Geoff

December 24th, 2003

I walked through the door and slammed it shut. I heard screams above me. I heard the word 'divorce' and I immediately regretted ever coming home.

December 25th, 2003

"If you're going to Mexico, and Dad's going to Spain, who'll look after me?" I asked my Mom, clutching her arm.

"Your uncle. But personally I think you're old enough to look after yourself," she replied, trying to throw him off.

"I'm barely twelve!" I complained, desperate to not let her go. "You can't leave me! You can't!"

"You've got to grow up, Geoff," she shouts angrily, slamming her suitcase down and picking it up.

January 1st, 2004

"I've got to leave, little bro," Carl muttered angrily. He was older than me by five years, and he had turned eighteen recently.

"Take me with you!" I begged. "Please take me with you!" Carl looked at me as if he was actually considering.

"I'll miss you, Geoff. Look, I'll give you one of my surfboards. I know you don't know how to surf yet, but tell me you'll learn."

I grasped the surfboard, before claiming, "Of course I will."

December 1st, 2004

I remember clearly the letter, and the news, and the devastation. I remember feeling numb all over, my palms sweaty, my eyes red.

I remember being called into my aunt's room, and her reading out the letter clearly. I remember her telling me what had happened.

I can picture her telling me now that Carl, Mom and Dad were on the same plane over to see me. I remember rejoicing at the first part of the letter, the beauty of the fact they hadn't forgotten me.

I remember the second part best though.

I remember her panic, her shaky voice. I remember my aunt grasping me tight before telling me the worst part that any thirteen year old could ever imagine.

You'll never see them again. They won't come aback for you. I remember, best of all my absolute confusion in what she was saying. It took me a long time to actually grasp the sad fact.

The sad fact that they were dead.

January 1st, 2005

I remember this was the day I learnt to really surf. Maybe I learnt to surf to make my brother proud.

Maybe I learnt to surf because I thought it was fun.

Maybe I learnt to surf because…because I never wanted to ride a plane again.

December 25th, 2005

Now I realise why my Mom told me to smile, whatever the situation. She had told me, although not directly, to smile to hide my grief. She had told me to smile to hide my fears. She had told me to smile to hide myself from the horrible, harsh world. I look outside my window, and sigh. But just before I turn away, I look at myself, and manage a small smile.