Drowning in Life

December 12, 2011
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When I was a child, I almost died.
As soon as they came over, we all knew what we wanted to do, and that was to go swimming. Whenever us children went swimming, some adult had to be watching us in the scorching, summer heat. The adult usually stayed in the screened-in room. We loved to play old pool games in the rectangular in-ground pool like Marco Polo, and we also loved to make up new games on hot, sunny afternoons because we had nothing else to do. Ty, Lucy, Hank, and I loved playing together because of the marvelous ideas that we came up with. One of the new games that we made up is a traditional game usually played on land, but with a dangerous twist: water wrestling. The point of the game was to see who could stay above water and keep the other person under the water the longest without killing them. Of course, being smart children, we knew when to give up so the water did not suffocate the other person. We acted so macho and tough, even though some of us were shy and not so strong. But hey, what child thinks that they aren’t the center of the world? Well, before the game, I antagonized Ty by saying, “I can beat you at anything because I’m older and you’re not.” Ty was always a weird boy from my viewpoint. He even thought that he was “superior” over me, perhaps because he was a boy. Whenever we did karaoke together however, I had a deeper voice than he did even though he’s supposed to naturally have the lowest voice.

After many controversies on what we should actually play, we started to wrestle. First Lucy and I wrestled in the shallow, three feet water, and of course without any effort, I won. I took her by her wrists, manipulated her legs, and used my body weight to make her an anchor. As I stood looking over her twitching body in the clear, chlorinated water, I felt a sense of accomplishment and power. Not only had I beat someone who weighed twenty more pounds than me, but I also felt like I could do almost anything. I felt like an innocent person that had been drunk for the very first time. However with this sense of silly power, I stood looking up to Ty. I tried with all my might to “pin” him down but I lost my balance and fell into the water. Ty stood hovering over me while he gazed at my body under the water. Much like my drunk power, I felt his. He had finally been able to win. He had control over me, and I couldn’t do anything. I could not take the oxygen from the water and use it as my own. I was a victim waiting for my hero to save me. As seconds went by, my limbs could not work to pull me away from the trouble. I was in so much shock that I could not bear to hurt anyone that loved me in order to breathe in the oxygen my body was craving, even if it would cost me my life. Everything went dark, or maybe I just closed my eyes. One bubble, two bubbles, five bubbles, seven bubbles came from my mouth to finally disintegrate when they reached the surface. Everything seemed so peaceful, even with the chaos of the situation. Muffled movements and voices filled my ears. I can imagine how the water rippled on the surface with the twitching of my body underneath and the wave that protruded from Ty’s arms and body. Through the darkness of my eyes, a white light filled my vision. I saw the outlines of Heaven and God’s power. However, before anything else could happen, my hero saved me. Lucy had wrestled Ty to finally let me rise to the surface. It was as if God wanted me to be on this worldly hell for a reason.

After I rose to the surface, I was like a hungry tiger eating its dinner. I had never loved air so much. As I coughed to get the water out of my body, Lucy yelled at Ty for keeping me under the stale water for so long. Hank just watched from the other side of the shallow end in amazement. What were the adults doing? Why were they not there, and how did they not notice this incident? They were still sitting there, listening to the laughs and wasted words of each other. Everything was still the same, but different. Our voices were different. Our bodies are different. Our friendship is different.

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