The time I almost died This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 16, 2010
By , Singapore, Singapore
I smiled at Alice, who was sitting on the other side of the raft. Our grade had been taken white water rafting for a school trip. Being a swimmer and wakeboarder, I couldn't wait to get into the raft with my friends. There was something about being out of our school clothes- and the school itself- that made us all a little more immature. We had turned the entire trip into a race of sorts, and we would do anything we could to annoy the kids in the other rafts. For the raft that I was in, singing 'Barbie girl' or Disney songs was our ultimate weapon. The boys obviously hated it, and we hated it as well, but it was just stupid fun for us.
When we finally came to some rapids, we all grinned at each other and paddled harder. At the very end of the stretch of rapids, There was a huge rock, and one of the boats was stuck to it, almost perfectly vertical.
The girls on Alice's side paddled as hard as they could, trying to avoid the other raft.
Our best efforts failed.
The side of our boat hit theirs, and we were pressed up against them. all of us scrambled up to Alice's side, trying to prevent a capsize.
I could tell that we were doomed even before we actually started falling. The rapids had just stopped, so the river was quite deep where we fell.we were all caught downstream of the boat, but thee others managed to swim to the side before the current of the river pushed the boat. Right. Over. My. Head.
I felt detached from my body. I could see myself from several different angles at once, and I could see the pitch-blackness in front of my face.There was only one thought running through my mind at that moment: The thought was 'Up'. It wasn't 'air', or even, 'I'm gonna die get me outta here'. It was just, 'up'. I was facing upstream, and I used muscles I hadn't previously been aware of to push myself upwards. My head collided with the raft, which didn't budge. A thin trail of bubbles escaped my mouth. I tried a second time, with the same result. I had almost given up, and I actually lost consciousness for a split second, but a final spate of adrenaline pushed me to the surface a third time. this time the raft did move.Air and light came pouring in. I filled my lungs with some discomfort- it felt like my first breath all over again- and clambered onto another raft.
I still haven't given up on water sports, but I did learn some things about death: It can happen to anyone, at any time, the world WILL keep turning without me, and possibly the most important: death is not something to be afraid of. It is a part of life, and life is beautiful.





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