Hi, my name is Evan Araia. I’m 29 years old and live in Dover. Have you ever heard that name? I can guess that you have probably heard my name in news broadcasts or may be newspapers. I was the only and sole survivor of the Cruise line; Aurora the inspiration which was attacked by pirates in the Red Sea. This is the true account of the dreadful and ghastly experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Monday 8th October 2010: The day before I got on the cruise liner
I always have had the habit of waking up in the morning at 6 o’clock and going to the park to have a few cigarettes. Each time, it never fails to get me refreshed and get me ready for the misfortunes awaiting my day. I have never considered myself a lucky person. Always getting into trouble for something I have not done and by any means having a day that I simply could call “a pleasant day”. However I never gave up thinking that someday it will all change, not even today.
I went back home and rummaged through the pile of cloths to look for a clean shirt and jeans to wear for work. I haven’t washed any of my clothes since my nana died eight months ago. Since then, I have never felt like I had a reason to live in this merciless little world. Sometimes I feel like getting the hunting gun from the attic and making the world one less person for it to torture. After a few minutes I found “wearable” top and jeans. Soon after I left home and went to the bus stop to wait for my bus. I work in a computer maintenance company called THE HIVE. I have been working there for more than seven years and I have never got a promotion or a considerate pay rise. But who cares as long as I can pay my rent and get some cigs.
I was waiting on the bus stop and had the strangest day dream. I was assuming that I was a multi-millionaire businessman travelling all over the world as a part of my job. But suddenly I heard a roaring sound coming towards me. I looked ahead and realised it was the bus coming towards the stop. I realised I have been waiting there for twenty minutes. I got into the bus and paid my fare. I sat down on the only seat that was available; next to a wasted old man. By the looks of his clothes and smell of them, I presume that he was someone who lived on the streets. He then started talking aloud. He was saying, “What have I done God, to deserve this?” in a frustrated tone of voice. Then he started looking at me with a strange intent. After a long pause he then said, “You don’t know have it feel s to be like me and I hope you never will.” I rang the bell in order to alight.
Just before I got off I looked back on to the next seat I was sitting on and there was no one there. It is as if the man has disappeared. I then thought to myself “Was I hallucinating?” I even asked myself if that is what I will be like in the next couple of years. Putting that whole thing aside I started a small trek to my work. There was a cafe on my way to work and thought it is only 8:15 and work doesn’t start till 9. So I would have time to have a hot cup of coffee and a nice hot cross bun. I went in to the cafe and everyone in there seemed tense. I asked the waitress to get me a big mug of coffee and a cross bun.
When I was minding my own business a man in his forties came towards my table and asked if he could sit next to me. I didn’t mind him sitting next to me. Out of the blue he said, “Can you please buy me a cup of coffee? Pretty please, I haven’t had anything since yesterday”. I just ignored him but every second I ignored him there was sympathy mounting from the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t bare it. When I was about to get some money out of my pocket he spoke. He said garbing, “I will swap this ticket for a cup of coffee then. It is a raffle ticket to win a chance to be travel on the biggest passenger cruise line; Aurora, the inspiration.” He then gave me this crumpled piece of brochure that looked like it has just been dug out of the ground. I started going through it.
I first skimmed the brochure and I got an urge to read it intensely. Even though I believed that I definitely had no chance of winning. I folded the brochure and placed it in my pocket. I wasn’t that bothered spending some money on the guy, so I bought him his cup of coffee and a full English breakfast and went straight out the cafï¿½ on my way to work. I now remembered watching an ad for the cruise liner on the telly. But I was interested to know whether it was just a rip off or not.
I got to work and checked the time I got into the building. The building was modern but pretty dismal and gloomy. It was all painted in grey with no other colour. I was like stepping into a room where hundreds of people are mourning. Besides, it usually made me feel that way. I went into my department. As always business was slow hence I stated reading the brochure. Here is what is said “This is the holiday of your dream! You can get the chance to get a holiday fro 2 on the biggest cruise ship; Aurora, the inspiration. The cruise will start its journey from Dover on Wednesday 11th of October for a round trip to Southern Caribbean which will take about 14 days. The cruise cost ï¿½300 million from start to finish; it is 420m long and 70m wide. It has a top speed of 31mph, which makes it the fastest cruise liner to any one had ever built. Moreover it can hold 3700 passengers including 1450 crew. It has eighteen decks with 20 fully functional elevators. It was christened in November 9, 2006 by Pierce Brosnan and its maiden journey took place in November 23, 2006.
There will be plenty of activities to keep you and your partner busy. These include; ice skating rink and roller skating to show off your moves, 20m high and 15m wide rock climbing wall to help you conquer you fears. Furthermore, 5 outdoor pools with diving areas and several Jacuzzis to use any time you need to relax, 18 hole miniature golf course for whenever you fancy a stroke of challenge, a full sided basketball court where you can also play 5-a-side football, exciting youth facility stuff that will surely blow your imagination, a state-of-art video gaming gives you something to do in you spare time and feed your craving if you are a hardcore gamer.
Additionally there are other amenities like; a grand casino, 2 main dining rooms on three floors, each named after a composer (Mozart, Strauss and Vivaldi) with total capacity 1,920 on each. Besides that there is a Lyrics Show lounge spanning 5 decks that can fit 2,700 people: it features cabaret acts and late-night adult-only comedy shows. Furthermore there will be a day spa and fitness centre to tone up your body and keep you refreshed and a massive internet cafï¿½ with a two level library to help you with anything really. Last but not least you will get your own penthouse with designer furniture, your own Jacuzzi, 42″ plasma TV, state-of-art Hi-fi, unlimited room service and many more at the 17th deck. Nevertheless to have the chance in the chance of winning you need but a raffle ticket available from any supermarkets and good newsagents. The ticket will cost you ï¿½15 but remember the experience is priceless.”
When I was finished I looked up and I was scared to my death when I saw him; there above me was one of my colleagues looking down at me. I then swiftly dumped the brochure in my pocket. But I was sure that he already saw me reading it. He is the closest person I have come to getting a friend. He then said, “What are you up to mate? You were reading that piece of pare you just plonked in your pocket”. I didn’t want to talk about it to him suddenly he said, “You can tell me you know- I am your friend.”
I wanted to say something but I was tongue-tied. I couldn’t say anything; no one had ever said that they were my friend, I was gob-smacked. I could only make out the phrase “I’ll tell you later.”
Later when we were having our lunch I told him everything starting from me being “the most unfortunate man on earth” my miseries, my hallucinations, the man, the raffle ticket and the brochure for the cruise liner. Apparently, he also bought a ticket and is looking forward to the draw show that is on Channel Four at 7pm. That was all I needed to know to look forward to what could be the pivotal moment of my life, if I win the draw I will be overwhelmed by feeling the luckiest man on earth and if I don’t win, then life just goes on.
We went back to the dull and depressing building that shadowed the roads like the eclipse from the moon. When I went back to work, there was nothing for me to do; it was so tedious and frustrating. Only thing for me to do to was look forward to the most important instant of my life. But suddenly I remembered that the boss asked me to write him a report on what I did this week with all the evidence. This place can make you forget anything, starting with yourself! Eventually, it was time to go home.
As usual when I leave work I go to my favourite kebab shop jut opposite the building. It makes the best chicken doner I have ever tasted. I took off towards the shop and when I got there the cashier didn’t even need to ask, he knew what I would say and he set out to prepare my order. He came back with my order and me my chicken doner and a bottle of coke. I departed from the shop and went to the bus stop to wait for my bus. It didn’t take long to come. I paid the fare and sat down at the back.
I started wolfing down on the soft, toasted, crunchy pita bread. It felt like drinking water after a long walk on a desert. I was so delectable; notably I could fit four more of those on my stomach. It didn’t take me long to finish it off. After about twenty minutes, I alighted out of the bus and went to the park to freshen up before I get home and have a couple of cigs. I sat down on a wooden bench and started reflecting on my eventful day so far. After that I started thinking about what will happen after 7pm: will I still be miserable like I am now or even worse? Or will I be having the best time of my life? The time passed rapidly. It was already 6.15; I need to get a move on and now would be smart.
I reached the door of my house and opened the door. I straight away went to the toilet to have a quick shower. I had my shower swiftly and put my pyjamas on. Suddenly, I had a niggling thought on my mind “Who am I even to think of winning this”? Remember, I am supposed to be “the most unfortunate man on earth. I will never win it, giving up would be the best thing. Ever since the day my nana died, every single day of my life has been worst than the day before it, so every single day you see me, that is the worst day of my life.
But today it has a positive feeling about it I mean, I made a true friend today and I have a chance to escape this sad life. Also I can give up now; I would never forgive myself if the wining number is the one with me. So I stuffed my hand to my pockets and fished the craggy and battered brochure with the number on. I turned the telly on and waited for the program to start- 5 minutes to go. I don’t know why but I was anxious; maybe it is because it is make or break time. I checked the numbers on the ticket, 1453-9528.
The program started and I waited for the first number to be drawn. Ten balls were placed on eight, claustrophobic looking plastic spheres. Then the presenter shouted “Let them rip!” the entire spheres started to rotate endlessly. After some time a ball appeared on the bottom of the first sphere. The presenter approved the number shouting put “1”. Then the next ball cam into view, it was 4 then 5…3…9…5.
After that number showed my mind started to flow with thoughts, of confusion and deep-rooted expectation, can it really be me? Is it ever possible for “the most unfortunate man on earth to win this draw? My thoughts were interrupted by the next number becoming visible. I could hear my heart was pounding as loud as a drum: it was number 2. I couldn’t bear the tension, it was about to drive me insane. Abruptly the last number appeared and it was number 8. I was in seventh heaven and extremely happy. I could not believe my luck- I am now the luckiest man on earth.