Chapter 2: Defying Tangaroa

sea girl (11) After, the sea was no longer the same to Puaura. No longer did it seem warm and gentle, like a playmate. Now, the water was like a stranger, filled with dark mysteries; a deep, shadowy tomb that hid Death beneath a calm blue mask.  sea girl (15) sea girl (14)

After, her mother had to work twice as hard to put food on the table, cleaning the homes of the wealthy and waiting tables at The Blue Lagoon Cafe. Her eyes were often streaked red from lack of rest, and she began to develop sick headaches, which worried Puaura.

sea girl (16) sea girl (7)

“Just think,” she would tell her mother, “one day, you and I will open an inn on the beach. And people will come from far away just to stay there. And there will be music and dancing, and good food, and everyone will be happy.” The idea had begun as a way to cheer up her mother on the hard days. But somehow, the dream had begun to grow – a tiny seed of possibility, which gave them both something to look forward to in the future.sea girl (8)

After, Puaura was different, too. She did everything that a good girl was supposed to do. She went to school each day, studied, and acted like a normal teenage girl. sea girl (10)

But in her free time, she spent hours in solitude, no longer playing and laughing with the sea, but facing it head-on, like a warrior. Puaura vs. the Ocean. She wrestled with the waves, dodging and cutting through the surf. sea girl (9)

sea girl (12) sea girl (1)

And, like her father had done in his last moments of life, Puaura strapped on scuba gear and defiantly dove into the bowels of the sea, in search of Rongo’s treasure. sea girl (4) sea girl (5)

The sea was not her friend, but she would not hide from it. Tangaroa had stolen her father from her. But he would not steal her spirit.


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