Abigail holds onto the railing with her little hands, her life depending on it. The waves push her, the voices scream at her to climb, but she can't move. She is stuck to the cold railing, her dress soaking and her hair sticky with sea salt. And although she is scared out of her mind, she can't move out of the dangerous position she is in. Abigail is hanging off the last rung of a ship's ladder, her legs dangling into the icy cold water. She wonders how she came to be here; the last thing she remembers is being asleep at her aunt's bed. She can feel warm tears run across her cheek but her hands don't move to wipe them. If she moved an inch, she would plummet to her icy death. But Abigail isn't frightened. Se remains calm even when the people above throw life savers down at her. She feels closer to the Earth this way. She never understood the Earth's reason to take people's happiness and kill them in such painful ways. But here, inches away from death, Abiagil understood why the Earth sucked people into it's oceans, fires, and catastrophes. It was lonely. It had nothing but the horrible stench of automobile exhaust and the ungrateful human beings that tossed trash to the curb without a care in the world.
Abigail closes her eyes lightly, willing the Earth to pull her in as it did so many other times with other people. But the water repels Abigail and pushes her away. She is thrown higher up the rungs of the ladder and her wet body crashes against the wooden platform of the higher deck. People scream once they see her unconscious body, limp and exhausted from being thrown around so fiercely. Abigail can faintly hear her mother's weeps, but she does not open her eyes, though she can. She misses that feel of the Earth being so close to her. She missed the feeling of being one with nature and being so close to understanding. Now she was back with the ungrateful human beings who would toss their trash into the angry waters as soon as she woke. Abigail didn't want that. She wanted all the attention directed on her so the Earth could be safe. At least for now.
"Abigail, please open your eyes." Abigail heard her mother whisper. Why should I? She thought miserably. Life is depressing. There is no use for humans other than to be called to death by the Earth. The only purpose for humans was to keep the lonely Earth company. Now that they have failed, what will become of them? Abigail strained to keep her eyes closed, but she gained consciousness and was forced to choke up on the water settling into her lungs. She coughs for a while as her mother watches in worry. She fought against nature, the nature that told her to get up and live her life as she normally would. But I can't. Not after what I have just felt.
Abigail finally opens her eyes and relieves applause from the crew and passengers all around her. Why are you cheering? This is nothing to be glad about! Abigail wanted to shout at them. She is lying on the wooden deck, cold water surrounding her, her dress and hair spread out everywhere.
"Oh, sweetheart!" Abigail's mother cradles her daughter's head in her lap. "Are you okay?" She pulls Abigail's wet hair from her eyes. Abigail nods slowly, backing away from her mother. She wipes her face and looks at the soaked wood beneath her. She feels far away from the people around her, like she stands out. Is she the only person who cares about the angry and lonely Earth below? "Let's get you inside and out of this cold weather," Abigail's mother helps her up and the rest of their audience backs away, running back inside as if nothing had happened. Abigail felt tears come into her eyes once again. She felt as if she didn't belong here with these careless, unimportant people. She felt needed with the Earth.
Inside the cruise ship, Abigail was led up to her room, carefully up the stairs and down the warm carpeted halls. She sat on the edge of her mother's bed, legs shaking, knees knocking. "Do you want to rest for a while?" Her mother asked quietly. Abigail shook her head. "Are you alright?" Abigail nodded. She felt sick to her stomach, but she was okay. Her mother sat next to her on the fluffy bed. She held Abigail's cold hand in her own warm ones. "You scared me to death, Abiagil." She scolded softly. Abigail looked up in surprise. She had been about to die, and her mother only cared about how she scared her? "You're my only daughter. Do you think I want you running around and drowning yourself?" Her mother stared at Abigail, gray eyes gleaming.
"I didn't try to drown myself, the last thing I remember was sleeping in Aunt Mandy's bed," Abigail frowned deeply. Her mother cocked her head to the right.
"Sweetie, you ran to the edge of the ship and was lucky enough to get caught on the ladder."
"No! I was asleep. When I opened my eyes, I was stuck on the ladder and I couldn't move," Abigail said, her voice rising. She felt sicker now, because the idea of the Earth pulling her to her death changed her perspective. She had thought the Earth was calling to her, but now that she understood what had happened, she knew that the Earth was selfish. Just because it was lonely, didn't mean that it had to kill people in such a horrible way. The Earth had compelled Abigail. She felt used and unsure of what she thought. "Mom, I felt so close to the Earth on that ladder. It was like I was one with nature."