I must have fallen into a deep enough sleep in the car, because Mitch had to
punch me in the arm to wake me up.
“C’mon, Zane!” He yells, breaking out the driver’s side door like escaping a prison
cell after a long captivity. It couldn’t have been a long drive, maybe twenty minutes, but
it was enough time for Mitch to build up a bomb of excitement, and for me to, well, pass
Mitch invited me to go boating with him and his parents for the day. I figured it
would give me something to take my mind off all the AP homework I was supposed to
be working on. I’m not very smart, I’m just determined, and that determination has
gotten me a 3.5 GPA for years. Mitch, however, is just the opposite. He’s technically a
genius, but he’s so lazy sometimes it’s hard to tell. His GPA hovers around the 3.0 area,
and he doesn’t even try, a fact that can send me from zero to sixty on the anger scale in
about three seconds. Along with that, entering our junior yea, I’ve been a Junior varsity
swimmer, which Mitch has been Varsity basketball for two years already. So while Mitch
is an athlete and a scholar, I’m a try hard with medium success. Despite this, we’ve been
best friends since we were brats. We both enjoyed the same movies, music, books, and
classes, so we get along perfectly well.
I get out of the car, and it hits me; the humidity, that is. It’s the hottest it’s been
all summer in Wisconsin, somewhere around a hundred degrees. I couldn’t wait to get
into the lake just to cool down. We came to Lake Michigan, because, as I said before, it’s
only twenty or so minutes away from our houses. Mitch’s family has taken me boating
before, but I had a feeling today would be the most fun day out of all of them.
“Help me carry the life jackets into the boat.” Mitch commands, throwing me a
few. I take one look at them and laugh.
“I’m not wearing a life jacket, there’s no way I need one.” I laugh. Mitch gives me
a sour look.
“Zane, it’s the law. You and I both know you’d be fine without one, but if your
caught without one-“
“Oh, he’ll be fine.” Mitch’s mother entered the conversation. “He’s a swimmer,
and it’s a stupid law. Bring it, but Zane, you don’t have to wear it.”
Despite everything I said about Mitch before, he’s also a rule follower, whereas I
am not. If it’s a stupid rule, I can pretty much promise I’m not following it. I’m told often
that this is a generally bad way of thinking, but nothing bad has ever come from my rule
We got on the boat about five minutes later, and drove out after a few minutes,
Mitch’s mom asked if we wanted to stop and swim, which we agreed to do.
“Alright, here we go!” yelled Mitch, as he jumped off the boat, still wearing his
life jacket. I had to laugh. If Mitch was going to play it safe constantly, and never take
risks, he was going to have a very boring life. I thought it was impossible to have an
adventure if you followed the rules.
I was still thinking of this as I ran towards the back of the boat, intending to jump
off with a running start, when on my way forward, I slipped, and hit my head on a meal
beam connecting a cover on top of the boat in case it would rain. There was a bright
light as my head connected with metal, and I can feel something wet starting to drip
down my face; feeling like somebody smashed a warm water balloon on my head. It’s
only after I register that it’s blood that I feel my body crash into the water, and start to
sink towards the bottom, not having the energy myself to push me up. I feel a small
hope that Mitch would pull me up in a moment and yell at me about not wearing a
jacket, but his hand never comes. Only more water, and more darkness, and then,
nothing at all.