The world beneath the wa.., p.1
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       The World Beneath The Waves, p.1
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           Michaelyn Cortez
The World Beneath The Waves
d Beneath The Waves

  By Michaelyn Cortez

  The World Beneath The Waves

  By Michaelyn Cortez

  Copyright 2012 Michaelyn Cortez

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Discover other titles by this author at

  Hi there. My name is Ethan Andrews and I am going to live in the ocean! You heard me right. And guess what? I haven’t told anyone, well, except for you! And as long as you don’t tell anyone else it will be our secret. I guess I knew I was different about a year ago, when I was 9. My mom told me to take a shower and the water was AWFUL! I hated it. I ran out of the shower, grabbed a towel, and told my mom to come feel the water. She came upstairs and felt that awful water. I knew she was going to be upset, too.

  She said, “Ethan, the water is fine. Maybe it was too cold. Was that it?”

  I told her that it wasn’t cold but that it felt wrong. She looked at me like I was nuts. Then, as mom’s do, she tried to bribe me to get into the shower. She said she would take me to GameStop if I got into the shower. And, duh, yes I did. And I hated the water. It felt dirty and it didn’t smell right. I wonder…what would you do? If you knew something was wrong would you do it anyway just to go to GameStop? Since I was already in the water I tried to soap up as fast as possible, washed my hair as fast as I could and got out of there FAST! But! I did get to go to GameStop where I got the game Endless Ocean. So cool!

  Ok, so I get soooooooo excited playing Endless Ocean I don’t want to stop playing. Ever. I don’t care about GameStop anymore. I don’t care about anything but playing Endless Ocean. But, you know what I want, don’t you? I told you at the beginning of this story. I am going, going, going to live in the ocean. I know that I am supposed to live there because of the salt. Did I tell you about the salt? Ok, here’s what happened.

  One night at dinner mom made burgers and French fries but she forgot to add the salt to the fries. The doctor said she had high blood pressure, whatever that means, so she doesn’t use extra salt but the fries tasted weird.

  I said, “Mom, can I add salt to my fries?”

  She said, “Yeah. Here you go.” And she handed me the salt shaker. I shook the salt in my hand like she taught me. It was so I wouldn’t add too much salt to my food. The second the salt touched my palm I was in HEAVEN. I couldn’t stop pouring the salt out. Before my mom saw I licked that salt right off my hand. It was fantastic. I poured more and more salt and licked it off again but before I could add more my mom yelled at me.

  She said, “Ethan! That’s too much!”

  I didn’t want to stop, though. I ran upstairs, into the bathroom, turned on the water in the bathtub, closed the drain so the bath would fill, and dumped all of the salt into it. My mom freaked out. I heard her crying in the hall. She was saying something like, “not you, too.” She said it like 50 times. I didn’t want my mom to be sad but I couldn’t fight the feeling I was doing something right. I didn’t even wait to take off my clothes; I didn’t wait for the tub to fill up. I jumped right in!

  Wow! The water was soooooooo nice. Way better than licking it off of my hand, way better than eating, even. And, yes, way better than playing Endless Ocean. The only thing that could possibly be better was if I were really IN the ocean. I had never, ever been and now I know I HAVE to live there. I just HAVE to!

  “Mom?” I called to her, knowing she was still out in the hall.

  “Yes, Ethan?” My mom said softly.

  “Can you take me to…?”

  “The ocean?” She finished. Her voice sounded so, so sad. And something else. I am not sure what that other sound in her voice was. Maybe I wasn’t old enough to understand. I just wanted to know if she would take me.

  “Yes. Can you take me?” I wanted to say pretty please with sugar on top, but that sounded too much like a baby.

  “Come on out and let’s go.”

  I jumped out of that wonderful water so fast, my clothes still on and wet. I didn’t care. I was going to the ocean. I knew it was far away and I didn’t care. My mom was walking down the hall as I ran past her and into the garage. I jumped into the front seat. My clothes were sticking to me but it didn’t matter. I was going to live in the ocean! I think my mom thinks she is just taking me to see it but I know once I step into that water I will never get out.

  My mom came into the garage and as she did she pushed the button to open the garage door. In one hand she had her purse, in the other a small bag. After we were backing up out of the garage and she hit the switch to lower the garage door did I turn and look at her face. She was crying, like REALLY crying even though she wasn’t making any noise! I had never seen so many tears falling out of someone’s eyes and it made me feel bad. Her tears were my fault.


  “Ethan, it will take about 8 hours to get there. If you go to sleep now we will be there when you wake up.”

  I didn’t think I could fall asleep. I mean, could you? If you were going somewhere you have never been and wanted to go sooooooo badly could you sleep? See! I didn’t think so. But, I’ll tell you what I did. I pretended to sleep. I think that was a good idea. I think I had pretended to sleep about an hour when my mom pulled out her cell phone. I don’t know who she called but she had that same sound in her voice. That sound she had when she was talking to me through the bathroom door. It was sad, and something else.

  “I’m on my way…Yes, it’s time…Can you reach him?...No, I don’t want to see him…Yes, I’m sure…In about 7 hours…Bye.” See all those dot, dot, dots I wrote? That was where someone else was talking. I bet you knew that, though, huh?

  After the hours went by it felt like it was going to last forever, she stopped the car and touched my shoulder.

  “You can pretend to wake up now, Ethan.” She knew the whole time!

  “Are you ok, mom?”

  She sighed. “I am resolved.”

  “Resolved? What do you mean?”

  “It means, sweety, that I have come to the decision that I will give you up.”

  “And you are sad, too.”

  “Absolutely. I am sad and resolved.” That must have been the sound in her voice and she still had it. I hated for her to be sad but I was relieved she was resolved to…give me up?

  “You are giving me up? You’re leaving me?” Now I was sad. I love my mom. I want her to come with me.

  “I am staying here and you are going to your other family.”

  “I have a family in the ocean, don’t I?” I knew this to be true. I knew it! I am going to live in the ocean. I know that I have always known this. Does that make sense to you? If it doesn’t then maybe one day you will feel something like that, too.

  “You have a huge family in the ocean and they are happy to have you live with them.”

  “But, you can’t come?” I asked her.

  “No. But I can tell you that once you are there you will not be sad about that. Not at all.” How could she say that?

  “I love you, mom. I don’t want you to stay. Come with me!”

  We pulled up to a hotel that was right in front of a beach. It was great! When I opened the car door the smell of the ocean water was the most delicious smell in the whole world. This was sooooooo much better than the salt in my bathtub!

  “Let’s go, mom!” I yelled as she took her bag from the car and started walking into the hotel. I guess her bag had her clothes and stuff.

  “Are we checking in?”

  “I am. Will you come with me to my room before you head to
the ocean?” It was so hard to say yes but I did and she checked into the hotel. I followed her down the hall. When she opened the door to the room she told me to sit at the table. Then she handed me a notebook and a pencil.

  “What? I thought we were going to the ocean?”

  “You are going to the ocean, Ethan. I am staying here. The only thing I ask is that you write a letter about how we got here.”

  “You want me to write you a letter? You’re right here!” I complained because I wanted to go to the ocean RIGHT NOW.

  “Sweetie, please do this for me. You know what? Pretend you are writing a letter to someone you don’t know. Tell them about you and how we got to this room right now. Okay?”

  I didn’t want to do this, but I did. So here I am about to explode with feeling because I want to get into that ocean right now. But, this seems to make my mom happy because any time I look up she is smiling. Well, she is smiling and she looks sad. Well, I hope this has been enough and actually I feel pretty good about it. Mom says she can’t some but maybe this letter really is for her.

  Mom, if you are reading this I just want to say thank for bringing me to the ocean. I love you and, yeah, that’s it, I think. Now can we go to the ocean?

  Dear Reader,

  I have left this letter for you and you can share it with whomever you like. You may not believe me and sometimes it’s hard for me as well to remember my beautiful boy and the amazing man who is his father. Today, my Ethan is 52 years old. After Ethan wrote this letter I walked him to the back of the hotel where the sand met the pavement. Far off in the distance where the sea met the sand I saw his ocean family standing side by side with open arms. I looked away as fast as I could because I didn’t want to see Ethan’s father. He wouldn’t remember me and I didn’t want to relieve the moment we said goodbye to each other.

  Before Ethan could run I hugged him close to me and kissed him on his head. I told him I would always love him. I think he still didn’t believe I wasn’t going to come with him and as he ran further and further from me he never turned back. I cried until I couldn’t cry any more then walked back to my hotel room and added these lines to his letter.

  I made copies of this letter, hoping that I could find someone, anyone, who has family in the ocean. If you do, could you please get a message to my son? He won’t remember me but I would love to have him hear that his mother still thinks of him and loves him very much.

  And you, dear reader, you may not believe this story but have you ever wondered why there is more ocean than land? Do you really think we mere land humans are the only ones here? There is a whole world beneath the waves that has nothing to do with fish.

  cover photo can be found at

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