Chapter One

As the sun hit her window, Samantha slowly opened her eyes and yawned. She had been up late again, as usual. She loved writing in her journal about everything she had seen while watching the fish and other swimming creatures. Stretching, she yawned again.

Quickly she hopped into the shower, brushed her teeth and pulled back her pin straight almost black hair that went down her back. Her one true vanity, she knew it would be easier for her if she cut it short. Whenever she went swimming, which was a lot, her hair managed to get everywhere.

She pulled on her jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt. Even during the summer, the Oregon coast could get cool. She had to actually travel to get to the ocean from her house, since the coast was protected by the government, but the cool air still traveled quite a bit inland.

Samantha didn’t really mind the distance though. She all sorts of short cuts to take in order to get to the coast quickly.

Samantha walked quickly through the hallways and down a few small flights of stairs. Being the daughter of a very wealthy businessman and an actress, they liked to show their wealth off in big ways. This mansion was one of the ways. Unfortunately, this meant that they weren’t around very much. Fortunately, by the time she had turned five or six, she was used to their infrequent trips home, so she didn’t complain. Adults were always telling Samantha’s parents that she was a very agreeable and lovely child. She never complained, always did what she was told and never disrespected her elders. If her parents were around, they would either be very proud of her, or think there was something very wrong with her.

She came down the last flight of stairs and entered a very spacious and airy kitchen.

The house had a full-time cook, housekeeper and butler. Sometimes, Samantha felt that these people were more of a family to her than her own parents were.

Smiling at the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, she opened the door.

Beatrice greeted her with a warm, friendly smile and a quick hug.

“Good morning, honey”, she said in a deep drawling voice made possible from the many years of smoking as well as growing up in Louisiana. “I have some fresh squeezed orange juice, eggs, grits and blueberry muffins for you.” Her blueberry muffins were homemade and still warm from the oven.

No matter how much Samantha told Beatrice that she didn’t like grits, the cook never paid her any mind and gave them to her just the same. Now she never bothered to say anything, which was her fashion.

Turning to sit at the table in the brightly lit room, thanks to the enormous windows spanning the wall, she saw her beloved grandmother.

“Good morning, seanmháthair “, she called to her grandmother in the traditional Irish way. Her grandmother had lived much of her life in Ireland, and still kept to some of the traditional ways.

“Good morning, gariníon”, the cheerful woman called in between sips of coffee. “How are you this morning?”

“Fine”, she said, smiling at her grandmother. “I’m going to go to the beach again today.”

Her grandmother’s eyes twinkled, “Oh my little one. You are just like your grandfather. Always with his mind on the sea.” Her smile faltered a little. “I wish he had been alive to see you now. He would have been so very proud of you!”

Samnatha had heard the stories of her grandfather’s adventures in Ireland. He was always out to sea, fishing or looking for something that he never found and would rarely talk about.

“Hmm,” her grandmother had a far off look on her face. Sighing she said, “Ah well. This is life.” She perked up again. “Tomorrow is your birthday!”

Samantha smiled, which happened a lot when she was with her grandmother.

Her grandmother always remembered important events, whereas her parents, did not. There were usually away and if they were actually home on her birthday, they forgot. She could count the times they were home for her birthday on one hand, and even then they didn’t remember.

Samantha rarely said anything though. She hated to make a scene, so she usually let things be. “That’s right seanmháthair. I’ll be thirteen tomorrow”, she said happily.

“Good grief!” her grandmother exclaimed, knowing full well how old she was. “You can’t be that old already!”

Samantha smiled, but said nothing.

Suddenly her grandmother jumped out of her seat. “I juse remembered something! I’ll be right back!”, and she ran off out the door and up the stairs.

Samantha finished her meal in silence. Just as she was cleaning up, her grandmother came back downstairs.

“I know that your birthday isn’t until tomorrow”, her grandmother said “but I wanted you to have this now.” She handed Samantha a small notebook and box.

“Your grandfather passed on from this world when you were only a wee little thing, but he knew even then that you would grow up to love the sea just as he had.” She looked at the box and notebook. “He asked me to give this to you on your thirteenth birthday. No one else was to open or look them. I promised him I would do that and I have never broken that promise.” Her grandmother slid the two items over to her. “These are for you.”

Samantha looked at them for a moment. Her eyes glistened for a second, and then she opened the box and exclaimed in surprise, “Oh it’s beautiful!”

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