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Soul Surfer Series
By Rick Bundschuh, Bethany Hamilton
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2007 Bethany Hamilton
All rights reserved.
"My lungs are going to collapse!" Holly Silva gasped as she melted into a human puddle on the park grass. "I can't believe you talked me into this!"
"You're welcome," Bethany panted as she landed next to Holly with a grin. She never got tired of running at Hanalei Bay. Surrounded by towering green cliffs and waterfalls that seemed to go on forever, it was like having a running trail in the middle of Jurassic Park. Minus the man-eating dinosaurs, of course.
The run had been good for her, she thought, glancing up at the wide blue bowl of sky. Good enough to shake off the cloud that had been looming over her ever since waking from that crazy dream.
"How many miles was that?"
Bethany glanced over as Holly threw her arms wide across the grass. Bethany smiled. The cool thing about hanging with Holly was you couldn't stay in a weird mood for long.
"Miles? More like one mile," Bethany said, and then laughed as Holly's green eyes widened in disbelief. "It's running in the sand that gets you."
"It's running in the sand after surfing all morning. No wonder Malia and Jenna bailed on us!"
"Malia and Jenna aren't as gullible as you," Bethany teased. Bethany had to bite her lip to keep from giggling as her friend sat up. Holly's short brown hair was dark with sweat and sticking up all over the place.
"It's winter training, Holly," Bethany continued when she was able to talk without laughing. "You'll be glad you did it with me when you survive Hanalei Bay when it's fifteen feet."
"News flash, Bethany; I don't like to surf when it's fifteen feet—you like to surf when it's fifteen feet!" Holly narrowed her eyes. "And why do you keep looking at my hair?"
"Well ..." Bethany burst out laughing. "It's a little scary."
"Ugh," Holly groaned, running her hands through her hair as her eyes darted toward the cute surfers tossing a Frisbee on the beach. "That's what I get for following you around the bay twice!"
Bethany smiled as she turned her gaze towards the rocky shoreline on the other side of the bay. Suddenly, her smile faded a little and she felt a shiver go up her back. Why couldn't she shake that dream? There was something about those rocks—
"So, tell me why you like torturing yourself like this." Holly said, interrupting Bethany's thoughts.
Bethany leaned back in the grass and thought for a moment. "Remember last January at the Big Surf?"
"I remember you were the only girl crazy enough to go out."
"Well, I got caught by flat rock in a cleanup set. I was pinned to the bottom for the first wave, rolled around by the second, and finally broke surface for a breath after the third wave—"
"Exactly why I don't surf the bay when it's fifteen feet!"
"No, you don't get it! What I'm saying is, I was a little freaked out—but not like I would've been if I hadn't trained. If you know you can handle a couple of wave hold downs, then it isn't as scary ..." Bethany's voice trailed off as she thought about the dream again, and she wondered if it meant that she needed to train harder—be better prepared.
She glanced over at Holly who was quiet for once, with a thoughtful look on her face as she studied the sky. Bethany wished Holly would say something—anything—to lighten the mood.
"I was just trying to figure out what's worse," Holly said finally, her grin reappearing. "Training with you or being wiped out by a massive wave."
"I gotta get up and find something to drink," Holly said with a laugh, then groaned as she slowly rose to her feet. "My body hates me, and we still have the car wash to do!"
"Let's head into town. I'll buy you a bottle of water for being such a good sport," Bethany offered.
Holly arched a brow at her. "Good sport?"
"Okay ... for running with me!" Bethany added. They both laughed.
"Ready to stagger to the store?" asked Holly.
"You stagger—I kinda feel like jogging."
"Bethany, you are such a show-off!"
Bethany grinned, feeling her spirits rise. "Catch up, and I'll let you in on an idea I have for the car wash!"
"I'm probably going to regret this!" Holly called out and then ran to catch up.
They were guzzling water in front of the Big Save grocery store when Bethany's mom arrived to shuttle them to the church car wash.
"I don't know how you girls do it," Cheri said as they scrambled into the van. "I have a hard time keeping up as the driver!"
"You reap what you sow, Mom. Isn't that what you always tell me?"
"Hmm." Cheri pursed her lips in thought as she backed out of the parking space. "I wonder what the wash-me bandits are going to reap?" She grinned at Holly in the rearview mirror. "Any ideas?"
Holly blushed, but Bethany burst out laughing. Her mom had spotted all the dirty rear windows they had written wash me on as they headed into town.
"We'll reap business for the car wash—for the mission trip."
"So we can go build homes in Mexico for those less fortunate." Holly added with a hopeful grin.
"Uh, huh," Cheri said, and then did a double take in the rearview mirror. "Okay, how did you two manage to get my back window without me noticing?"
Cheri shook her head in amazement, and Bethany and Holly broke into a fresh round of laughter.
"Is this the third or fourth car wash?" Holly asked once she caught her breath.
"Third," Bethany said, glancing over the seat. "I just wish there was something else we could do. It feels like it's taking forever, and I've been dying to go on a mission trip since I was little!"
"Too bad we're not trustafarians."
"What?" Bethany and her mom said at the same time and then laughed.
Holly grinned. "You know, hippies with Rastafarian hair who live in the jungle and only come into town to get money out of their trustfund accounts. Trust-afarians. Get it?"
Bethany and her mom groaned. Holly was almost famous for the crazy way she described people. If she didn't know of a term, she was happy to make one up.
"Check it out," Holly said, suddenly pointing to the side passenger window. Bethany turned in time to see a long black limousine in the lane next to them. "They should be at our fundraiser!"
"No doubt," Bethany said slowly as she watched the limo pick up speed to pass them. She was suddenly caught off guard as the face of a teenage girl turned to stare back at them. She was pretty in a polished kind of way, with dark hair cut in a shiny bob and fair skin. The girl noticed them watching her and quickly looked away.
"Probably a celebutante," Holly added knowingly.
Bethany grinned and shook her head just as the girl glanced up to the sky. Bethany was struck hard by the sad look on the girl's face.
I wonder what it is that's made her so sad?
Something about the girl tugged at Bethany—something she couldn't put her finger on—like the way her eyes kept being drawn back to the rocks at Hanalei Bay. Like her dream.
It wasn't that she thought people with money couldn't have problems. Her friend Liam and his dad had been through some really bad stuff—until they found God. Even now, they still dealt with the same things everyone worried and prayed about. But what if someone didn't know God? What if what they owned was all they thought they had?
"Is that it?" Andrea looked out the window of the limousine to the west as an awesome view of towering cliffs with waterfalls free-falling down to a slip of white sand and ocean opened up before them. Colorado had some cool-looking mountains, she thought, but nothing like this.
"Yeah, that's it, kiddo."
Andrea turned around, surprised at the hint of excitement she thought she heard in her mom's voice. Her mom glanced up from the map she'd been squinting at and smiled—a smile that Andrea couldn't ever remember seeing before. For a moment, she almost looked and sounded kind of young.
Maybe. She tried not to hope too much, but she yearned to have a real family that hung out together. She thought of the blonde girl she'd seen in the van, hair blowing in the wind, with such a huge smile on her face. The lady driving had the same kind of smile. They looked like they were having fun together.
Andrea looked across the seat to where her dad sat. She saw that he was looking toward the cliffs too. She almost reached out to grab his hand. Something about the way he looked reminded her of herself; sad and alone, even in a car full of people. I wonder if he's thinking about Uncle Mike?
Andrea glanced at her brother. He was sprawled out on the seat next to her as he nodded along with whatever was playing on his iPod. Mark drove her crazy most of the time, but she couldn't imagine what it would be like without him. "One day he's there, and the next he's just ... gone," she'd heard her dad say with a shaky voice the night he got the call about Uncle Mike.
He'd said it like it couldn't be real. It wasn't real to her, either. Her uncle was gone. Gone where?
Andrea leaned her head against the car window and glanced up to the blue expanse of sky again, searching. She'd never really thought about that kind of stuff until now—she knew for sure her mom and dad hadn't.
Her dad's mantra had always been if something was lost or broken, you opened your wallet and bought a replacement—or had it fixed.
But people can't be replaced, Andrea thought, curling her legs under her as she stared at the sky. And she'd never heard of anyone that could fix a broken heart.CHAPTER 2
"Pretty awesome to see God pulling all of these teenagers together for a good cause," Cheri said, sharing a smile with Bethany as she steered the van around the bustling lot of people where the car wash was going to be held. Hoses were coiled in the far corner of the shopping center. Buckets and large bottles of soap were lined up on the curb like soldiers waiting for orders. Two girls from the Hanalei Girls Surf Team looked over, waved to Bethany and Holly, and then grabbed up their sponges, buckets, and hoses and headed their way.
"Want your car washed, Mom?" Bethany asked with a Cheshire-cat grin.
"I always want my car washed. Thank you, Bethany!"
"Okay, get your money ready."
"Hmm ... I thought you'd give me a freebie for being your surf taxi."
"Well, today you've gotta pay!"
"Oh, that's right. It's mom slash surf taxi slash wallet!" Cheri said, and Bethany and Holly laughed.
"Here's the first customer!" Bethany called, hanging her head out the window of the van. Within an instant, the dirty, surf-wax-stained van was attacked from all sides in a flurry of water, suds, and sponges.
"Love ya, Mom!" Bethany laughed as she scrambled from the van.
"We'll wash your car one of these days for free, Auntie Cheri," Holly added with a benevolent smile before she shut the door.
Within seconds, Bethany and Holly were joined by Malia, Jenna, and Monica as they made a beeline for Sarah, the youth director of North Shore Christian Church.
As usual, Sarah was in her element, directing from her small plastic table with a water bottle in one hand and a yellow notepad in the other. Her blonde hair was pulled back in a neat ponytail, and her makeup was perfect—in spite of the fact that she would be in the hot sun, spraying cars down all day.
"A girl after my own heart. Look at how perfect her face looks," Holly said with a sigh, and the girls all laughed. In addition to creating new ways to describe people, Holly was also known for her love of all things girlie. Makeup was a new love, but it had a powerful pull, mainly because Holly's mom wouldn't let her wear it.
"So, how was the run, Holly?" Malia asked sweetly.
But then, Malia was sweet.
Holly narrowed her eyes anyway. "My heart nearly exploded—not that you or Jenna would care."
Bethany, Jenna, and Malia burst out laughing. Holly grinned.
"I could've warned you about Bethany, but no one listens to me anyway," Monica sniffed. "I know how people respond to my advice. Oh, sure! Why don't we add the whole island to the surf team, Monica?"
"Oh, cut it out, Monica. I've been on the team for over a year now. You need to find something else to gripe about," Jenna blurted out, then blushed to the almost exact shade of her red hair. Everyone fell silent.
They could all remember when Monica had been reluctant to invite Jenna onto the Hanalei Girls Surf Team last year.
"Impressive," Monica said, not knowing what else to say, and they all laughed, including Monica.
"Okay, surf girls," Sarah announced, breaking into their banter. "Step up and be counted!" She checked their names off her list and looked up with a grin. "Growth spurt! Bethany, you are definitely roof girl today."
The other girls snickered.
"Better than hubcap girls," Bethany said, sliding a grin at Holly and Malia, the shortest of their group.
Cars were lining up now, and as soon as Sarah checked off the last girl, she left her little table to act as traffic director, greeter, and cashier.
More students arrived and joined in the work. Many, not waiting to get orders from Sarah, simply picked up a sponge, commandeered a hose, or grabbed a chamois. They all worked well together too—for most of the day.
Then there was the little incident of turning the hoses on each other that became an awesome eruption of flying sponges filled with soap and spraying water. Sarah managed to bring everything back under control until the end when Bethany, Holly, and a couple of the boys gave her the "grand finale" by dumping a bucket of water over her head.
Sarah took the dousing in good humor, cheerfully threatening revenge on the plotters.
"I wouldn't take it so well if I got my makeup messed up like that," Holly noted gravely as she and Bethany emptied buckets and rung out sponges.
"Holly, you're starting to scare me," Bethany teased as they made their way back to where Sarah sat. They plopped down next to Sarah as she counted the money for the mission trip.
"So, how did we do?" Bethany asked hopefully.
"Not too bad," Sarah said with an encouraging smile. "We're a couple hundred closer to our goal."
"How much more do we need?" Holly asked.
"I figure around five thousand dollars," Sarah said.
"Why so much?" Bethany asked, trying not to let her heart sink.
"Well, we need to rent vans, pay for lodging, and help with airfare. And then there is the cost of the materials to build the houses in Mexico," Sarah said, and then smiled. "The only thing that comes cheap on this whole trip is our labor."
"Too bad the celebutante didn't show up today," Holly sniffed. "If I were rich, I'd fund the whole mission trip!"
Yeah, Bethany thought, ready to climb aboard Holly's pity train ... until she saw the crooked smile on Sarah's face.
"You two need to quit worrying about what other people have and trust God," Sarah said as she packed her things away. "We're talking about God. You know, Creator of the universe! Don't you think he can get the money to us for this little mission trip?"
"Well, why hasn't he then?" Bethany asked, then bit her lip worriedly. "I mean, I don't mean to sound disrespectful or anything ..."
"I don't get it, either," Holly admitted. "We're trying to do something good—something I really think God wants done—but it's been really hard for us to make the money to cover everything. Then there's my uncle who goes to Vegas to drink, party, and gamble ... and he comes home with twenty grand in his pocket!" Holly bit her lip too. Then, unable to stop herself, she added, "What's up with that?"
Sarah nodded thoughtfully. "First thing I want to say is that it's cool you two are asking questions. Second thing is, God always answers—even his silence can be an answer."
Bethany figured she and Holly must have had some strange looks on their faces, because Sarah looked at them and laughed.
"Remember the book we read about the woman who was in the concentration camp with her sister?"
"Corrie ten Boom?" Bethany said.
Sarah nodded. "Yeah, that's her. There were many times when she felt like God was silent. But she eventually learned that if she just kept trusting him, kept marching forward, he would see her through and provide what she needed—exactly when she needed it.
Excerpted from Storm by Rick Bundschuh, Bethany Hamilton. Copyright © 2007 Bethany Hamilton. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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