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Surviving's Just The Beginning
"Someone!" I shouted as I tried to stay above the water, "Help us!"
I wasn't the only one. So many people were trying to find some way to get above the water, to find something to grasp onto.
"Kara!" I heard someone shout.
I snapped awake, gasping for air as I slowly realized I wasn't caught in the flood anymore.
"Where am I?" I asked myself as I heard footsteps coming my way.
"Oh good, you're awake." I heard a woman say. She sounded familiar.
I looked up at her and repeated my earlier question to her. "Where am I?"
"You're in the hospital Miss Delacroix." the young woman said. She was dressed in a nurse's outfit and was watching me closely.
"What happened? How did I get here?" I asked her.
"You don't remember?" the woman asked me. I shook my head so she answered. "You drowned Miss Delacroix. We almost didn't get to you in time."
It struck me hard right then. I closed my eyes and lay back down as the memories returned.
"I'll come back in an hour." the woman said as she left, her voice faint and distant.
"Kara, hang on." My friend, Alex Tashton, called as he helped me back up on my feet.
We were running to get to higher ground. The water had come quickly. "A flood! A flood!" I heard people screaming, saw them running, and prayed that we would make it to safety.
"Alex!" I shouted as his little sister, Rayna Tashton, held tight to my back. The water was getting higher now. It was almost to my knees.
Alex took Rayna and we continued up the path. As we ran I could hear the sound of rushing water in the distance.
"Just a little farther!" Alex shouted from ahead of me.
"We'll never make it!" I yelled as we 'ran' ahead.
We were half-way up the hill when the water got closer to us. Why was this happening?!
"Brother, I'm scared." Rayna cried as she clung to Alex's back.
"We'll be okay Rayna." Alex said reassuringly.
We got to the top only to see no escape. The water had come fast and it was still coming.
"Miss Delacroix?" The nurse asked as my eyes opened. (Delacroix is pronounced day-lah-croy.)
"Yes?" I asked. My voice was a bit squeaky but it was nothing bad really.
"You have a visitor." The nurse said as I saw Rayna peek at me from behind her. The eight-year old was alive! Thank goodness she was safe!
"Come here silly." I said right before she ran over and hopped onto my bed.
"Did they tell you?" Rayna asked after the nurse left us. Rayna's bright green eyes had become dulled by sadness.
"No, but your eyes tell all." I whispered as she hugged me. "Alex always did put others before him."
"Kara!" Alex shouted as I continued to gasp for air and try to get above the water.
"Kara hold on!" Alex shouted.
My arms were getting tired, and my legs felt so heavy. Suddenly I completely went under. All I could see was water...and...was that Alex?
Alex was swimming downward towards me! I was almost out of air by the time he'd grabbed me and we reached the surface. My vision was blurry and there was so much noise.
"Stay with us Kara!" I heard Rayna yelling over and over.
"Over here!" I heard Alex shouting to someone.
I don't know how long I had been out but suddenly I was being rushed through the halls of a hospital.
"Don't worry Kara, we'll take care of your friends too." One of the doctors said as I faded off into darkness again.
"Kara?" Rayna whispered as I stirred awake. I smiled weakly at her as she curled up by me.
"What is it Rayna?" I asked her.
"Brother wanted me to give this to you." She said as she handed me a folded piece of paper, "He said that the poem would help you hold on."
I took the poem from her, unfolded it, and then read it to her. As I read it I could almost hear Alex reading too.
**Surviving's Just The Beginning
A Poem By Alex Tashton
Is only the beginning
Of the constant struggle
Inside your head
As you continue to try
And figure out
How you were able to survive
It's the word used when you live
So terrible that you
Almost don't believe
That you're truly alive
Steady then unstable
Then steady again
As they pumped air
Into your lungs
Through your body
To jumpstart your heart
That thing pounding
Inside your chest
Making you cry
At the loss of loved ones
The loss of your best friend
And his warm smile
Just a little
As the tears fall
Show that his sacrifice
Wasn't for nothing
That he was able
To do something for you
The lovely one still breathing
Still able to cry
Feel a heartbeat
And most of all
Is just the beginning**
I cried after having read it both the first and second time. I missed Alex, and Rayna would miss him too.
"You're right Alex," I whispered as Rayna slept beside me, "Surviving is just the beginning. I won't forget that."