The Secret Sea

The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga Read Free Book Online

Book: The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga Read Free Book Online
Authors: Barry Lyga
other for a good five minutes straight, according to the clock on the wall.
    â€œâ€”can’t even keep him in the apartment , much less the borough!” That was Mom.
    â€œ You try watching a kid when you’re asleep at three in the morning!” Dad.
    They went back and forth. Accusing. Defending. Zak put his hands over his ears, but he could still hear them. Maybe he should have told them the truth. Maybe he should have told them about Tommy, the voice, the boat, the dream. The sleepwalking. But every time he considered it, the truth seemed too enormous and too fluid to contain, as if he’d tried to gather the ocean in his arms and lift it up out of the world.
    He couldn’t tell them anything, so he’d told them nothing. And so they argued.
    They were arguing because of him. When they’d divorced, they spent a lot of time telling him it wasn’t his fault. He’d gotten used to hearing them argue, dismissing it as Parent Stuff. But this time it was his fault that they were yelling at each other. His fault and nothing more.
    Dr. Campbell interrupted them. Zak could hear her voice, low and murmured, but he couldn’t make out the words. His parents’ voices eventually went mute, and a moment later the door opened.
    Mom’s makeup was a mess, cried into a frozen mask that made Zak think of old Native American warriors he’d seen in movies. Dad’s eyes were bloodshot. They both looked like they wanted to be anywhere but in Dr. Campbell’s outer office, anywhere but near each other and Zak.
    â€œZak? Come on in and let’s talk a bit, hmm?” Dr. Campbell beckoned from just inside the door.
    Zak had to force himself to stand, to walk past his parents. They’d never hit him or spanked him, but these days he figured he was headed in that direction. He probably deserved it, too. If he had a kid who’d done what he’d done, he’d seriously consider giving him a good smack.
    Inside, with the door closed behind him, he was still keenly aware of his parents just on the other side of the wall. The wastebasket was filled with tissues.
    He took the sofa again. Dr. Campbell sat across from him. She drew a deep breath and then smiled at him.
    â€œSo, we decided to go walkabout, eh?”
    Zak wasn’t sure what that meant; he shrugged.
    â€œWalkabout is something the Aborigines do in Australia. They leave their villages or their towns on foot, and they wander in the wilderness until they have a vision from what they call Dreamtime.”
    Zak startled at the description, then tried to mask his surprise. That sounded scarily like what had happened to him. Except he hadn’t intended to “go walkabout.” It had just happened to him.
    Dr. Campbell noticed his reaction, though. “Is that what happened, Zak?” she asked very softly. So softly, he knew, that his parents wouldn’t be able to hear. “Were you looking for something?”
    He said nothing.
    â€œWas there something you needed to find?”
    Still nothing.
    â€œDid you find it?”
    The cry of the gulls. Trim the sails! The storm overhead.
    The Secret Sea.
    Tommy.
    What could he tell her?
    He couldn’t tell her anything.
    Don’t tell. That’s what the voice said, the voice of his imaginary friend, or maybe the voice of his long-dead uncle, dead before Zak was even born.
    â€œI don’t know what you’re talking about,” Zak said quietly.
    Dr. Campbell nodded slowly and wrote something on her pad for the first time.
    *   *   *
    At home, decisions were made outside of Zak’s earshot, and the next thing he knew, Dad was packing up, even though he still had four days left in his week. Mom was taking over.
    â€œBedroom. Now,” she said as soon as Dad left.
    It was two in the afternoon. Zak didn’t protest. He resisted the urge to slam his door.
    He scrounged for the old iPod and plugged in the earbuds. A moment

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