I felt the salty sting sink into my foot as I struggle to half-limp to safety. It is around 10 A.M. and we get out of the hotel room for breakfast. Walking around the resort we hear the voices and sounds of visiting tourists and locals. We plan to relax at the beach after a pleasant and relaxing breakfast.
It is our 2nd day in Indonesia after arriving late at night, when it seemed to be the island of the dead, except for lizards and frogs. With no one in sight we realized we’d have to wait until tomorrow for everything to come back to life. I don’t pay attention to much on the beach and just think about the fact that I’m on vacation, of all the other possibilities like being stuck at home, I am fortunate to be on a beach.
I decide to head into the water after my dad and younger sister, with my 10-year-old feet walking it’s way from sand to water, and eventually letting the small hurdle-like waves splash against my shins. I continue my steps out into the water to reach them. After a couple steps, a feeling came to my mind, it was fear, fear that, maybe sharks would bite me, or a crab will pinch me. I feel as if my body turns cold from the wind blowing at me, even though it was relatively hot with the sun shining on me in the middle of summer, I continue my long-lasting journey, each foot taking me deeper into the water.
After defying my fearful thoughts, the water level was already at my chest. And before I know it, I step down, and something stabs my foot, or should I say it’s more like a scrape. I assume it was a big sea shell, after a couple seconds I feel the sting. I begin to grunt quietly. I turn around immediately and start trying to exaggeratedly limp out of the water. My dad doesn’t notice that I’m hurt and shouts: “Hey Kevin! What’re you doing, swim over!” I ignore his voice and tell myself I was going to die. Just the thought of the ocean having salt made it sting even more. Just like the story my mom would tell me, where a boy cuts his arm and squeezes a lemon into his arm to avoid becoming a stone after looking into Medusa’s eyes.
The pain overwhelms me, I don’t know if I am crying or not as I am not focused on anything. After what felt like another journey back to the sand, I reach the beach and begin to half-limp as I try to avoid my foot touching the sand at all costs. Sand inside my foot does not sound great. I ignore my mom asking me what was wrong and fall into my own state of imagination. I feel as if I’m in an ambulance, needing urgent care, I was going to die. But in the back of my mind, I still knew it was just my foot. I guess the umbrella is like the low-budget version of an ambulance, with the paramedics telling me to “Breathe, breathe, look at me, you’re going to be fine ok?” As I lay down in the imaginary stretcher, waiting for the inevitable embracement of a peaceful death with my family beside me holding my hand, and the monitor displaying my heartbeat desperately wanting to let out the long “beeeeeeep” sound and for me to flatline.
Of course I couldn’t really see all of this happening, all I could see is the ocean and know that today was just another fine day with nothing wrong at all. After about an hour the sting finally goes away, and I completely forget what has happened, I wasn’t to dying. Every child at some point in their lives has ran around and either has tripped on stairs, turn a corner and chip one of their toes, or hit a sharp table corner, where they cry, but overtime they grow out of it and stop crying, because eventually they will be able to tell themselves that they aren’t really hurt, and they will be okay, making themselves tougher than who they have been as a young child.