The ocean is big. Bigger than anything in the world. So big that anything can happen.
A boy is stranded at sea. He’s ok, but has been alone for quite some time. He floats aimlessly around the big ocean on his small, handmade raft. It’s nothing fancy, in fact it doesn’t even have a sail. But it floats. Though the boy’s raft has no sail, it has a rudder to help steer him away from distant storms. One day, while the boy is floating on his sailless raft, he spots something. It’s another raft. On this raft is a girl. Her raft is also nothing impressive. It has a sail, yet no rudder. But it floats. The boy and the girl’s rafts float into each other. Turns out, the girl is from the other side of the sea. In the entire big ocean, the boy and the girl can’t believe they’ve floated into one another. They tie their rafts with a tight knot and decide to float together.
The boy and the girl enjoy each other’s new company. They share their experiences with one another, giving them each a new perspective and appreciation of the big ocean. Parts they’ve never heard of, things they’ve never thought about. The boy warns the girl about dangerous currents in the water. The girl teaches the boy a new way to catch fish. They share supplies. The boy shares his rudder to help them steer. The girl shares her sail to help move them forward. Every day they check the knot holding their rafts together. They inspect the rope and always make sure to pull it tight, so they won’t drift apart. No longer were they aimlessly floating… but sailing. With a newfound purpose and direction, the boy and the girl sail around the big ocean, seeing things they never dreamed of seeing before. New islands, new shipwrecks, new volcanoes. There is the occasional storm, but nothing too big for them to handle. The boy and the girl sail the big ocean for months together, checking the knot between their rafts every day to make sure it’s still tight.
One day, the boy and the girl find themselves in the middle of a particularly bad storm. The waves are rough and unrelenting. The wind blows much harder than it ever had before. Rain batters the big ocean all around. The boy and the girl struggle to keep their rafts afloat in the brutal weather. They try and stay calm but after hours and hours, the storm doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse. The giant waves toss their rafts around the water, almost knocking them off. The wind beats against their sail, straining it further every minute. The pouring rain makes it hard to hear or see anything at all. In a panic, the boy and the girl each rush to their own rafts to make repairs. The boy tries to straighten his rudder, but the waves crack it right in two. The girl tries to loosen her sail but the wind and rain rip it to shreds. The boy and the girl spend so much time worrying about their own rafts, that they forget to check the knot holding their rafts together. It begins to loosen in the violent storm. The waves now tower over them. The wind and rain is almost strong enough to blow them overboard. Lightning begins to strike around them. The knot holding their rafts together finally comes undone. They begin to float away from each other. The rope once holding their rafts together now floats away into the big ocean. By the time either of them notice, they’re dozens of feet away. The boy and the girl contemplate whether they should try to reattach their rafts. But the storm is too much. Surely, their rafts would sink if they tried to reattach them. Surely sharks would get them if they tried to swim for it. The boy looks to the girl with a heavy heart. The girl looks to the boy with teary eyes. They decide to let each other float away.
Though it seemed like the storm was going to go on forever, it eventually passes. The boy and the girl each float on their battered rafts, miles apart, just as they had before they met. Aimlessly, without direction. Though they miss each other immeasurably, they know they had to float apart in order to save themselves from sinking. The boy goes back to floating like he was used to, but it’s different than before. He sees the big ocean differently after having experienced it with the girl. New thoughts, new ideas. He uses what she taught him to catch more fish than he ever thought he could. The girl floats just as she had floated before but again, something is different. She has a greater appreciation for the big ocean. A new way of looking at her surroundings. She uses what the boy taught her to avoid the dangerous currents and float to islands she’d never seen before. The boy and the girl float on their own for days. They repair their rafts, making them stronger than before. They come to enjoy themselves on their own.
One day, while floating aimlessly around the big ocean, the boy finds a rope in the water. He brings one end of the rope onto his raft and studies it. It looks familiar. It’s the same rope that once held the boy and the girl’s rafts together. The once sturdy rope is now weak and frayed from being lost at sea. But it’s still in one piece. The boy gives the rope a gentle tug. Nothing happens. He searches in the water for the other end of the rope but can’t find it. It seems to trail off into the big ocean. He tugs again. Nothing. The boy looks down in defeat. He should’ve known better than to get his hopes up. Suddenly the rope tugs back. The boy can’t believe it. He quickly tugs the rope, for which he feels another tug back. The boy starts to pull the rope, hand over hand, dragging his raft through the water. He’s sweating and his hands hurt but he keeps pulling. He pulls the rope, hand over hand, for what seems like hours until he spots something on the horizon. It looks like… a sail. And connected to that sail is a raft. And standing on that raft pulling the other end of the rope, hand over hand, is the girl. She spots him just as he spots her and they excitedly pull towards each other. Their hands are now red from rope burn and they’re struggling for breath but they pull with all their hearts until their rafts finally meet again. The boy and the girl reunite and couldn’t be happier. They share what they have experienced on their own with each other. They show each other their new and improved rafts. They laugh, trading secrets and stories of their time apart.
After hours of catching up together, they realize just how much they missed each other. The boy apologizes for letting the knot that once held them together come apart. The girl apologizes for not catching it sooner. In that moment they discover while they needed time floating by themselves, they are much happier floating together. The boy and the girl decide to do just that. But this time they do it differently. Instead of using a rope to hold their individual rafts together they decide to build an entirely new one together. They take the best parts from each of their own rafts and craft them into a much larger, stronger, and more stable… boat. They admire their work, as they should. It’s impressive. They keep the original rope, which is now dry and stronger than ever, as a reminder of what sent them apart but also, brought them back together. The boy and the girl set sail for the open ocean, holding hands, with their heads held high. There are storms off in the distance but they are not scared. No matter how big the storm, the boy and the girl will face it together.
The ocean is big. So big that anything can happen.
While listening to the girl, the boy realizes just how confident she’s become since they were separated by the storm. Her raft is stronger than ever and she is happy. While listening to the boy, the girl realizes just how motivated he’s become since they last saw each other. His raft is more efficient than ever and he is happy. They decide to cherish the memories and experiences they shared while floating in the big ocean together, but to sail their separate ways. They agree to split the rope in two. Though the rope is cut, the boy and the girl each hold onto their piece to remind them of both what they learned from their mistakes as well as the amazing time they spent floating together. The boy and the girl say their goodbyes. It’s bitter-sweet as they’ll miss each other dearly but can’t hide their excitement for each other’s future adventures. They agree to meet back at the spot they are in every once in a while to catch up and trade stories of the sea together. The boy and the girl sail away from each other, clutching their pieces of the rope proudly. No matter where the currents take them, nothing can take away the time they spent floating together. Maybe one day they’ll float together again, maybe not.
The ocean is big. So big that anything can happen.
Toni DiltzFebruary 22, 2017 at 6:55 am
I’m impressed with the maturity of the writer. For me, this is really a story of life and personal relationships and how they grow and develop especially with the trials and obstacles and the consequences that can happen. The symbolism is beautiful.