Battling the Waves

The saltwater breeze of Lake Burton whips through my hair. I sway as the boat gently rocks back and forth with the wind. As I leap onto the sun-baked rubber tube that trails behind the brand new motorboat, I feel my heart flutter. I tentatively shift to the side to allow Tessa to crawl on with me. As she steps on, I tighten my grip on the hard, black handle and attempt to maintain a regular breathing pattern. Glancing at my friend, I can see the excitement on her pale face, especially in her chocolate brown eyes. Her dark brown hair dances behind her, and her highlights shimmer in the sun. I use our last few stationary seconds to wrestle with the straps on my bright yellow life jacket.


The blades of the boat's engine force themselves through the water. My mind races as I watch the transparent water change into a thick white foam as the boat begins to inch forward. Suddenly, the rope connecting my tube to the boat snaps taut. In a flurry of motion, my body jerks backwards as the tube lurches forwards. The only part of me that isn't forced completely out of place are my numb fingers curled around the rubber grip on the handles. My tube slices through the ripples of small waves on the diamond lake, picking up speed.


Tessa and I brace ourselves as we approach the large waves forming the wake of a passing boat. My heart races as we bounce over swells, coming closer to the wave until, within seconds, the two of us launch high into the air, and I feel like a bird soaring through the vast, blue sky.. The strength of the wave has effortlessly flicked the boat into open sky. We soar, and I feel the mist lightly tickle my cheeks. Then, my grip becomes looser, I scramble to keep my body steady on the float. But, in moments, the flying sensation ends and we plop very precariously back into the water, like a marshmallow into hot cocoa.


I struggle to release my ragged breath that I never knew I was holding in my lungs. Perched on the edge of the float, I feel my sore fingers begin to slip off of the handle. Like a surfer beginning to sway on her board, I attempt to keep my body on the tube. But as I do, I realize that it's too late for me. Feeling defeated, I allow my grip to relax and my limp body slips silently into the water. I glance up at Tessa's once shining eyes and watch her grasp clumsily at the slippery handholds as I did. Then without warning, she sighs and lets herself go into the icy water, soundlessly without even a ripple. Having met the same fate, we tread deliberately towards each other. When we finally meet somewhere in the middle, I open my mouth to speak, but no words come out. It's as if someone has taken my voice away. Instead, we exchange a shaky nod, both smiling meagerly, and continue to shiver side by side. We are both awaiting that feeling of the warmth our towels give as the boat approaches us, the two “sitting ducks” depending on our life jackets to keep our heads above water. Although we are both now weather beaten and cold, we can not stand the wait for the chance to once again battle the waves.





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