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Chapter One.

IT'S funny, when you become the most faithful you've ever been- when you cry and beg for God, your scared- panicked. Your cold and your shaking. With tears running down your face, your hands trembling you some how manage to clasp them tight weaving your fingers together, an unspoken plea for strength. Then, your lips move forming words- sounds, even if they are unintelligible but no matter, God hears them. Seconds pass and you ask for a miracle- to live. You wish that you didn't get into that fight with your mom and ask for forgiveness. You wish that you could say "I love you" one more time. When your miracle comes, your hands are joined together and your fingers are intertwined strength flowing through you and you cry because your alive and you never take another sunrise or sunset for advantage because it could be your last. Something is born in you. Something insanely fresh and new- life. I know it sounds strange but if you've ever had a moment, even more then one, that you look death- the hooded monstrosity, clear in the eye you will know exactly what I mean. A hurried frenzied prayer of forgiveness, hope, and desperation sent to your God, whoever it maybe.

This has happened twice in my young life and now I bear the scars of my conquered tragedies:

When I was eleven, in the late spring of 2000, my father and my three friends and I headed out for out sunrise surf, before school had started that day. It was peaceful; the surf was good.

We sat about four feet apart from each other in a row. My oldest, by a year, friend Adain followed by Liam, my father- Joe, a Cally surf legend, the Marky and myself on the end.

Looking back, it was unnaturally beautiful, the fish where glinting madly beneath the surface and the warm air pushed us towards the shore almost warning us to forego out morning ritual in favor of the comfort of land but the ocean called to us and like fishermen to sirens, we went. As a group, we all unknowingly paused at the same time as we silently and with reverence admired the briny surf and thick warm clean air that flowed around us as if we weren't even there. It was like we where all at peace and one with the world.

I remembered breathing deep, contented, then the sudden rush of the warm salty water consumed me. The pain never seemed to trigger in my mind. It was almost calm. Then, I felt the pressure release my leg and re-clamp around my abdomen- below my chest. That's when I knew exactly what I was dealing with. My arms moved in numb, but sure, movements. I aimed for the gills, and sure enough the pressure released as quick as it had begun. Without looking at my attacker or at my injuries I looked for air. My gaze went upwards and for the first time I actually realized that I was completely underwater. I reached for the sparkling and glinting surface that was a glaring shade of sunset- mocking the sunrise. It was clouded, redder then Santa's coat and the shimmering sun glared down at me as I reached for it as if she were mad at me for not heading her warning. My lungs burned, begging for air. When I broke through the surface- gasping, my expression was something akin to a fish out of water.

When we finally reached the beach, my eyes squeezed shut, for a few seconds, and I sent a silent plea to God for life- to survive. Then, my world went dark.

Surviving my shark attack gave me a new respective on life. It was something that I couldn't get enough of and from then on I became addicted to it, life was a drug and I was a junkie. As you well know, junkies need fixes and from then on I looked for fixes wherever I could find them. Then, my second experience occurred:

It was the beginning of the school year in November of 2006 and I had just turned seventeen. It began as most Friday nights do, you call your friends and see what everyone wants to do then you make plans. My friends, Lola, Jessica, Laura, Jackie, and I decided to go to the movies to see this new movie about urban juvenile delinquents who, as always, rise above. The movie started around ten or eleven, after we where all done work. It was good, fun, and pleasingly cliché. We left the theater and it was almost midnight. I couldn't wait to get home and fall asleep to the lullaby of the ocean that whispered through my bedroom window, every night.

We weren't but ten minutes from the theater and the car was full to bursting of laughter and joking then I felt the sudden bone shaking impact. I was thrown against my door, without feeling. Eyes wide. My teeth clenched, to tight. We spun and I heard my friends scream haunt my ears. An orange haze and the blur of car lights washed over my vision and we slowed only long enough for the dividing barrier to make itself clear. I remember thinking "I don't want to die". Then, suddenly we where backwards and the sound of metal on the concrete divider screamed as we continued backwards for fifty feet. Finally, we stopped.

I was uncomfortable, my shoulder was resting, almost, against the door, my hand through the window and all I could do was stare at the headlight of an eighteen-wheeler truck inches from my head.

When I shifted pain shot through my entire body, it hurt to move in the slightest. Later, I would have to crawl out of the mangled car because the pain was so great. I, also, wouldn't be able to walk for three days because it felt as in my hip bones where rubbing together- grinding almost.

After the car accident that same fresh and alive feeling consumed me. It is what I imagine heaven to be.

Now, as I sit on my surf bored riding the high of the days first few waves I smile quietly to myself and admire the breath taking raw life around me as I sit surrounded by my father, friends, and my visiting twin brother.

"Hey Laney, are you coming or what?" I looked over at my twin, Tyler, who was heading back to shore with everyone else. I lay down on my board to swim in pausing next to him.

"Yea," I smirked as I guided past him, causing him to laugh some, "Don't wait up."

Once we reached the beach I quickly pulled off the wet suit that guarded the cool morning water from my skin. I saw Tyler's eyes hesitate over the scars that now littered my stomach. I watched briefly as his eyes flash black and I knew that if he had his choice every shark from here to Australia would be laying on a dock somewhere-dead. Something I would never, in my life, allow being that I have an affinity for sharks and their need of conservation is one of my top five causes. It's probably even in the top two, even after the shark had decided to remind me that this was his water not mine- something that human kind has seemed to forgotten.

I handed my board to Adain who put it in the back of his truck, "Come on Ty, I've got work."

"I still can't believe that you have a job…" Tyler said joking as he too, handed his board to Adain.

"It's just at Dad's shop." I said laughing at my brother.

"Yea, I know, I can't even believe that Joe hired you." He said his laughter identical to my own.

"Hey! I take offence to that."

"Ha! You don't take offence to anything, pacifist." We climbed into Adain's car, and where greeted by my friends laughter.

"It's not my fault I hate fighting…"

"Yea, its-"

"It wasn't Dad, so don't say it."

"Come on, Alena, you know as well as I do that if he hadn't-"

"I'm not having this discussion Tyler…" I sighed as we pulled up in front of Joe's surf shop.

"When are you coming back, Lane?" He asked quickly changing the subject.

"Tyler…"

"What!? I miss you, mom misses you, the guys miss you."

"Ty, I doubt that mom misses me, she's the one that sent me here remember? And I doubt that the guys even remember some scrawny frizzy haired little girl who followed them around like they where Gods or something…" I said as stepped out of the car and pulled a destroyed jean skirt on over my wet bathing suit.

"Mom misses you…" He'd never believe that mom held me to the fact that I wasn't my brother. She held it over my head, and rubbed it in my face. The grades, the looks, the personality, the luck. He was her perfect little angel, and I her little daemon. I was always the one whose teachers requested parent teacher conferences and who came home with numbers on my calendar for being bad. Tyler was her world, and I was an after thought.

"Right Tyler, Vivian misses me…" I ran a hand through my hair, which was already starting to frizz, and pulled it up into a slapdash ponytail.

The next few weeks, with Tyler there, where interesting to say the least, time flew by and next thing I know I was at the airport saying my goodbye.

"Laney, I need to talk to you." My dad called into my room one night as I was reading some fan fictions online.

"Yea, daddy?" I said my eyes not leaving the screen, focused on the story I was reading. He closed the lid to my laptop.

"Laney…" He now had my undivided, and annoyed, attention.

"I want you to go back." I was shocked to say the least, was the last thing I had ever expected him to say to me. Ever.

"What?" I asked, my eyebrows knit together in confusion.

"I think that you should go back, maybe spend some more time with your brother at Spencer and then go to a good college there."

"But I like my school."

"Laney-bug, I know you do, but that school can offer you so much more. Think of all that you will be able to have, things that I can't provide you with."

"But daddy, I don't want or need those things. I want you, and I want my friends, and I want my school, and the ocean, and- and, I mean, daddy?" I was starting to panic; my life was here. Everything was here; I was nothing like those Ipswich kids.

"Baby, please. Do it for me?"

I nodded numbly. I'd be leaving everything, besides leaving my friends, and father, what hurt the most was leaving the sharks. I know that sounds bizarre, but they where so much apart of me. I even volunteered on a shark diving team, and have had the opportunity to swim in open water with sharks.

Next morning I had mostly all of my worldly possessions packed and was sitting on the plain on the way to Massachusetts.

I hope my surfboard doesn't break…

Thanks for reading! R&R.

Love.