I woke to the sound of sniggering, my hand rested on Danny's chest and I was squeezed up against him, so that there was space for both of us on the bed. My eyes were hazily searching for the source of the sniggering. That was when I saw a harem of pilots gathered around our bed sniggering. I snapped into action and I kicked Danny's leg until he groaned and slowly opened his eyes. I watched him as he registered the sight around us. "Good Night?" Sniggered one of them.
I jumped out of bed still in my uniform, to glance at the clock. 4:55 AM, I might as well go home before I did inventory on battleship row. Danny followed me out the room whilst rushing to put on some clothes. He was wearing the Hawaiian shirt that I hated. I looked up at him as we stopped at the car and rolled my eyes and shook my head.
"Rafe, Rafe wake up" I whispered whilst I poked him in the face. He snorted and jumped into the seat he had slung himself across for the night. Danny and I jumped into the back of the car and we started to drive to the Nurses' flats. When we reached the familiar house and porch I jumped out of the car, closely followed by Danny. When we got inside I turned and looked up into his eyes. " See you later, ok? Don't do anything stupid until I get back" He half smiled and leant over to hug me tightly. Almost like we were saying goodbye. I shut my eyes and breathed in his scent, it made me feel at home. We stayed like this for a few seconds until I pulled away and walked off to my room. When I looked back out my window Rafe and Danny were driving off, Danny was staring at my window waving at me.
I looked over to Betty, she was fast asleep and she looked so peaceful. I smiled to myself and changed my nurses uniform to another less crumpled. When I looked at my watch it said 5.45. I redid my hair in a French twist and headed downstairs to meet Marge the other nurse helping me. " Lets get this over with then" her nasally toned voice resonated through me. We headed towards the Oklahoma. It felt nice to breathe in the salty air and feel the wind whip against my face.
The storeroom was clinical, white, similar to the hospital. I sighed and sorted out the medical supplies. Waiting for something to happen to replace this monotony. Small talk with Marge seemed useless. I tried anyway. " So Marge sweetie, I loved the dress you wore the other day. Where did you get something so stunning?" "I was given it" She replied in the volume of a mouse.
So that chat wouldn't go anywhere. I sighed and counted the 45th tourniquet so far. My mind wandered to Danny, I thought about all the stick he would get for this morning. Just at the thought I went bright red.
I slowly made my way around the room. When I checked my watch it was nearing 8:00.
I was just reaching for the alcohol bottle for wounds when the ship shook. My fingers grazed the bottle and it toppled over on the floor. Just as I bent over to pick up the pieces the ship shook again. This time it was a deep tremor. The force of it pushed me over, making me land on the shards of glass bottle. " Shoot" I muttered as I saw pieces of glass in my arm. I watched my blood ooze down and drip on the floor. " Can you hear that?" Marge's voice sounded terrified. " It sounds like bombs and bullets". We looked at each other in horror. That was when the door crashed open. I heard the siren. I heard bullets hitting metal on the deck. Men ran past me. Some were brushing their teeth, still in their skivvies. Some had wet hair. I stood there for what seemed like hours watching all the men in awe. Counting them, observing their hair colour, eye colour, and their facial expression. It was almost like I was in a trance. An ear-splitting screech of metal, gave me my conscious back. I realized Marge had gone. Like she was whisked away to safety. Did this mean I was stuck here? I was pushed by some Marines, into another room "Seal the doors, she's been hit, try to isolate the water" I heard foreign voices behind me. I sank into the corner and watched my hands, they were shaking. Similar to Nana's hands. I shut my eyes and tried to think of back home.
Danny was smiling down at me. " It's easy, don't think about it Connie, all you need to do is let go of the tree and jump into the lake" I stood at the bottom of the tree. " Danny, there is no way I'll jump off that tree" I sat down stubbornly in my new blue dress. I got it for my 14th birthday. I played with the white lace around the sleeves then I heard the tree crack and soon after a great splash. I ignored it and carried on playing with the new dress. The shock hit me when a soaking wet Danny came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me to try and get me wet. "DANNY NO" I screamed as he quickly picked me up and ran into the lake .The water surged around me I went under it and emerged. It was surprisingly warm. When I went underwater again I opened my eyes and saw lights and switches. I shot back to the surface of the lake. It was in a metal room. I glanced towards 2 men in uniform. "Where am I?" I said weakly. "You are on Oklahoma in an engine room. We're trapped in here" Came the voice of one of the men. I felt the water rise up to my chest, I quickly swam up to the two men. " You were out of it for hours, even when we capsized you stood in the corner, with a stubborn look on you, we thought you weren't going to be able to wake again before it was too late". " Too late, too late for what?" "The rooms filling up with water, sooner or later it will be full." I froze my grip on the Marines I felt my heart jolt, like the feeling when you think you've lost something important. That was all the conversation I had with them. I scanned the room for a gauge of the height of the slowly increasing water, when I was reminded of an immensely important question. Where were Danny and Rafe. What had happened to them. I felt my breath shorten and my skin tighten, as I thought of both of them strewn on a pile of bodies. Lifeless and cold. To me I would happily drown in this room so long as they got to walk out of this, whatever it was.
I tried to look at my watch. 3.50. The water had crept up to my neck. In the darkness it looked slick and ominous. That was when I saw sparks in the metal. Like the fireworks on my 16th birthday, I tried to think of Danny and Rafe sitting between me while we watched the fireworks on the roof. I fell back into my 16th birthday. I was safe there to relive memories; I wouldn't face the horror of what was about to happen. That was when I felt the cold air rush into the room. My eyes shot open. I looked directly above me to see a small hole in the metal about the size of a record. The marines swam over. "HELP US, HELP" We all screamed up to the small hole. "GET SOME PEOPLE OVER HERE" Shouted the voice above us. I strained my ears to hear the conversation on the outside of the ship. "We haven't found her yet, what if she-" The voice broke off. Almost like it was breaking down. I looked up at the hole hoping that the person up there wouldn't be too sad. Hoping that he would find the person he was looking for. "She was on this ship didn't you see the nurse she was with in the harbour? She's gone" I felt tears drizzle down my cheek for the man on the hole. The water level was at my chin, not much longer and it would be too late. " THE ROOMS FILLING UP WITH WATER" I screamed. I reached my hand up out into the hole, it was grasped immediately but my hands were slipping through theirs, they felt warm though. I went first through the hole then the other two Marines. When they finished dragging us all out water began to seep through the hole as the room flooded over. I lay on the ship, almost catatonic with fear. That was when I caught sight of a back perched on the floor in apparent agony. His dark hair was wet, so it made it look black as night. His shirt had blood and oil stains on it. His skin was perfectly tanned, different to mine which looked alabaster white at the moment.
I watched this back until he stood and looked sideways on, out to the harbour. I recognised that face. Danny. I felt euphoria flood over me. I opened my mouth to scream his name. But nothing came out. I felt my legs and arms go numb and my vision blacked out.
I was woken to shouting. More men were trying to be cut out. I looked at Danny again, he was in the same position. Still scanning the harbour. I tried to rustle up the strength to shout his name but still nothing would come out. Instead I tried to slap my hand against the side of the ship to make noise.
I watched as he heard the noise and turned around to see where it was coming from. I waited till his pupils came in line with mine.