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Blissful Nightmare

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I jump into the water. It is cold, but the adrenaline rush makes me brush that thought away. I swim away from the boat and position myself, ready to die a beautiful death.

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I was 8 years old again. I saw my cousins water skiing and instantly wanted to try. It looked so easy! So I told my uncle to let me try when they came back home. He looked at me and laughed.

“You’re too young! The boat is too powerful for you,” he said.

I scowled and got on the boat so I could see my cousins in action. I was so excited to see them, so I hopped in, almost falling off the boat in the process and got myself into position for the best view. The boat started and I yelled in excitement. There they were; skiing and making it look so easy. I was jealous and I wanted to do it so badly. My uncle had an idea, then. He motioned to me to go to him and told me, “I’m gonna make it more difficult for them now. Watch this.” And the boat started swerving from side to side. One of my cousins caught a huge wave and jumped so high in the air. It was amazing. My other cousin though wasn’t so fortunate. He caught a wave, and not in the good way and his ski went underwater and so did he.

My uncle stopped the boat and waited for him to come up. He was laughing like crazy. It was really funny and it made me want to try it. So I insisted and insisted until I drove him nuts and he finally let me do it.

It was horrible. I thought it would be easier than it was.

My uncle started the boat and I was ready. Oh, yeah. I was so ready. I felt the rope tighten and my body jerked forward. I pulled back to stand up, but nothing happened. I just went under and under.

I panicked.

I tried to breathe but I couldn’t. Everything was green. I tried sucking in air, but the only thing entering my mouth and nose was water and it burned. Then the boat stopped and I floated up again towards my beloved air.

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That’s the one thought that always crosses my mind before skiing. I’m going to die. I’m going to get hurt. Yet I’ve never died, I’ve only gotten hurt. I don’t know why I keep doing it. Maybe it’s the thrill; maybe it’s something else. I’m not exactly sure what that might be, but either way, I still get scared.

The rope tenses and my body jerks forward. For a second, I’m scared again, but I regain my composure and pull back on the rope, leveling my body. I don’t pull back too much, though, as to not lose balance. It takes me a while to feel confident about what’s going on. My legs seem to separate too much at times, but I get them back in place.
Finally.

I’m in position now, swerving through the waves. It feels amazing. The wind barely lets me keep my eyes open, water splashes in my eyes, but nothing keeps me from doing this one thing I love. I feel like the most powerful girl in the world. I feel like I have the world in my hands. I get distracted for a second and nearly fall after catching a bad wave.

But nothing will make me fall.

I won’t let it. I motion for my uncle to make the boat go faster. Part of me instantly regrets it. I struggle to hold on longer, and the slalom begins. It’s like hell. Speeding through the water at the speed of light isn’t as easy as it looks, nor as it sounds. I catch a couple good waves, jumping and trying different tricks… at least in my mind. I can’t bring myself to do them, in fear that I’ll fall and hurt myself. At last I gain the courage to try one trick out.

I see a huge wave, perfect. But so does my uncle. He leads me right to it, making me jump 6 feet in the air. I think too late, and lose my balance midair. Instinctively, I wanted to let go. I don’t let go. I hold on to the grip as if it were the only thing keeping me alive.

Might as well be.

I realize that if I don’t let go, I’ll be dragged face-first across the water at that ridiculous speed. I let go. I hit the water hard, very hard. I mutter one word: “Ouch,” as the air leaves my lungs. I lay in the water; my eyes closed trying to calm down. I notice, though that I’m floating on my stomach. I lazily turn my body around and look at the clouds. Just then, I finally regain my breath. I breathe fast at first, not thinking that won’t help me at all. I slow my breaths down, making them longer. My uncle pulls the boat next to me.

“Get your butt up here. You’re done,” and my cousin jumps in for his turn. I swim back, breathless and sit where I always sit: at the back. I always want the best view. I grab the towel and ready myself.

I am 8 years old again.





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