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­­­­­­­­­­I’LL JUST SIT ON THE SAND

They always ask me why. I would answer them if I could. I just don’t have a real, proper answer. It’s just stupid. It’s something I have always had. ‘Will you ever like the sea?’, they ask. I don’t know! I just don’t like it now and that’s it! I don’t see why you care? You can go in if you want. Go in without me! I’ll just watch from here. It’s fine. I’ll build a sand castle. I’ve got to finish Order of the Phoenix anyway. It’s taking me ages and I feel like I’m not really enjoying it – ‘just stop reading it then! You don’t have to if you’re not…’ – yeah, Mummy, I know you think that, but I just don’t agree. I will have to finish it because I have started it and I’ve read all the books so I can’t just stop reading one of them and that’s just how it is. ‘Come on just get in! It’s lovely and warm! Look at Beth over there, she’s not scared!’ Mummy, I don’t care about stupid Beth, OK? If she’s enjoying it then whatever. She’s got the only snorkel and goggles anyway. ‘She’ll lend them to you to have a go! Won’t you, Boodle!’ No, I don’t care, Mummy. Just leave me alone! I just don’t get why they care so much. I am perfectly happy sitting here in the sand. It’s not the waves or the sound or the splashing, I love all that in the swimming pool down at Bay Gardens Hotel. I just don’t know what’s below me. It’s dark and murky and you don’t know what’s floating under your feet. I’m not scared. I’ve never watched Jaws. I’m not scared ‘cos I think there’s a shark under there. I know there obviously aren’t any sharks. Well, there probably are out there in the deep ocean but not here. The locals would have no business if sharks swam along the shore. I remember once there was a sting ray that came right up to one of the boatman’s catamaran’s and they were afraid the tourists would leave if they let it go by, so they harpooned it. Of course, that’s not good for wildlife or like climate change or whatever but it kind of makes sense. When you’ve put all your eggs in the tourism basket you have to protect your trade and livelihood. It’s not just that though. What about that day on Pigeon Island? You know the day. The day I was fishing with Uncle Jos on the dock with those bamboo fishing lines we’d made back at Mere’s condo. I caught an EEL! How could you forget? That was such a big day. I mean for me at least. I nearly dropped it, it was so heavy. Uncle Jos had to quickly let go of his pole to help me with mine. We put it in this big pink bucket we usually put crabs in ‘cos we never catch proper fish. It was squirming around and nearly knocked the bucket over! Everyone that was watching on the shore ran onto the jetty to have a look. I was so proud. But like that eel was swimming where we swim! I think that’s actually why I don’t swim there anymore. Actually, that might be it. I know there are eels there and sting rays and whatever else, so why would I take the risk? I now know what’s below the murky dust, so I just don’t bother going in the sea anymore.