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Water. Ah, yes, water. Water, the element that fulfills the requirement of life. The substance that is needed for anything to grow. Water. God’s gift to the world, to humans and every living thing. Of course, it can go absolutely wrong, like most things tend to do, and when it does, it isn’t such a wonderful thing anymore.
I was sitting there, on the sand, enjoying the evening tide roll in, catching my feet, soaking the bottom of my jeans. I smiled, watching the foam form around my jeans and then disperse, discoloring them several shades of a darker blue. I knew mother would be mad at me for bringing in my wet clothes, so I rolled them up, slowly, taking my time to make it as neat as possible, as anyone would actually see.
Then I went out into the shallow waters, just far enough that the water would be up to my ankles without the tide. It felt nice, after such a long day. It made me close my eyes and reminisce about today’s events. How I got my room cleaned today, redecorated, got the rest of the house cleaned, and could finally enjoy myself out here without my parents bickering at me.
Opening my eyes, I saw that I had been daydreaming for far too long. It had gotten quite dark, the evening sun quickly turning into nightfall. I frowned, looking down at the waters, and realized that I must have walked further out into the water, as it was up to my knees, just below the rolls of my jeans.
I bit my lip, temptation cascading over me to stay and have a little swim, knowing my parents would understand after today’s hard work. I looked back at the house, it’s warm and inviting glow illuminating the clear blue waters of the oceanic expanse before me. I sighed, shrugging, and walked back to the sand, where it was dry, sand sticking to my feet, peppering the tops of my toes.
I giggled, and, unsuccessfully tried to wipe it off. I could have wiped it off all day and when I put my foot down there would be more sand. I took my shirt off, revealing the sports bra underneath, something I seldom wore if there was no work to be done, and undid my zipper and shed my jeans, and my basketball shorts seemed to pop out.
It was an odd thing to wear on a warm spring day such as this. Jeans and shorts underneath, but for some reason I knew that I would be coming out here towards the end of the day, and with my odd schedules in my mind I didn’t know when, so I just decided to be prepared for when I wanted to take a dip.
So, as I walked to the water, my body grew warmer, and my want for the water grew larger. Before going any deeper than my knees, I stood there, waiting, as if at some moment a wave might crash over me and cool me off. But, realizing that that wouldn’t happen, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and let my body fall gently into the water before me.
As I submerged, I opened my eyes to see what was in front of me. Since the water was filling my vision and made my eyes blurry, I could see nothing in great detail, but I did see some small fish and small crabs swim by my face. It giggled, outwardly, careful not to take in water, and when I went back up, it seemed as if time passed by very quickly.
I frowned, my brow furrowed, and looked up at the night sky. It was dark, and the moon was covered by clouds. It wasn’t as warm as much anymore. It was actually quite nice. This did not waver me, though. I shrugged, and fell backwards into the water, taking a deep breath just before going under.
Bubbles swirled around me, around my arms, legs, and face, creating a wall. I smiled, and pushed forward, straightening my body out and propelling myself with my arms and legs, out into slightly deeper waters.
Here it was slightly cooler, and so I stayed. The water was just below my neck line, so it wouldn’t bother me too much. I could stand regularly without trying to stay above water. Usually I would be on my tippy-toes, desperate for my head to stay up. Not this time, though. This time I was in control.
I felt the familiar feel of fish swimming through my legs, brushing up against me, and it made me feel sort of magical. As if I were the goddess of the oceans. The goddess of every sea creature in all the Seven Seas. This I laughed at, my high-pitched voice echoing off of the water and back onto me.
And I stood there, the water lapping against my body, and I felt an odd power surge through me, as if I could control the waters. It was an odd feeling, but it was one that I held onto, and I spun around in the water, purely for fun, and raised my arms, just enough that it created small waves against my delicate figure.
I splashed and I spun around, having so much fun that I hadn’t noticed that water was falling from the sky in the form of little droplets. I only noticed after about twenty minutes. The rain was cooler than the water, and I looked up just in time to see a flash of lightning arc across the sky, though it looked like it had no apparent touch down zone.
My eyes widened, and I bit my lip. My good time was ruined early by a storm. That was just great! I groaned, and began to walk steadily back to the shore, when a wave ran into me, pulling my underwater and carrying me back out to the ocean.
I was not worried about this, as it happened often, and so I just went on my way back to the shore, when an even bigger wave crashed into my, pulling me back under once more. My arms flailed about, and my feet kicked, but my sense of direction – whether I was going up, down, or sideways was lost.
When I came back up, I gasped for air, coughing a little. Now I was worried. I was caught out in a storm, waves not allowing me to go back to land. Soon I would be brought further out to sea, and I would have no way of getting back to land. I bit my lip, standing neck high in the water, and looking out to where my home was at.
This suddenly enraged me, but it was soon put out by another wave slamming into me, twice as big as the last one, pulling me under and pushing me further out. Again, I gasped for breath, and panic began to take over my anger and my calm.
I had never been caught in a storm before – especially this far out in the ocean. I knew how to swim. I was one of the best swimmers on our swim team, but that didn’t help with things like this. I knew how to surf, but you couldn’t surf without a board, and it seemed hard to do at night.
Then it began raining harder. I could stay above water, but it didn’t seem to help with how much rain was pouring down. I could see it make ripples in the water, and almost immediately those ripples would be staunched by more rain, and it was a rapid pattern of horror.
I was brought further and further out to sea, my home drifting away from my vision. Each time I went underwater, I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me. All sense of direction was lost. I could have been swimming further down, though I knew that I wasn’t thanks to the fact that I wasn’t far enough to not feel the ground after a few feet of swimming.
It didn’t help, though, that there was no light around me, save the occasional lightning flash that would only light up the water. I felt like crying, but I knew that it wouldn’t help. It would just add to the water, risking my chance to stay above water. Even if it were a few more drops of water, anything to help the terrors around me seemed like something only a criminal would do.
I was brought back underwater, and this time, I didn’t make it up in time to get more air. Underwater, I began to panic, thrashing around, causing bubbles to correlate around me, making a thick wall so I could see absolutely nothing. I got faint flashes of lightning, but I didn’t know from what direction it came, or when the next would come so I could guess.
I tried desperately to breathe, but that was underwater, and it caused me to begin coughing underwater, and my lungs began to squeeze in on themselves with no air, and the pain in my chest was the forefront of my thoughts. It was like nothing I had ever felt before. Twice as bad as being punched in the gut, and left laying there to find your breath again.
It was horrible, and as I floated back to the top, my eyes shot open to full width, and my arms arched upwards and down, bringing my head up, my hair back into a wild mess of wetness, and slapped into the water behind me. I gasped for breath, desperately inhaling and exhaling, coughing and struggling for air, because I didn’t know when I would get more. When I finally found a little bit of air, I clung to it like a life preserver, and fought for more.
Finally, I could get deep breaths of air, and I could settle a little, but another wave knocked me down, and wave after wave I was pushed under the water. I had no way of screaming for help or signaling anybody with no air, and it felt impossible to be the goddess of an ocean so perfect, when you couldn’t control its maddening tendencies.
I thought at that moment, the moment when I was sure to die, about my parents. What would they think of me, disobeying their orders to come home, and be drowned in a tropical storm? What would they do after they learned that I was dead? Would they still love me?
Several times I was shoved under the water, and several times I was brought back up, struggling for air. Each time I thought of something new about my parents, and desperately tried to swim back to shore, but to no avail. For all I knew I was going back out to sea.
Now I was brought back underwater again, and once more I lost my air, my lungs tightening, and I felt the world around me slow down as I was brought into eternity. A warm calm washed over me, and as a flash of lightning arced just over me, over the water, I followed the tip to the ends of my vision.
My arms and legs were numb, feeling nothing from the cold waters. I was left there, looking up, my mouth open and my arms and legs limp, spread out as if I were falling. It sort of felt nice, being this numb, and in my mind I wondered if this was the feeling that all of the people on the Titanic got just before they died.
The thought caused sadness, and sadness took over the calm, but it didn’t make me panic or even make me move. It just blurred my vision even more, and gave me a reason to die. To join those that were lost in the Titanic, to ask them if this is what death felt like, because it certainly felt like nothing I had ever felt before.
Just as I thought that my life was about to end in a salty decrescendo, I saw a light, three times as bright as the lightning, was over me. I could feel slight waves smack into my body, moving me, and I felt my face submerge, but no air came to me.
I could not see anything but this light, as it was trained directly on me, and when the tides pushed me further up above the water, far enough for me to hear, I heard the purr of an engine. Was this what death sounded like? Was God coming down to me from a car, or from some type of plane?
I made no sudden movements, as I could tell this was my apparent ending. I closed my eyes, but the light was still bright under my eyelids. The feeling of being abandoned and dead was gently pushed away from my body, and I could feel some under my back. No. Two somethings, pulling me upwards.
I felt the water move under me, flowing away from me as I was moved by someone. Was it God? It had to be. No one had such strong arms to carry me. It made me want to smile, but whether I did or not was a mystery to me. I could feel nothing but those arms underneath me and the water flowing away from me.
Then I was lifted, and carried back to Heaven, so it felt. I felt that the water was no longer under me or around me. It no longer surrounded me, and I was free to move, but I could not. When I felt the arms go, I also felt that something else was put under me. Was I put in God’s boat to Heaven?
I felt like I could have laughed at the thought, the bliss I felt in the thought was pure. It felt exactly like peace might have, should I ever feel it today. Then warmth cascaded over me. For a few short minutes I could feel a pressure on the upside of my body, and I could feel that it was a sort of blanket.
Feeling came back to my limbs, my hands, my feet, and my face. I could feel myself smiling, I could feel my hands balled up into weak fists, and legs bent at my knees so that I was curled up into a sort of ball. It felt good, aside from the crick in my neck from being downed so much, though I was sure that with time it would fade while going to Heaven.
Then I felt something on my cheek, and I could hear crying, but it didn’t sound like a sad cry. It sounded like a relieved cry. I opened my eyes, and saw a woman holding her hands together to her face, looking as if she were praying, and then she looked at me, grinning from ear to ear, as if her prayers had been answered.
She got on her hands and knees in front of me, and folded her arms around me, pulling me in to her warm body. I immediately recognized the woman as my mother. For a moment I wondered how she died, and then sense came back to me, and I realized that I was being saved. Not taken to Heaven.
The thought sort of confused me for a while, but I was happy with it, nonetheless. I smiled at my mother, and put my arms around her, returning the hug. My arms were weak, and so I was sort of just hanging on to her, but she was a strong woman, and she supported my whole body, providing warmth and happiness to me.
I looked over and saw my father, driving our speed boat. He had on his swim suit, and it was suddenly obvious that he had been the one to save me. My father, with the strong arms, came into the water, sacrificing himself against the harsh ocean, to save me.
It made me want to cry, but I refrained, and just held onto my mother, feeling the strength I once knew as mine to come back to me, as if my mother had stored it for me. Then, as I was very warm, and was very comfortable in my mother’s very capable arms, I drifted off to sleep.
I felt that I was now safe, that I could do whatever I wished after this, after being assaulted by my favorite thing in the world. The water that I once knew to be my very own kingdom. The water I felt to be my own source of power, drained my life to almost nothing.
I would forever be wary of water from now on, for I knew it could be a menace and a friend, and I would have to be neutral to it. I could control it only when it was nice, but once it became mean control was not an option. When it was mean, the water controlled you.
It would bring you down and under easily, just as I had splashed around and made ripples easily. It can make fun with you just as you can make fun with it. Water is neutral. A very dangerous neutral. The thing you have to learn is to know when to not push your boundaries.