. It made her cry out in pain but still confused she knew she had to find help. 

Katia limped across the beach.’One shoe?’ she sighed to herself.

As Katia got closer she realized that it was a person she saw, laying in the sand, face down. The tide was coming in, and the waves washed up around their feet. Katia’s slow limp, came to a stall. She stood there for a moment, trying to gather her thoughts. She was panting, trying to catch her breath.  

Is this a dream? She qquestioned. No, it can’t be a dream, Katia insisted, this hurts too much to be a dream.  

Bent over, trying to catch gain her composure, Katia was staring at the sand and rocks that lined the beach. She started thinking of the last time she was on a beach. An unexpected trip with her boyfriend, she walked along, socks in shoes, shoes in hand. Smiling and enjoying the fact that they never ran out of things to talk about. Alex and Katia had been together for 6 years. They often stopped along their travels to get out and explore. Alex would run up behind Katia and place his hands over her crystal blue eyes, gently. “Guess who?” he would joke. 

Katia snapped back to reality. Okay, she convinced herself, I have to go see if that person is okay! Before she knew it she was limping at an almost jogging pace. “Hello?!” Katia cried out. Realizing it was a man, when she almost fell down onto him. Katia rolled him onto his back. Another one of those life lessons from Daddy, Katia knew First Aid. She checked him over, noticing only a cut to his head above his right eye. Checking his pulse to see if he was still alive, Katia placed her ear over his mouth to see if she could hear him breathing. He coughed suddenly, and Katia fell backwards onto her butt. 

Lunging back towards the man to see if he was okay. 

“Sir, can you hear me? Sir please? Are you okay?” she exclaimed! 

The man coughed again, nodding his head, but she could clearly tell, he was in pain. 

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