Sandrine Sandrine !! where are you ? Help ,HELP US ! Please god don't let us die here.'

The voice echoed in her head even after she awoke . Sandra sat staring bleary eyed out the balcony window trembling despite the warm breath of air blowing in from the ocean. She had fallen asleep again, but no matter where she slept as soon as her eyes closed the dream came again. But she knew it was no dream.

'If only I would have turned back' she chided herself 'but what could you have done ?' a voice in her head demanded belligerently.

'anything would be better than nothing.'

'but he's taking it well, he doesn't blame you , why blame yourself ?'

' he doesn't know what happened , he was in a coma . I never told him'

' to protect him!'

'from who?'

' you were afraid , afraid for you, afraid for him!'

' I heard her screaming! She called MY name!!'

'theres nothing you could have done'

'I could have turned back but.'

'you would have died !'

'is there any thing left to live for ?'

'nani no ashita ka?'

" What of tomorrow? There may be no tomorrow for me."

Sandra sank to her knees silent tears running rivers on her face. Arguing with herself never worked and only accomplished driving her deeper into depression. Finally she stood on shaky legs and watched the sun, an orange ball balancing on the placid surface of the sea. She had suffered much in her life. Lost every one she ever loved. Right now , the only person she had left was one she was doomed to betray. Samuel's mother had called on her for help , if not in saving the life of her husband she could at least take care of their son.

Brushing the tears from her eyes , Sandra made her way to the kitchen. The café was closed , all the chairs neatly arranged on the table tops , the tiled floors moped and shined. Counters wiped clean . Starting at the closest table she began taking down the chairs. Samuel would be coming back soon and she would treat him and as many friends he wanted to a fine dinner . The 'best sushi the island had to offer' would be given freely tonight , in honor of the best friends she ever had.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Samuel grinned as the underbrush began to thin ahead . He could plainly see the road , and the ocean glistening beyond. The trail joined the road at a sharp angle coming out just past the turn of the road. Julie was gaining fast and Christi close behind were neck an neck as the broke free of the woods.

Julie screamed and swerved as a car shot past . She could hear tires squealing , the screams of other children and above all, a loud grinding crunch, then nothing, She hit the pavement and skidded across the street slamming into the guard rail. She landed face down, head hanging out over the cliff. Only her mangled bike stopped her from going over the edge. Darkness loomed narrowing her sight to a shallow tunnel slowly collapsing. She took a deep breath and felt the rattling of smashed bones in her chest, gagged on the iron rich taste of blood in her mouth. Slowly she turned her head and gazed down at the tiny circle of ocean beneath her.

Her eyes focused on a shape floundering through the air and she thought of a bird. A white bird with a shock of blond hair and giggled softly to herself as she watched it fall. The white bird landed with a splash sending a pillar of water up to brush the side of the cliff .As the surf receded she caught a glimpse of it once more. Caught on the rocks , it began blooming into a beautiful red phoenix. She tried to watch and see if it would rise from its watery depths but the flames were washed away by the pounding surf.

End