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Weekend Of Fun Or Weekend Of Terror? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The sun was beginning its slow descent past the horizon causing the sky to take on the colors of a freshly made bruise. The purple and pink hues painted the sky like a painting out of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The lake under the painting was as smooth and clear as a pane of glass. The burning embers of the bonfire on the beach silhouetted the nine or ten figures. There were fourteen people assembled at the cottage. The five people who were not on the beach were on the back field playing one game or another. They were the children. Soon it would be time for them to be tucked into their beds and let the adults enjoy themselves; it was, after all, the Fourth of July.

As the night got later, the two eldest children went up to bed, leaving only seven of us on the beach (the adults and me). We stayed up half the night just talking and joking around. Around two a.m. we all went up to the cabin and went to bed.

The next morning was a sunny and beautiful day. The sun was shining with such enthusiasm that we all had to wear sunglasses, even at eight in the morning. The day started out fine. Everyone was laughing and having a great time. The youngest child, who happened to be my brother, Brian, asked me to take him fishing in the lake. I agreed, and we got ready. He was wearing his flu-

orescent yellow life preserver. I wasn't wearing one. Then we went out into the canoe to go fishing.

Our cottage is in a cove so we went there first. After about half an hour and absolutely no luck Brian asked me if we could go past the corner of the cove. I looked at his adorable little face and I said yes. I paddled out past the cove and we began fishing again. About an hour and a half later we decided to head back.

When we started going back the waves were very strong. I have been canoeing for some time and could handle it very nicely, but this time I was having trouble. Then one huge wave came and tipped us over. I plummeted into the lake, and so did Brian. I swam to the surface and when I broke through, I did not see him. He should have been floating with his life preserver. I began to panic when I realized that maybe he was under the canoe which was floating upside down. I dove in the water, came up under the canoe, but he was not there.

Swimming to the surface, I found that Brian was still not floating. His life jacket was, but he was not in it. I dove as deep as I could and saw that he was not under it. I swam to my left and dove again. He was not there either, above or below the water's level. I swam to my right and dove down. That was when I saw him. His little legs were tangled up in seaweed twelve feet under the water. I tried to untangle them but could not. I was running out of breath, so I went up and filled my lungs to their capacity. I dove back and finally got his legs free. I brought him up to the surface and the first thing I noticed was his tiny purple face. I did CPR on him. After about five minutes he coughed up several mouthfuls of water. I could see that he was still not okay. I fixed the canoe and paddled back to the cottage as fast as I could.

My father brought him to the nearest hospital. Brian was alive, but it was believed he suffered mild brain damage. His learning ability would be severely impaired. He cannot learn nearly as fast as he could before.

Ever since that accident I've had to deal with this. I still feel that it was my fault. I should have checked that his life jacket was on tight enough. After all, he was only five years old. Now he's six. n


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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