He Had Heard About It
He could remember the day almost like it was yesterday.
He was sitting in a bar enjoying some R&R after a long week of hard work when he looked up at the TV behind the bar.
Generally, he ignored the TV, but it was a special news broadcast. He looked up from his drink and saw the face of a girl that couldn’t have been much older than fourteen.
He saw the blue banner below the teenager’s face that said in bold writing, “Missing.”
His heart immediately softened, and he felt bad for the poor family.
Tourists can easily go missing when they don’t know the proper precautions to take on the island. But he had no idea how intertwined his life would be with the teenagers.
Fast forward four months later, and he was sitting in that very same bar.
Except this time, he was staring at a waterlogged phone in his hand. Everything felt all too real as he managed to turn it on.
He stared at the phone wallpaper and immediately recognized the girl in it. It was the very same face he’d seen months before.
It Couldn’t Be Happening
Anthony felt his chest start to tighten as the reality of what this meant kept sinking in.
He should have called the authorities, but instead, he decided to go out alone.
But at the end of it all, the experienced diver had no idea how deep the story of the missing girl ran. He would be the closest to finding out what really happened. (Xanax)
Anthony Bishop loved his life. He had nothing to complain about besides the occasional tourist annoying him at the beach.
He loved his island, Hawaii. He was born there and would never trade it for anything.
It wasn’t just his island though, he also loved everything about his job. He lived the dream.
He hated the idea of working a 9 to 5 office job. From a young age, he looked to different means of making a living. Finally he found something he loved.
He worked in salvage and was his company’s go-to guy when something needed underwater winch attaching or rope connecting.
He was dependable and reliable.
Loved The Water
Anthony was an exceptionally gifted diver. His company relied on him to scout ahead and find any lost cargo from ships that dropped it close to the harbor.
He’d dive into the water and lead a winch to attach to whatever was important.
It wasn’t an easy job, but someone had to do it. And who better than a man who loved the water?
A Bit Of R&R
After a particularly rough week hauling freight containers off of the ocean floor, Anthony decided that he would relax a little at a local beach bar.
Honolulu was chalked full of tourist traps, but he knew the right places to go to.
He sat down and ordered a craft beer that they had on tap. But that’s when the TV came on.
The bar had an ancient TV that Anthony swore he had seen in his grandmother’s house growing up.
It was a real antique that should have been retired years ago, but the owner was supremely stingy.
The screen flickered, and the built-in speakers were terrible, but it was one of the only amenities the bar had.
Still, though, he preferred a little dinginess over the “tourist-priced” drinks and food at any of the other local places.
The owner had been running the business for as long as he could remember, and Anthony had to admit it had a little character.
He had another sip of his beer and looked around. The place was empty except for him. But then he paid a little more attention to the old TV behind the bar.
A News Report
Anthony didn’t normally pay much attention to the TV, but he couldn’t help but notice a news report appear on the cracked screen.
He looked more closely at the report and realized that it was a missing person report.
“Another tourist, probably.” He bitterly remarked.
Problem With Tourists
Anthony had a vendetta against tourists. It was a long history, but the justification was that he had butted heads with them ever since he was an adolescent boy.
He watched his precious island get turned into a tourist attraction over the years.
Gimmick bars and “cultural” performances made him feel sick. But this one tourist made him feel different.
He knew that when someone went missing, it was a good chance to be a tourist.
They just didn’t have any street smarts and either met their end in some alley or met their end being adrenaline junkies.
He hated how careless they were. But then he saw the face of the missing person on the screen. It was a teenager.
No Older Than Fourteen
He clutched his beer bottle a little tighter as he realized the girl he was staring at couldn’t have been older than fourteen.
He was generally very hard on tourists, but when it came to kids, he had a soft spot.
Their parents generally are the ones that drag the whole family to Hawaii for a “once in a lifetime” experience. She probably didn’t do anything wrong.
Anthony sat at the bar for a moment while he collected himself. He realized that he was being overemotional.
He had devoured four beers and knew that’s what normally triggered it.
He tried putting the adolescent’s face out of his mind so he could enjoy his evening. But Anthony had no idea how intertwined their lives were.
A Rocky Week
Anthony found himself feeling a lot more spooked than he expected.
The girl’s face haunted him for the rest of the week, and it even affected his performance at work.
It didn’t help that he kept seeing her face on the news everywhere he went. It seemed that she was the topic of discussion on everybody’s lips.
With everyone talking about her, that’s how he learned her name and where she had gone missing.
Her name was Helena Parker, and she was only fourteen years old.
She had gone kayaking early one morning with a new friend she had made at the same Resort. Her parents never gave her permission to go, and it had dire consequences.
Helena was a teenager and, understandably, in her rebellious phase. But that didn’t mean she deserved what happened to her next.
Three hours later, they snuck out.
Her newfound friend returned alone and had to explain to her parents that she had fallen into the strong current of the Anahulu River just northwest of Honolulu, Anthony’s hometown.
Grief Beyond Comprehension
Her parents were understandably grief-stricken. Just by the state of their faces on the news, he could see grief beyond comprehension.
His heart bled for the family and for that of the girl.
Her case was updated in the news every week, but it seemed that there was never any important information found.
Just one month after she disappeared, Anthony saw that the family had put out a $100,000 reward for any information on her safe return.
It figured that the family was rich; most rich families chose Honolulu as their holiday destination of choice, he thought to himself.
But he had no idea what he was about to find.
Four Months Later
Fast forward four months after Helena had gone missing, and she had become just another pretty face on a missing person flier.
The media had stopped giving updates after two months, and it seemed everyone had given up.
But Anthony hadn’t forgotten about her, she wouldn’t enter his mind nearly as often anymore, but he still thought of her sometimes.
A Dive Just Like Any Other
Anthony was still doing what he did best, recovering large containers that cargo ships had dropped on their way to Honolulu’s massive shipping dock. But today would be different.
The experienced diver and his team were sent out two miles from the shore to search for a container full of copper wire.
It was a precious thing to lose in that quantity, and he’d be paid well for finding it.
With Anthony’s skills, he managed to find the container after only three hours of searching.
He gave the go-ahead to drop the winch down so he could affix it to the container.
But just as he attached the winch and was about to signal them to go up, he saw something embedded in the sand not far from the container.
Anthony wasn’t surprised at first. Strong ocean currents mean that waterlogged items often collect together on the ocean floor, so something else, being where the container was, wasn’t out of the ordinary.
But as Anthony got closer, he couldn’t believe his eyes. It was somebody’s phone!
He carefully pried it from the rocks and substrate and put it in a zipper compartment on his wetsuit. He had no idea what he had just found.
Anthony went along with the operation as usual, and his team winched it on board. He loved standing on the container as it got lifted out of the water and onto the deck.
They headed back to the port and unpacked their prize. The copper was immaculate and meant they’d see a good payday.
Anthony went to his small office at the docks and examined the phone.
Anthony left the phone in an aerated cupboard and plugged it in at the same time. He knew that it was a slim chance of it working, but it happened more often than people thought.
He had recovered more than one phone before, and sometimes he was lucky enough to return them to their owners.
But this phone was more special than he ever imagined.
Anthony decided to go to his usual dingy bar to celebrate his accomplishments at work.
He took the old phone off of charge and took it with him. Maybe someone there would know who it belonged to.
He got to the bar and ordered something stronger than usual – a whiskey. He slammed one back and took out the old phone.
Anthony hadn’t been back at the bar in months and had avoided it for a reason. He was always reminded of the missing girl when he went there.
Right on time, he thought of the flickering TV screen showing her face to him.
He held the power button on the phone as he kept staring at the TV behind the bar that was off. He didn’t even notice the phone turn on.
He was brought back four months ago when he first saw her on television.
He re-lived that moment and could see her face clear as day on the TV screen even though it was off.
But then the most shocking thing happened. He stared down at the waterlogged phone only to see her face for real.
Anthony nearly jumped out of his seat. It was uncanny; he stared at the phone that was now on and asked for a password. Behind the prompt was a wallpaper with an eerie picture.
He could see Helena clear as day. She was standing in the photo with her family. Then it clicked; this was her phone; did the Anahulu river really carry the phone all the way out to sea? He understood what this meant.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.