Message in a Bottle | Teen Ink

Message in a Bottle

January 21, 2022
By Anonymous

Isolation. It does a lot to a person. People are meant to be around others, just like how wolves live in packs. Whether that ‘pack’ be our friend groups, co-workers, or schoolmates, the point still stands. So when I woke up alone on a beach, god knows where I panicked.

Waves crash beside me and sand glitters on my shoes. Sitting up I see an ocean, blue as can be. Nothing but beach to my right and left. Shells littered all over the beach, and a tree line behind me. I stand up and run. Run to the forest behind me, run to the end of the beach, run back to where I appeared. I ran until there was nowhere to run. Panic blinds me to what common sense told me I should have been doing. I should have been finding food or finding somewhere to sleep but I ended up sleeping on the beach in the open. 

Months went by, every day I woke up with a start. The same wave crashes and the soft sound of the wind in my ears woke me every morning. By the following day, I realized no one was coming, and that I was alone. So I might as well make the best of it. At first, I had rules, rules about killing the animals on the island and I stuck to only eating what I foraged. But those reservations faded with time, just like rocks in a river. I built a nice little shelter in the forest. I had even made a friend a couple of months in. Mike. 

He was exactly what I had been wishing for, a friend who could help me escape my own mind. At first, I struggled to speak with him, I hadn’t spoken in months, no need on an island alone I suppose. But after time we warmed up to each other. Days and nights were spent talking about ourselves before whatever happened. That’s the one thing we never talked about, how we got here. There was no need, we were here and we might as well make the best of it. That was until the bottle washed up.

“Mike, look what I found!” I show him the bottle, he looks at the bottle and then at me. 

“Do you want to open that?”

“Of course, maybe we could go home,”

“Why would you want to, they abandoned you, us.” Maybe I don’t want to open it. My eyes glaze over, staring at Mike and the forest. I hear a crash and look to find the bottle shattered. A flare gun and a note sit on the sand. I pick up the note, come home, please. 

“You don’t want that, they don’t care. They would have found you if they cared.”

“Yeah I guess you’re right,” I drop the note in the ocean and I watch it wash away. 

Later that night Mike had friends over. Stacy, Jim, and Micheal. I didn’t really like them, they hurt my head. The five of us sat by the fire roasting marshmallows. I hung my head, thinking of the note.

“You should really get rid of that flare gun.” A voice in front of me said. 

“No, it could be useful. For bears and stuff” I mumble. 

“No, it’s clearly dangerous. You could hurt yourself.” 

“I’m going to take a walk.” Taking the flare gun with me I walk into the forest trying to get away from their loud voices. I find myself at a cliff, sitting at the edge, flare gun in hand. I look out at the ocean, and for the first time, I see a boat. A giant shipping ship. Don’t do it. They don’t care about you, Mike’s voice penetrates my head. I look behind me, no one. They would have found you already if they cared, Stacy’s voice now. Throw that gun away. They don't care.

Thoughts and voices crowd my head, but one thought shines through the haze and the voices. The note, written in my mother’s handwriting. I pick up the gun from my lap. 

They don’t care. They left you. You’re worthless.

Gun pointed in the air. I squeeze the trigger.

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