My name is Kate Cornea. I grew up in a small town in the west side of South Carolina, far from the ocean. My parents were both lawyers, with many jobs and little time for me or my sister, Katherine. So, every summer we would go to the seaside, where my aunt and uncle lived. But whereas Kit liked to go shopping and spend time with her friends, I spent every moment on the beach. I learned to row and to surf, to dive with only a face mask and flippers, and to avoid stingrays, sea urchins and sharks.
When I was twelve years old, my uncle taught me how to scuba dive. That was the greatest thrill of all. To go underwater and be able to watch the fish and the other underwater creatures for extended periods of time was one of the happiest memories of my childhood.
But then disaster struck. Shortly after my fifteenth birthday, my parents announced that we were moving to St. Louis, Missouri. Kit was excited, but I was aghast. If we were moving to St. Louis that would mean that I couldn’t spend my summers on the beach anymore! But my parents were firm. Their jobs required a move to St. Louis and they simply couldn’t continue these summer vacations. That night I cried myself to sleep.
There was no comfort. We moved within the month. I watched helplessly as my belongings were placed in the moving truck. My room, my house, my yard, my school, my friends and my ocean were all going to vanish before my eyes. The day before we left I called up my aunt. After three rings she picked up the phone.
“Hi, Aunt Jeanette.”
“Kate! How are you?”
“Not so good.”
“Oh? What’s the matter?”
“Well, you know how we’re moving to St. Louis?”
“Well, I really don’t want to move. I won’t be able to spend my summers with you anymore.” Despite my best efforts, my lower lip started to tremble.
“Oh, honey, don’t feel bad! We’ll come visit you and maybe once every few years you can come visit us.”
“But I don’t want to move, Auntie!”
“I know, honey, but try not to be upset. It’ll turn out for the better. I’m sure.”
“Okay, Auntie. Bye.”
“Bye, honey. Good luck!”
I hung up feeling a little better. I tried to be optimistic, but it was hard.