Puddle of Fear

I wanted to run. I hated water. Everyone one after another lined up single file and jumped into the deep end of the pool. After doggy paddling for a while each of them passed and was allowed to leave. I was the remaining one. The instructors’ eyes dawned on me. I shrank and pleaded for the life vest. The two instructors held me by the flailing arms and legs and threw me into the water. I saw blue and tiles. I grabbed at the tiled wall. Chlorine water filled my nostrils. Finally I was able to claw my way out of the pool. I started to cry. I ran for the orange lifejackets and quickly buckled the large black buckles on myself. The instructors once again ripped the life vest off me and pulled me toward the water. Once again I was in a land of blue. I didn’t know if it was my tears or chlorine that was burning my eyes. With watery vision I saw her bloated face sticking out of her wet T-shirt. I stepped hard to get out of the water; I rose above water but was quickly immersed by the blue again. I could feel the water surface by my jaw line, creeping up and down, threatening me. Again and again, I crawled onto the tiled floors and was thrown back into water. My chest rose and fell vigorously like the gills of a shark killing prey. When I was released I ran into the changing room sobbing, all the neatly dressed kids looked at me in wonder. Their faces were blank, blurred by my chlorine tears.

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