2021 Writing Contest, 1st Place Submission, Level B
Life-Saving Trust by Mady B.
“Do you trust me?” Brandon’s voice was barely audible over the howling wind and crashing waves. Obstinately I shouted back a resounding NO! Brandon, my older brother, had taken me out to a large rock that he and Jacob had discovered at low tide. The two of us had brought lunches and spent a marvelously carefree afternoon telling jokes and hanging out, never noticing the ominous clouds or the return of the tide. By the time a crash of thunder first alerted us that something was wrong, the rock was completely surrounded by foaming water. The shore was hardly visible through the sudden sheets of rain. Because the strong current made it impossible to swim, there was no way Brandon and I could get to shore. “If you don’t trust me, we won’t survive!” Brandon pleaded.
Brandon had, until recently, been my best friend. Spending hours together daily, the two of us were inseparable. We trusted each other with our secrets and made every effort to put each other first. All of that changed when Brandon met Jacob, a boy his age who had moved in across the street. After Jacob’s pointed comment that younger siblings were uncool, Brandon began to hang out more with Jacob and less with me. They spent much of their time exploring the rocks out along the coast. When I asked to join them, the boys just laughed in my face. I no longer trusted Brandon. Worse yet, I was losing my best friend.
Through the wild spray of the ocean, I felt water washing around my ankles and realized the tide still had several more feet to rise before inevitably sweeping us off the rock. Brandon seemed surprisingly scared. “I need you to trust me. We don’t have much time!” Brandon implored. “When Jacob and I explored out here, we discovered a small cave at the bottom of this rock. I want you to climb down to the cave first where you will be safe.” Could I trust my brother? As if reading my mind, Brandon continued, “The air pressure will keep any water out.” There was no time to waste; it was now or never. I gulped a mouthful of air and plunged into the icy water, clinging to the rough rock to keep from being swept away. Gripping any handhold I could find, I pulled myself down the surface of the rock until I discovered a hole which had to be the cave. When my head was level with the entrance, I pulled myself in, gasping for breath. Would Brandon be able to follow me down, or was he too late?
Several days ago, I found Brandon and Jacob laughing in the backyard. Upon hearing my footsteps, the boys turned around, snickering. “The fact that you seriously want to be a writer someday is so uncool!” Jacob needled me. Shocked, I gaped at Brandon. Recently, I had confided in my brother, telling him my dream. Now Brandon, whom I had trusted, had gone ahead and shared my deepest secret with Jacob, just so they could laugh at me! Suddenly noticing my expression, a wave of regret washed over Brandon’s face, and his eyes widened in realization of what he had done. Without intending to, my brother had broken my trust. Brandon quickly tried to explain that Jacob was just teasing, but being angry and humiliated, I ignored him and stormed back inside the house.
A silhouette blocked the dim, watery light at the cave’s entrance, and Brandon dripped into the cave and collapsed beside me. Suddenly filled with relief, I enveloped Brandon in a soggy embrace. Within the thick, rocky walls of the cave, the storm’s roar was muffled. Breaking the silence, Brandon sighed, “I shouldn’t have told Jacob your secret. I only hung out with him because I thought he was cool, but he really wasn’t a trustworthy friend. I brought you out here today to make up for everything.” As I replied thanks, a drop of water slipped down my nose, and I suddenly realized how drenched I was. Noticing my shivering, Brandon squeezed me tighter. It was in this moment, as we waited for low tide, that I realized I could completely trust my brother. Brandon not only saved my life, but he is, and always has been, my best friend.