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Childhood Waves

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Childhood is like the memory that you want to keep but sometimes cannot. I remember when I was about three and I first learned about the ocean. It is a vivid memory that I hold close to me. I remember my mother’s feet right beside me as they reached towards the ocean. I looked out at the water not knowing everything that it held. I saw the waves break onto the sand and wondered just how it did so. Was it the wind that pushed the water? Or maybe it was an unseen force that caused the blue to rise towards blue, breaking rules of gravity, and suddenly shatter down, pounding and splashing with might. I wondered how it felt to be the wave, to have this unknown force lift me up only to bring me down again.
I watched as the water became silent. No waves. It was just silent, not moving, no force. Little ripples developed in the water as the wind gently brushed past. I eyed the sand beneath me and took a handful myself. I stood up from the ground and let my fingers gently release watching as the sand floated out of my hand, the color of the dirty blonde that matched my hair, travel with the wind.
I took another handful and stood up again. I began to spin, letting go of the sand, seeing how the wind picked up my hair and the sand, blowing it around and around to create a mess of me. I was a tornado.
I stopped spinning and caught my balance. I turned toward my mom and saw she wasn’t looking at me. I turned towards the ocean and saw the still water with small breaks toward the shore. I became entranced by the ocean, the blue-green that matched the eyes of my mom and followed it. I walked forward slowly not taking my eyes off of it, then began to run towards it as if, if I didn’t hurry the water would dry and I would never get to experience the sensation again. I couldn’t, wouldn’t let that happen. So I ran faster.

I finally made it to the water, letting only my small toes touch. Feeling the cold sensation run through my body, I suddenly felt the need for more. I continued my step into the ocean, deeper and deeper. The water was at my stomach when it decided to rush back away from me.

I began to become sad that it was leaving, when all of a sudden I felt the crowd of something encircling me again, like the sand had. I looked ahead of me and saw the push of a forceful wave come straight towards me. I couldn’t run. I wasn’t fast enough. I couldn’t jump. I wasn’t tall enough. So I stood there. I just stood there. And felt my body become numb. My throat tighten and my body collapse under the wave. And darkness. I felt darkness. I saw darkness. I knew darkness.

I felt something. Something different and not like the push of the water or the sand circling me. I felt something touch my arm first and then my waist.
I felt him pulling me out. Out of my state. No more water. Just sand under me. I began to open my eyes and saw the blue I was used to everyday. The blue of the sky rather then the piercing water that ran through my lungs. I stood up.
I saw the young man standing next to me. His hands gently helping me up. I looked into his eyes, and they looked familiar to me even at that age. He continued looking at me. Never taking his eyes off. I looked away and saw my mother coming towards us. I ran towards her. I wanted her, I needed her. She touched me as she walked passed me.
I saw as she yelled at the man from afar. I didn’t know why. He had saved me. Why was she yelling at him?





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AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 10:19 am
This was great!  I would love to read more of your book!  The only thing I would change about this is how it simply says "I stood up" after vividly describing the water in her lungs etc.  I guess what I'm getting at is it was pretty anti-climatic for someone who almost drowned a minute ago to just stand up.  Otherwise, it was awesome! ~AsIAm
 
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