“Untitled” Vignette by Anonymous Student

Anonymous Student

I wasn’t scared of the water.  Not then a least, with the soft waves, and the coolness of it  splashing at my feet.  I had arrived at the beach earlier that day, and had been making castles and burying my friends in the sand.  My mom wasn’t there, she was back home in Lakewood, and I was there at Kelly’s Island with my friends and their parents.  Their grandpa had a house on the island, and we stayed there whenever we could.  On that day, I hadn’t yet ventured out into the water, but my friends were telling me that I should, they had boogie boards, they wanted to catch some waves.  I acquiesced to their demands, grabbed a board, and swam out.  


The sun was getting lower, leaving a hazy glow on everything, and the waves were getting bigger, and more powerful.  Even though most people went back in, I wanted to prove what a great swimmer I was, how brave I was.  So me and my friends went farther and farther.  I didn’t realize how far out I really was until I hit the end of the rocks, and my friends were nowhere to be seen.  I couldn’t see anyone actually, none of the other swimmers, or the parents back on the beach.  I kept hitting the rocks, and they felt hard on my skin, scratching at me.  I tried to push away but the waves pushed me harder.  I was too small, just tumbling in the water as it kept hitting me.  Though the water was cool I started heating up, my face was burning, my tears mixed with the water and I didn’t know what to do.  My head went under again, and I felt something heavy push into my back, a rock there to crush me.  But instead it promptly lifted me up out of the water.  I turned around and a man I did not know was holding me, putting me on his board and swimming me back to sand.  I saw everyone crowding on the beach, my friend’s mom was sobbing, thinking I was dead.  Are you okay? Are you hurt? they kept asking.  


But as I got out of the water, all I felt was burning embarrassment that I had caused such a scene.  My friends told me that they thought I was gone forever, and for just a moment I wished I was.