Margaret’s Awakening – Part 1
Margaret combed through her platinum hair with manicured red fingernails. She tucked a moist lock behind her left ear. Her body undulated up and down. Seawater misted her in pulses with the boat skipping over the waves.
Her left index finger and thumb slid down the gold chain she wore around her neck. They grasped the oval pendant hanging just below her collar bone. She smiled. A subconscious memory floated into only instinctual recognition. The weight of gold between her fingers calmed her. Her fingertips orbited the raised illegible text that time worn down – an ancient coin from a long fallen empire.
“Okay,” boomed the guide’s voice over the Yamaha-200 outboard motor. “Time to zip up.”
Margaret let the pendant drop back to her chest. She slid her arms into the 3 millimeter wet suit that already hugged her legs. She grabbed the zipper tether rotated her right arm back with her fist above her shoulder, and lifted it up. The back of her wet suit zipped. She secured the tether under the Velcro tab at the back of her neck. She put her hair up in a pony-tail.
The motor cut. The boat glided and bobbed on the waves.
Expanses of blue surrounded the boat. The ocean faded into the sky. Or maybe the sky faded into the ocean.
“Finally” she thought. She prepared to embark on a long-time dream: SCUBA diving.
Nine days before, Margaret landed in Bali, Indonesia.
The next day she flew into Matram Air Port on Lombok island.
Her driver picked her up and couriered her to the north west coast of the island where she caught a small motorboat to Gili Air.
At the port (well, just a beach where boats pulled up), her transportation awaited: a small cart with a canopy overhead, pulled by a horse. No motor traffic on this island. And no paved roads. Just a sandy path ringing the island and a few paths piercing the center of the island and webbing around to the tiny villages secluded under the coconut palms.
Fifteen minutes of jostling later, she got to her cabin. Right next door was her diving school. The following day, she would begin her Open Water training course.
She settled her backpack into her bungalow, put on a hat and sunglasses, and set out under the mid-afternoon sun to explore the island…