Breaking Point

Breaking Point by Lesley Choyce Read Free Book Online

Book: Breaking Point by Lesley Choyce Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lesley Choyce
Tags: Ebook, book
come toward me but kept getting hit by wave after wave.
    Gasping for breath, I tried to figure out what to do.
    The waves seemed to be getting bigger. The water was really rough. We were far from the mainland. My boat was upside down. If Brianna got wasted now, we’d both be in big trouble. She steadied herself and fought hard to make her way to me. She seemed to understand that she had to keep her boat facing straight into the waves to keep from getting dumped.
    All of a sudden, I knew that we were in a much more dangerous situation than I had ever imagined. And it was my fault. I had taken charge and got us into this. I was so angry at myself, but knew I had to stay cool. I was gasping for breath, but I said, “It’s okay, Brianna. I know what to do.”
    I didn’t really know what to do. But I had to do something. The waves kept bashing us relentlessly.
    I grabbed hold of my paddle floating nearby and then hoisted myself over the upturned kayak and tugged it over until it was upright. But it was completely filled with water. It had floatation chambers in the front and back. It wouldn’t sink, but it was still one heavy, flooded boat. Damn.
    On a calm day, I could have got myself into it, even full of water, and begun bailing with the small bucket and pumping with the emergency pump lashed inside for that purpose. But this was different.
    I thought about the predicament we were in. I thought about me. But then I thought about Brianna. If we stayed here much longer, if she tried to help me, she was sure to swamp as well.
    I held on to my paddle—I’m not sure why. But I held it with one arm, said goodbye to my swamped kayak and swam, one-armed, toward Brianna, who had just taken another wave full in the face.
    When I reached her, I grabbed on to the top strapping that kept the storage hatch sealed and said, “You have to turn us around and head away from the wind.”
    She looked puzzled and scared. I was out of breath and having a hard time talking. I had swallowed a lot of water. “Now!” I screamed at her. I knew that if we didn’t do this immediately, we’d both be in big trouble.
    She started to make the turn, and I used my body weight to help keep us balanced.
    We barely made it fully around before the next wave slammed down on us from the rear. She got soaked again, but her spray skirt was still in place so we didn’t take on water. Looking behind us, however, I realized my abandoned kayak was about to smash down on top of us with the very next wave.
    It took all my strength to pull myself up onto the top of her kayak. But it was all I could think of doing. Brianna bravely kept us steady as I did this, and finally I was sitting astride the kayak behind Brianna, feeling a bit high and unsteady. But at least I was above water. And I hung on to my paddle, despite the fact that the sea had tried its best to steal it from me.
    We didn’t speak after that. We both paddled like mad as the next wave reared up and we saw the other kayak about to be driven into us.
    I leaned back as we began to move suddenly faster—caught now by the incoming wave and riding down the front slope of it.
    We nearly lost it as the bow of the kayak reached the bottom of the wave and began to plunge into the water, but I leaned back farther.
    After that one passed, I realized that maybe we had a chance. I kept my legs locked tight around the hull. Brianna and I paddled as hard as we could.
    The wind kept increasing, and the waves became more persistent. When they broke, they broke over us and from behind. We got hammered over and over. But we didn’t swamp. All we needed to do was keep moving steadily away from the wind with the waves behind us.
    There was another island ahead. And as the waves propelled us, we moved faster. Neither of us said a word. We were paddling for our lives.

Chapter Twelve
    Brianna didn’t speak as we struggled to keep ourselves moving and steady. As we

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