The Pool

December 3, 2007
By Tim Fleming, Hood River., OR

Running on the hard gray stone, I feel its smoothness beneath my feet. I feel the smell of the chlorine in my nose, tingling my senses like a feather. I stop running and look into that deep bluish-gray water and wonder if that’s a quarter down there or a piece of trash. “I hate water!” I exclaim. All of a sudden I feel hands on my back pushing me towards that God forbidden miniature lake. I lean back, trying to stop those hands but to no avail. One minute I am in my nice dry Dickies, The next I’m on the bottom of the pool struggling to get back to the surface. The pool is seven feet deep and I’m only five feet tall; those figures really don’t match. Also, I’m sitting on the slippery bottom trying to stand, but every time I manage to do so, I slip right back into the sitting position.
Then, like an assassin, the creepy burning sensation climbs stealthily into my lungs. “I am running out of breath!” I scream silently as I try to block out the laughing I hear above the surface. I don’t want to die! It feels as if my lungs are going to burst so I scream out loud underwater, expelling the last of my air as water comes rushing in to my lungs. My chest feels as if firecrackers are exploding inside of it.
I can feel the blood pumping through my veins as I panic and struggle to stand. I lie down on the bottom of the pool and try to drag my failing body to the shallow end, but I’m running out of strength. I open my eyes, and almost immediately feel the burning in them. Memories come rushing into my head about my family and my selfishness. As I think about my memories I want to cry. Remembering my 8th birthday party, I told my parents I had hated them because they wouldn’t let me open my presents early. Now that I look back, I see what a horrible monster I had become. If only I could go back in time, I would never had said that to them for I love them with my whole heart. Here they are, the answer to my prayers, and I tell them I hate them? What’s wrong with me??? I close my eyes as the darkness starts to take over my head. “Why God? Why me?” Next thing I know, every thing goes black………
My uncle Jeremy saved my life that day after my cousin Jessie had shoved me into that pool. Why she did it the world may never know. But I did learn something while I was sitting on the bottom of that pool, never to take things for granted. For I had taken my family, the food they provide, and every thing else for granted. After almost drowning, I learned to love and cherish what I have before it’s gone.

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