Floating Lost and Alone

As a four year old, going to the large swimming pool at my grandparents apartments was like going to Disney land. The special occasion was the only thing I looked forward to for weeks. Everything about that pool was magical. The long beach chairs that surrounded the pool made me feel like I was a surfer as I tanned. When I got thirsty I was allowed to drink a coke from the red vending machine that stood in a shaded corner near the building. Even when i had to use the restroom I felt pampered because the bathrooms felt like a five star hotel. The most magical part was that the pool was gated off, so i always felt like a princess swimming in a private area.

One summer day when the air was smouldering and the air conditioning was out my mom took my little brother, my cousin, and me swimming. When we arrived, it looked as if we had the water to our selves. An even more special occasion. My cousin Abby, who was seven at the time, and I were too eager to wait for my brother to get his floaty wings on to jump in. While my mom prepared my brother, the two of us hopped in. The splash was so tremendous it soaked the picnic tables on the other side of us.

The water was so cool and soothing against my fair skin; Just floating on my blow up duck was wonderfully comforting. Although Abby didn’t find wading in the shallow end very entertaining. She forcefully grabbed my duck and pulled me out into the deep part. At the time I wasn’t a strong swimmer so Abby had to push me around. Even though Abby was tall for her age, the water soon became too deep even for her.

“I can’t swim here Lauren!” She called to me as she left me alone in the middle of what seemed to be an abyss. All was calm until her foot accidentally flipped my floatation device over and sent me spinning into the water. My heart rate sped up to match that of a humming birds. For a moment I was utterly clueless. I didn’t know what hat had just happened, where I was, or what I should do. The only thing I knew for sure was that my duck was floating right above me, casting its shadow down into the water.

The cold water surrounded me like a blanket, in a way I thought everything was fine.I remained under water for who knows how long; just swaying back and forth with currents made by the vents, with one hand on my duck. After nothing happened, I suppose I could feel something was wrong, I gained some courage. I opened my eyes to the light burn of chlorine and the dark appearance of the pool wall. My auburn hair swirled around my head like octopus tentacles. After my blue eyes had adjusted to the dark water I could make out the tile designs right in front of me. The blue flowers on the white background reminded me was still under water. Oddly, a smile grew on face and giggles slipped off my lips. I felt like the Little Mermaid just waiting for flounder to appear and take me back to Atlantes.

When you can’t even spell your own name, you don’t really know how to handle a life or death situation. I breathed in and instantly there was a striking pain in my lungs. I squirmed around trying to puke it out, trying desperately to find air. I even kicked around trying to push off of something but nothing was near my feet. The pain immensely worsened when I had to cough. I screamed but only bubbles rose to the surface. More water came flooding into my mouth. The vast pool had smothered me and left sinking to the bottom. After what seemed an eternity I managed to get my head above the water. The bright sun blared down at my face, practically blinding me.

“Lauren! Get on the duck!” I heard my cousin scream through my aggressive coughing. That grabbed my moms attention. She spun around and bolted from my brother into the pool still fully clothed. Her facial expression was one of true horror. I tried with all my might to pull my self up, never the less, my coughing was too powerful for me to move anywhere. Nothing happened for a split second. Everything went into slow motion as my mother rushed towards me, as Abby backed out of the pool, and as I reached for more support from the other side of my duck. My tiny wet fingers clutched the opposite side of my life preserver, the action did nothing to my benefit. The duck flipped over yet again sending me back into the chilling water. This time my fingers weren’t strong enough to hold on and I was all on my own in the huge pool. Kicking and grasping did nothing. I was helpless and already sinking to the bottom. Screaming did nothing but let water submerge me. It never occurred to me that no one could hear it and that it was only making everything worse. Deeper and deeper I went, kicking and grabbing at nothing but the dark blue water. The shadows from above made all sense of hope disappear.

They say when your drowning a movie begins to play; A movie of your life. As I fell farther towards the rough floor of the pool all I could think of was being a mermaid. There ware no memories, no conscious saying ‘your going to die’, only the feeling of being like Ariel. The strange feeling comforted me.

Out of no where I was swept up like a prince does for his princess. Hair emerged from the water, and with a strong cough and the choking up of water, my mom put me down on the cement. For five minutes I sat there coughing and hopelessly searching for air. A few drops of glistening red liquid joined the blueish water. My mom draped me in a towel and ironically gave me a bottle of water. Then she picked me up and held me in her arms slightly rocking back and forth. Everything felt like it had happened over the course of two hours but in reality it all happened in a few moments.

There was a heavy pounding inside of my head. Laying down and moving only made it worse. I had to sit up straight with my feet hanging into the water until I was well enough to join my family again. My young brother was joyfully kicking around in the shallow end with Abby. My arms and legs were trembling when I was able to stand again. But I was standing. I threw the purple towel onto the chair grasped my moms hand and jumped back into the pool. Nothing was going to keep me out of the water. A giant meteor could be hurtling towards earth and I’d still be lounging in the chlorine.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback