One thing I’m most grateful for is the fact that I’m alive.
I never expected the plane I was traveling on to fall out of the sky and land in the ocean in the middle of nowhere.
The last thing I remember was the deafening screams from everyone on board the flight. Bodies and bags were flying everywhere as the plane dived towards the ocean. It felt like a fast-forwarded scene from a movie, only this time it was real and I was sure that this was the end for me.
Before I knew it, an object flew towards me and knocked me hard on my head.
Everything went black.
When I opened my eyes, my ears were ringing and my vision was blurred. I was lying on something wet and soft, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.
Slowly, the ring in my ears subsided and my blurry vision cleared up. I raised my head from where I was lying, and saw crystal white sand in front of me and lush green vegetation in the near distance. I found the strength to sit up, and saw that I was on the shore of the most beautiful beach I had ever seen.
The sun was shining bright but wasn’t too hot, and everything around me was rich in colour. The sky’s blue colour was rich and beautiful, and the sea shined with the reflections of the sun’s rays.
I was mesmerized, but that soon changed into panic as it dawned on me what had happened.
Where was I and where was everyone else?
What happened to plane?
I started to scream as loud as I could, “help, help!” But no one was there, and there wasn’t a plane or a rescue ship in sight. As I was screaming, scenes of the crash began flooding my mind, and my panic turned into shock. Everything happened so fast, and I felt as though life as I knew it had been stripped away from me.
I spent what felt like a lifetime on the beach, weeping in hopelessness. What will become of me on this island? Would I ever be rescued and see my family again?
My pity party couldn’t continue forever as I was starting to feel dehydrated and hungry. I got up and started walking towards the lush vegetation.
I immediately saw coconuts on the ground which had fallen from the tall coconut trees that lined the shore. I carefully opened them using rocks from the shore and refreshed myself with the water and the white fleshy bits that we inside. I walked inside the island’s garden paradise with massively tall trees, beautiful flowers and the sounds of singing birds and other wildlife that I couldn’t figure out.
I followed the sound of the waterfall at the nearby stream and I was excited when I found fresh water because it meant that I could survive. There was an open cave close to the stream where I stayed for the rest of the day. I didn’t sleep a wink that night as I was afraid that I would be attacked by the animals on the island. After all, I was an unfamiliar specimen on their turf.
After my first day, I spent many days on shore looking out for any passing ships or planes hoping that a rescue team was searching for me. But that never happened, and I would end up watching the sun rise and seeing whales show off at sea before the sun descended into the ocean at the end of the day.
My feelings of destitution soon turned into hope as I saw how nature was perfectly going on about its day, undeterred by trouble and not lacking in anything. I began to feel a sense of hope that even though I was cut off from the world, all would be well.
I decided to get comfortable and build a home on the island. Soon, I sharpened taut sticks to create spears for fishing, built a shelter outside the cave among the trees with logs and leafy branches, and I collected many coconut shells to use as crockery and for water collection.
I now have everything I need to survive in place, including keeping my fire going for cooking purposes and for keeping warm when temperatures occasionally dip.
My only clothes are the ripped jeans and a t-shirt that I had on when I was washed onto shore. I walk around naked on laundry day when I give my clothes a good wash by the streak and hang them up to dry, and it’s great.
I’ve become accustomed to the animals on the island, including the predators that I have had to defend myself against on numerous occasions, and thanks to my good knowledge of plants, I know which ones to use for medicine and food. When cyclones hit the island, I head into the cave with my important belongings for safe cover.
There’s no other human being on this island except for me, and I’ll admit that at times I do miss human contact. I frequently have conversations about the life I had back home and about my family with the furry animals that join me on my fishing trips and cooking sessions, which helps because they’re great listeners. I take walks around the island, collecting fruits and flowers and generally keeping myself busy. I’ve discovered that the island is not as big as I thought, quite tiny in fact, and there is another island in the distance southeast from my island.
I don’t know how long I’ve been here, but it now feels like home. I haven’t spotted a rescue ship or plane since I got here, and I’ve kinda given up on being rescued. In fact, I don’t really want to go back to my old life with the stresses of urban life and complicated relationships.
Being here made me realize how much time I wasted chasing money and people who didn’t care about me. I wasted time chasing social status, breathing polluted air and feeling trapped and unhappy because of the humdrum of life.
Here, I’m free, unbound by human expectations of what I’m supposed be and how I’m supposed to act. I’m unbound by financial and political systems that were meant to liberate us but end up confining us and bringing out the worst in us. I’ve come to know and understand that God exists, and that we actually don’t know Him because we’ve made Him into an institution with rules and regulations.
I’d love to tell my family and friends that I’m okay and happy, that they need not worry or plan a memorial service for me thinking that I’m dead. Hopefully I’ll get to do that soon.
But this tropical island is my home, and I’m going to stay here for as long as I can. I’m still working on a perfect name for it, and maybe I should name the animals that are native to this island that the rest of the world hasn’t seen yet.