Water This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

September 27, 2013
Footprints behind me disappear slowly, evaporating in the heat. I look back and see my father smiling at me. On the edge of the bright blue shining pool, I bend over my tiny feet and look into the deep abyss. Suddenly I am submerged. I inhale and liquid rushes down my throat. Water floods my lungs and I am drowning. I can no longer think, and I panic. Quickly, a hand breaks the barrier of water and grabs my arm, and I am lifted from the abyss. I look into the distressed face of my father and cry. My father, my hero, holds me and comforts me.
Thirteen years later, I wait for my father to come home from his visit to China. The phone rings, and it is not my father. The woman speaks Chinese and reports that my father is ill and unable to return home on schedule. Water has filled his lungs.
I panic. This is not the same water that had enclosed me. It is lung water – pulmonary edema.
How can I help my father? I can't, physically. My father took the water from my lungs and saved me. However, I cannot take away the water that is crushing his lungs. I cannot break through the barrier between the United States and China, like he broke the barrier between air and water to save me. Any arm that I reach out will not touch him. I cannot save him as he saved me.
However, I can support him. I can sympathize with my father, telling him that it was the tobacco's fault, not his usage. I tell him I love him and that we miss him. I listen to his grievances.
In my mind, I picture my father young and strong. Now, through the telephone, I hear the age and weakness in him.
Who is my father? He is human.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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WOWriting said...
May 5, 2014 at 7:55 am
Really heartfelt story, love the simplicity. Almost made me cry and I never cry :) i can see why it is put in the magazine
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