I WHIRLED AROUND and saw a girl about my age treading water near the raft. She had black hair braided into two long plaits and dark eyes that stared at me curiously.
“What do you mean ‘your brother’?” I asked when my voice had returned from the pit of my stomach.
The girl grinned. “He comes back once in a while. To visit.”
She swam toward the raft, climbed up and plopped down cross-legged in front of me.
“I’m Goldie,” she said. “Goldie Dixon. What’s your name?”
She was smaller than I was, and her skin was darker.
“Sarah Richardson,” I replied shyly.
I glanced beyond the edge of the raft, wondering if I’d catch a glimpse of her brother.
“Did you see his fluke?” Goldie asked, her face beaming.
Fluke? Of course…
I knew what the black thing was. It was a whale’s tail, its fluke. My father had shown me photos of whales from his marine biology class. Some pictures showed the whales’ flukes or tails, some showed whales spouting water and one even caught a whale as it breached and rose almost completely out of the ocean.
“So where’s your brother?” I asked, looking around the raft.