I could hear my parents argue as I was finishing up a drawing I had been working on for a few days. I stood up from my desk and peeked out my bedroom door and watched as my mom harmlessly threw a dishtowel at my dad. I sighed and shut my door. More yelling.
I had to get out; throwing my thin backpack over my shoulder, I opened my bedroom window and slid out just like I had several times before when my parents were arguing and landed lightly on the ground.
I didn't know where else to go when I was agitated, I kicked a rock as I headed over to my bike and watched it skitter helplessly over the pavement. I kicked in my bike stand and started pedaling, taking my typical route to SeaWorld.
The warm Orlando, Florida air softened my spirit as I rode the sidewalk, I watched as palm trees swayed in the breeze and felt sand from visits to the beach kick up against my ankles.
Whenever I felt cornered, or captured, or just angry, nobody understood me more than the orcas.
As much as I felt I held a relationships with the orcas, I knew the beautiful marine creatures were too far barbarically treated to feel a connection with me. The orcas were unhappy and belonged in the wild, which was exactly what I was planning; a way to free them.
I visited SeaWorld so often that employers had noticed that I came quite regularly and offered me a small volunteer job to help feed the marine animals and in return, it cost me nothing to walk through SeaWorld's doors.
I kicked out my bike stand and practically half jogged to the doors.
“Evening, Becca, the otters need supper, if you’re up for it.” The assistant behind the front desk told me as I walked by.
I nodded and threw my backpack into my locker and grabbed my extra volunteer shirt out of my backpack and tossed it on, over my green t-shirt and slammed the locker shut.
Grabbing a bucket of fish I headed to the otter center and settled myself on a rock.
The otters were always so cheerful to watch and never failed to bring a smile to my face.
When I was done feeding the otters, I threw off my volunteer shirt so nobody would ask me to do anything else.
Even though most of the workers recognized me, without the volunteer shirt on I could at least walk around without bringing too much attention to myself.
I took my regular spot in the empty orca arena and watched as the orcas swam in the tank.
The more I sat and watched, the more uneasy I felt.
The orcas didn’t deserve this. They deserved something bigger to swim in. Such as the ocean.
I closed my eyes and sighed sadly to myself. How on earth was I ever going to manage freeing the orcas if I didn’t even have an inside trainer as an ally? Or even a plan?
A familiar voice interrupted my thoughts, “Is that you, Becca?”
I spun around to face the familiar voice, “Hey Ethan.”
“Marie told me she saw you come in, thought I might find you here.”
I let out a light laugh, Ethan knew me so well. He was a volunteer at SeaWorld, just like me.
I pushed myself off the stands and moved up to the glass, placing a tender hand up to the glass and watching the orcas swim. They were such beautiful creatures.
An orca came close and almost seemed to look me in the eye before swimming away.
Ethan coughed, “Well, no reason to sound excited to see me or anything,”
I sighed, as Ethan snapped me out of my daydream, I had almost forgot he was still here, “Oh! I’m sorry. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.”
Ethan made his way down the stairs and sat in the front row. I turned around and rolled my eyes. I wasn’t exactly in the mood to talk, but I wasn’t really expecting him to just walk away.
“What’s up?” He asked as I walked over and took a seat next to him.
“So many things.” I answered.
To be continued....??
I recently watched a documentary called "Blackfish" I had such mixed feelings if I wanted to watch it or not, because I knew I would feel angry and helpless after I watched the film. There's just nothing I can do to help. How can I, a 16 year old girl living in the east coast help orcas at SeaWorld?
Well, I can make a Pinterest board to help raise awareness. Most people don't even know about orcas and their story.
Second, I can make art to promote awareness, just like I plan to do with ocean conservancy.
And so forth.
I've just felt so helpless lately and just felt like writing it out (and drawing it out, I was flipping through my sketchbook and found a half-finished drawing and finished it up)
I'm not sure if I'll continue the story though...that would take a lot of planning of something that has never happened, such as I would want the story to end with the orcas being free and back in the wild, but I don't even know how that would take place.
Maybe, just maybe I might continue it.
We'll see. :)