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

By
   Last year for my birthday, my friend Tom gave me a bookmark. On it was the stitching of a sailboat. Near the bottom of the bookmark I found a small quote: "A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." Oh great, I thought to myself, Tom the Naval Academy hopeful wants me to come sail the high seas with him. But after reading the quote a few more times, it popped into my head that maybe that wasn't what it meant at all. I finally got it. Tom wanted me to jog with him after school every day.

Since my birthday falls in December, I usually wouldn't consider running when the temperature is usually below freezing. But Tom convinced me that the cold air would make my lungs stronger as well as get me in shape for my upcoming indoor soccer season. I had no idea of the event that would occur as a result of my choice.

We had been running daily for a few weeks when one day it started snowing. The roads became slushy pretty quickly, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go jogging that day. But sure enough Tom appeared at my doorstep with his usual black shorts and gray sweatshirt barely keeping him warm. I got into my shorts and pulled on a wool hat.

We ran down the road toward the bridge running over Bogastowe Brook, our common break spot.

We stood looking over the railing into the flowing water. The water on the edge of the brook was starting to freeze. I looked at Tom and I could see in his face a rather supernatural trance. He hopped over the railing to the edge of the brook, and stripped down to his boxer shorts. He continued into the freezing water. I could feel the same strange force coming over me. Without thinking, I faithfully followed my friend's example. There I was, almost naked, standing in freezing water in the dead of winter. I felt a sudden rush, as if I were the ship on the bookmark, sailing away toward paradise. Maybe I was just hallucinating because of the cold.

Though I've warmed from that icy water, that feeling has yet to leave. Thinking about the experience, I guess I could have avoided it. I could have stayed inside, doing homework or watching television, instead of going running. Tom convinced me to get out of my house and make the most of that time, as well as our nearby water source. Jogging with Tom, and that experience in Bogastowe Brook, showed me that I could become that sailboat. I have also realized that I should follow the currents, exploring where they take me. With such a large ocean out there, everything in the world is there for the taking, I just have to set sail. c


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






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback