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The Last Wave

Updated on August 17, 2016

I remember the day I told my brother I wanted to surf, to become as good as he was. He said " well then what are you waiting for kid?". He took me out to the water every day for six months after that. Teaching me, training me, guiding me.
I remember the day my brother told me he wanted to surf "Sri-Lanka". I said "well then what are you waiting for kid?". I never thought telling him that would bring us to where we are today. Me surfing alone. Him in a grave.
I told myself after the accident, it was my fault. I was the one who told him to do it. He surfed that wave for me and died because of me. My other brothers blame me. But no matter how much they hate me, it will never be close
to how much I hate myself for it. If I could go back I would tell him not to do it, tell him it wasnt safe. But I cant.

I was six the first time i surfed, and I was hooked after that. From that day on, there was nothing else I wanted to do. Gliding across the face of the wave is the best feeling in the world. The ocean is magical. It feels like nothing
else matters when I'm out there. But school has always been hard for me. I hate it. I have a hard time keeping friends because all the girls are cliquey and none of them surf. When they get together or go to parties, I cant go because
I surf all the time. I have nothing in common with them. I've always dreaded lunchtime because everyone would sit with their friends, and I didn't fit in. My brother taught me that it doesn't matter what people think about me or how
many friends I have. He taught me that doing what I love is more important than going out and getting drunk, and if my "friends" couldn't accept that then they weren't my real friends. I wish he was still here to give me good advice
like that.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember him falling, the waves crashing on top of him, and my heart breaking as he didnt come back up. Everything went silent, I knew everyone around was screaming, but I couldnt hear
anything. I fell to my knees. He wasnt coming back. No more late night surf trips, travelling 200 miles just to ride one certain wave, and no more watching him surf. It was all gone. He was gone. It took almost two years for me to
really face it. I hadnt touched a surf board since that day. I shouldnt have been able to surf, while he was lying in a grave because of me. My mom said its what he'd want me to do, to continue on his legacy. But I didnt believe it. When I was
seven Michael said "Look out there. What do you see? I replied with " Water? ", "no!" he said. "Youre looking at it wrong. I see possibility, grace, a chance.", I didnt know what he was talking about until a year later when I surfed in
Hunnington beach, CA. Id never surfed waves so big. I was scared and he knew it, he looked at me and said "Possibility, grace,and a chance. Dont forget those three words". I rode nine waves that day. More than I ever had in one day, and
I did it because of him.

My mom told me that I was selfish. Selfish to just give up and stop surfing after everything. "He left you something. I just havent brought myself to give it to you. But its time.", "What? What do you mean he left me something mom?", "just come
with me" she said. So I followed. We walked into the garage and she took out a key from her pocket and handed it to me. "What does this go to?" I asked. She looked at me and then walked over to a surfboard and moved it, behind it was
a door that I had never even knew exsisted. "I'll leave you" she said and walked out, shutting the door behind her. I walked over to the door and unlocked it. It was a closet. When I opened it I saw the board. It was the board he was
riding the day of the accident. I couldnt keep the tears from falling. I had stopped having flashbacks and nightmares months back but something came over me and the day replayed over and over again in my head. All I could see was him
falling. When I pulled myself together I grabbed the board out of the closet and set it against the wall. Then I saw his old surf bag. He was in love with that bag. I sat down and unzipped it slowly. The first thing I found was his
journal. He wrote about all of our trips in here. Mexico, California, Hawaii, and South Africa. The next thing was the keys to his van. I thought he left that to mom, why would he leave that to me? I couldnt think about that right then
so I set them aside and reached for the last thing in the bag. A letter with my name on it. I opened it and it read " Harmony, If your reading this it means my biggest fear came true. I've left you. I know your thinking its your fault. But its not.
I surfed because I wanted to. It was my choice. Dont blame yourself. I remember the day you came to me and told me you wanted to surf. That was the happiest day of my life. Ive watched you grow over the years. Your good, you have potential.
Im sorry I left you. But Harmony I need you to do one thing for me. Dont give up on surfing. Its your passion. Ive seen you on those waves, you look happier riding pipeline than ive ever seen you in your whole life. Dont
hurt for me anymore. I am in peace. One with the earth. Now take my board, it is yours now. Ride away from it all Harmony, from all of your fears, from all the pain you feel for me. Your in the impact zone right now, get out. Before it
is to late. I love you kid.". That was the day I knew my mom was right. He wants me to surf. To be happy.

Two years to the day after my brother died, I found myself on the other side of the world on an island in the Indian Ocean with my brothers ashes, hoping to find some kind of peace from the grief that was still killing me inside. When
he died I was upside down, in the dark. I didn't know what to do with myself. I was lost. But I know why he left now. I know he died happy. The longboarders, the shortboarders, the land lovers, everyone who knew him came together. Even people
who were enemies, on that day, none of that mattered. Even they were holding each other's hands. Our love for my brother was what brought us all there. He made me grow into what I have become today, and that? that is something that
no one will ever be able to take away from me.


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