Sunday, July 5, 2015

Twice the Fun-Part 32

Ariana H. King

I remembered a time when I was an innocent little three year old, wanting only to please my older siblings and my mother, but most of all, my twin, Aurora. It was a warm afternoon by the lake, our family scattered all around the shore that we had all to ourselves. It was a wonderful day, perfect weather, our family all together, swimming while our mother laughed at us when we came up to her on the beach with a hand cupped and filled with water, waiting until we were just out of arm’s reach so we could splash her without her catching us. It was the perfect family memory, joy all around us, shrieks of delight escaping our mouths, time passing but without an audience. None of us cared. We were having fun.
When I went into the water, I didn’t have a clue how to swim. When I came back out, I figured it out because it was a matter of life and death.
I tried to get my mother’s attention, but she was too busy laughing along with everyone else, oblivious to the fact that her young three year old girl was going to go into the water alone. I never blamed her. She was having fun, making memories with the rest of the King family.
I waddled up to the shore in my pink swimsuit, reached the water, and continued on. I was up to my shoulders when I slipped on a rock beneath my feet. I was engulfed by the water, and when I started to scream for mother, I felt like I swallowed half the lake. My human reflex was to start paddling, so that is what I did. I felt like my tiny lungs were going to burst, just as I broke the surface of the water. I coughed out water and cried.
My mother rushed over, ignoring the fact that she wasn’t wearing a swimsuit, and ran into the water to scoop me up. I hung onto her, clinging to make sure that I never fell.
Drowning was the worst thing that I had ever felt.
When the window burst, I thought of that moment. It was almost exactly the same. I felt as if I was drowning, never to get air again. It happened so fast. Too fast.
“AURORA! NATA-!” I cut off now with a fit of coughing. Back to the present, my throat was raw and parched and my feet had blisters all over them. The sand beneath them was gritty and scorching hot, while the air was humid and difficult to breathe in. I was starting to feel light-headed and was afraid I would pass out from lack of oxygen. Tired, achy, and thirsty as I was, I still gradually moved one foot in front of the other. That was how I had got that far to begin with. If I stop now, I thought. I will never make it to Aurora or Natalie.
I had been walking for miles. It had been around 3 hours since I came to this devastating heat land. Three hours was enough to leave me with cracked lips, blistered feet, callused hands, unstable legs, and only a little bit of hope left. In other words, I hate the desert, and the feeling was obviously mutual.
So much sand. It was all I had seen the whole time. Nothing but sand. I felt like collapsing. I winced with every step. My throat hurt just from swallowing. I could no longer scream out at the top of my lungs, like I had been the past couple hours. My head hurt. Even thinking hurt. I had a massive headache from dehydration. I was miserable. I could no longer cry, for I had no more tears left in me. All my thoughts could say was, Water, water. Roar, Natalie, water. Water. I chanted this in my head hundreds of times in the past few miles.
I gasped as my knees buckled, and collapsed in the sand. Crying out in pain as the burning sand touched my face, I struggled to get back on my feet. My hands slid in the sand as I stumbled. I was too weak to push myself up; all my muscles screamed at me.
Attempting to lick my lips with my dry, scaly-feeling tongue, I screamed at the sky, “Somebody! Help me!” The pain was excrutiating. I would have cried if I had tears, but I didn’t. I only closed my eyes, hoping I would wake up from this nightmare. I’d crawl in bed with Aurora, and spend the rest of the night dreamless. When I would awake, I would endure Aurora’s yelling at me, but it would be worth it.
Anything to get away from this nightmare.
I laid there for several minutes, when I felt a cool hand grasp my arm. Somehow, the arm pulled me up and carried me in its arm.


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