I watch as the other ships pass before me, envious of their mobility. “What are you doing there staring?” One asks. “Join us,” says another. If only they know that I cannot move, if only I can tell them… but I can’t.
“But you can tell me,” says a voice from deep under the sea. “Tell me anything, and I will understand. Why can’t you move?”
But I don’t give answers to voices I can’t trust. I only answer to one voice. But he’s been silent for days.
“Maybe he got tired of listening,” says the voice from the sea. “But I’m here now. See, I can her your thoughts just like him. You can tell me anything that bothers you.”
“Better listen to him,” a passing ship coaxes. “He can help you. He gave us the way to the treasure island. That’s where we’re all sailing to.”
“Indeed,” the voice from the sea responds. “Where all the riches of this world can be found. A place that holds the deepest desires of your heart. Tell me why you can’t move, and I’ll reveal to you the way to get there. Just like I did with the others.”
I silently plead for the first voice, the one I have always listened to, to speak and tell me what to do…but there’s no answer.
“It’s my anchor,” I reply, giving in. “It’s too heavy. It was embedded too deeply down the bed.”
“I see,” answers the voice from the sea. “And have you asked the other voice to lift the anchor?”
“I have, many times.”
“And what did he say?”
“He told me to wait until it’s safe.”
“Safe from what?”
“I don’t know, I’m not sure… I just listen to him.”
A long silence follows my response.
“Still there?” I ask.
After a moment, he replies. “If I tell you that I can lift your anchor and set you free, will you let me?”
The first voice is gone. I have to move on from here. “Please. I’ve waited long enough.”
Suddenly I feel a tugging from below, and then… freedom. I can move again with the wind. I feel myself shiver, as if I’m doing and feeling everything for the first time again. I’m free.
“Thank you,” I tell the voice from the sea.
“My pleasure,” he replies. “The treasure island is straight ahead. Just follow the ones that have sailed before you. When you see the red mountain then you’re near your destination. I’ll meet you there.”
And so I sail forward, slowly at first, testing the waters. As I gain confidence, I improve my speed until I’m side by side with the ship that advised me to listen to the voice from the sea.
“You made it,” he says.
“I did,” I reply.
I can already see the red mountain from where I am and I focus my all my strength in getting there. I hear the other ships talking to me, but I don’t listen.
Until I hear his voice. The first voice.
“Why are you in a hurry?” He asks. His voice comes from the wind, it’s all around me. It’s impossible not to stop and listen.
“I have to get to the treasure island.”
“And what’s in the treasure island?”
“Riches… the deepest desires of my heart.”
“Who told you that?”
“The voice from the sea. The one who lifted my anchor and set me free,” I boldly reply. The one who helped me when you left.
“I didn’t leave you.”
Just as I’m about to reply, I hear a cry. “Get back!” It says. “It’s a trap!”
“What do you mean?”
“Where did you come from?”
“What happened to you?”
The ships ask at once.
“There’s no treasure island,” says the ship that cries. “Only shipwreck awaits if you keep searching for it. Get back before it’s too late.”
“Don’t listen to her,” commands the voice from the sea. “She could not find the island that’s why she’s dragging you to fail with her. Keep going.”
“She’s telling the truth,” comes the quiet voice from the wind. “The treasure your heart is seeking is not there.”
It’s a choice between the one who kept me anchored for so long and the one who freed me, and I choose the latter. Ignoring the crying ship, I sail faster, and faster, and faster, never looking back…
Until I’m caught inside a whirlpool.
Down and down and down, I go.
As I circle deeper into the heart of the sea, I catch a glimpse of my anchor sinking beside me.