A Short Story - The Lifesaver

December 1, 2020

"And that was the last I ever saw of them," Riley said after a dramatic pause and the last drink from his third bottle of beer. He turned and kissed Samantha.

Samantha pushed him away and said, "Ugh! Keep your beer tongue out of my mouth! Why don't you drink some of this wine, it's much better". She handed him her glass and pushed the other bottles of beer away from him.

Cameron had been listening intently to the story and sipping on her wine, and finally said, after laughing at Sam and Riley, "Wow, that's a fantastic story, I hope they have a great life together".

The front door swung open and then slammed closed and in walked Leonard with another 6-pack of beer. "Hi guys! What's happening? What'd I miss? Anything exciting?"

Cameron stood up, took the beer from him, and said, "Have a seat, sweetie. Riley just finished telling us what happened to Orlando".

"Oh, yeah, whatever happened to him? He just kind of disappeared," said Leonard as he sat next to Cameron.

"I'm not going to tell the entire story again, maybe Cammy will tell you later," said Riley, then he tasted the wine, set it down, opened another beer, and continued, "right now it's time for us to start playing strip poker! Yeah!"

"All right!" exclaimed Leonard.

"What? No, I don't think so, jeez, you guys, that's all you want to do with us girls, isn't it? You just want to get us naked. We're playing pinochle, and we're playing it the normal way," said Cameron.

"Yeah, seriously, Riley, I think you can wait until we're alone before we get naked," said Samantha, taking the beer away from him again and handing him her glass of wine.

Riley looked at the wine, frowned with a wink to his friend across the table, and drank it all in one drink, then took back his bottle of beer, "If we're going to play pinochle the normal way then I'll be needing more of these".

The game proceeded and the two couples were fairly well drunk by the time they finished a few hands, then Leonard looked at Cameron and said, "Well, baby, I think it's time we call it a night, head on home, and hit the sack."

"Yeah, I suppose you're right, but you're not driving," Cameron replied, "and neither am I. Riley, be a sweetheart and call us a taxi, okay?"

Riley called for a taxi and Cameron and Leonard made it home safe and sound, and Riley and Sam went upstairs for a fun, and a bit drunken, shower and then to bed.

The next evening Cameron told Leonard the story of what happened to Orlando.

"Are you comfortable, sweetheart?" she asked him.

Leonard replied, "Yes, why?"

"I'm going to tell you what happened to Orlando, that's why," she replied.

"You remember that Orlando went to the coast for a vacation, right?" She asked Leonard.

"Yes, of course, and that was the last we heard of him," said Leonard.

"Right, that's because he didn't come back. He stayed there with his girlfriend," Cameron said.

"What girlfriend? He hadn't a girlfriend since Joan died 4 years ago," said Leonard.

"Well, he found the woman of his dreams, I suppose you could say. And they left to go live in Hawaii," Cameron said.

Leonard interrupted her, "Hawaii? Really? What a lucky dog! And with a new girlfriend to boot! I had no idea. I hope they're doing well. Do you have any way of contacting them?" Leonard asked.

"Yes, but we'll get to that soon enough. Do you want to hear how he and Miyaka met?" asked Cameron.

"Miyaka? Sounds like a proper Hawaiian name," said Leonard.

"Actually, it's Japanese. Now let me tell you the story. Orlando left for his vacation to the coast. He was staying in a nice hotel on the beach, enjoying the warm sunny days, relaxing and doing what you're supposed to do on a beach vacation - basically nothing.

Miyaka was also on vacation. She lived in Hawaii but came over here for a change of scenery. She was staying at a different hotel but along the same beach. And her sister had come with her.

They would go out to the beach each day, lay in the sand, and watch the people, just as Orlando was also doing. Apparently he was often no more than a minute walk from where they were, and had even seen them a couple times, laying on the beach.

One day he walked over to the ladies and introduced himself and they became new friends. They had met for drinks and dinner, and walks on the beach. Before long it was just Miyaka and Orlando because Miyaka's sister recognized that they were becoming more interested in each other.

On the last full day of his vacation Orlando was walking out to the beach and went to where he would meet the girls. He found their towels and things, but they weren't there, he supposed they were out in the water. He put his things down and looked out at the water and saw a large group of people starting to gather at the edge of the water. He hurried over to see what was happening. He heard people yelling for the lifeguard to get out there and save some person being pulled out to sea in a rip tide.

Miyaka's sister told him, "That's her! Out there!" She was crying, "Miyaka is out there in the sea! She's trying to swim back but the sea is too strong!"

The people all around were talking about the strong rip tide, the lifeguard was standing at the edge, staring out at the sea, and appeared to be frozen in place. Orlando immediately grabbed the life ring from the lifeguard and ran out into the sea. He swam out and eventually caught up to Miyaka. He gave her the lifering to hold onto, and she wrapped her arms around Orlando, and they started swimming sideways to the rip tide. Eventually they swam to the area where the riptide was less powerful. They continued to swim sideways to the riptide and soon were completely out of it. Then he was able to turn and swim the two of them to the beach. They were both exhausted when they arrived at the beach.

Sometime during this the lifeguard finally came to his senses, more of less, and started yelling for another lifeguard. He did nothing to help with the rescue. There were people on the beach with phone cameras and videos cameras and they got it all recorded.

On the beach both Orlando and Miyaka were finally being checked out by paramedics. They were given blankets and drinks and they both recovered fine.

Eventually other lifeguards had arrived, obviously too late, and the boss lifeguard had also gotten word of what was happening and he arrived well after it was all over. Apparently the lifeguard who panicked and froze was fired from his job, after all this was reported in the news.

It also ended up on the internet and the videos have had hundreds of thousands of views. But they didn't care about any of that, they are, from that time on, a couple that will never be seperated.

So, Orlando called and talked to Riley, told him the whole story, and also called his boss and quit his job. Orlando and Miyaka left and went straight to Hawaii where they live on one of the smaller islands, and near the beach.

The lifeguards at that beach were they were on vacation are government employees. And because the one lifeguard froze up and didn't do his job, but instead put a person's life at risk, and caused another person to perform the rescue, they have received a big payment. Orlando said they are living the retired life now. And he loves it."

"Wow! What a story! Why didn't Riley say anything about this before?" asked Leonard.

"Because He just spoke to Orlando last weekend. It just took Orlando a while to call and update him," said Cameron.

"You know what we should do?" asked Leonard, "We should take a vacation to Hawaii to see Orlando and Miyaka".

"That's a great idea," said Cameron.

Two weeks later they and Riley and Samantha were at the beach home of their friends Orlando and Miyaka.