Daily Prompt: Safety First

This post was made in response of daily promptShare the story of a time you felt unsafe. But I don’t have time to finish it, so I miss the moment. But because I feel compelled to share it, I finish it and post it here for your delight. Enjoy.

It was just a hiking activities back there, when I was just an fifth elementary grader. Every fifth grader in our school every year will have to go to a religious themed camp that the school held. I’ve never been in a camp before, so this was my first time. Even though I can’t remember every details, everything went okay for a couple of days, I think. Except for the food. Oh, the food. Yea, I remember about that food. And about the splattered drink water. Oh, the splattered drink water. I just had this long hostility towards spicy food, which caused me to actually go berserk at the time I put that spicy fried noodle on my mouth, and grab the nearest water bottle, which in turns splats into the table and the floor. Oh well, it’s a not too good childhood memory, but I’ve moved on. Let’s not dive too deep into that, shall we? We will have much other things to “dive” for in the rest of this story. 🙂

Anyway, at the last day, we all had hiking activities on the mountain trails, which includes trailing down on a small river. Everything went okay, up until we face a small waterfall in an enclosing C-shaped rock wall, with an exit on the left. Everybody goes left, of course. I was going to the left, when I saw one of my friend is holding onto the wall near the waterfall. It’s very strange, I think. “Edwin!” I yelled, competing with the roaring sound of the waterfall. “What are you doing there?” He’s not paying attention. He’s been busy to hold on the wall while crawling along the wall back to where all of us stand. Some of my friends stopped to watch with curious. I move my legs inside the water as high as my belly and started to walking toward him. Just about five steps taken, I feel something pulled my legs, like an invincible force. I realized suddenly that it’s the water current that pulled me, but I don’t know where it come and why it suddenly there. My feet started to slipped on top of the sands in the water. Even though I do my best to stay balanced, within seconds my body fell backward violently into the water, while the water current continued to pull me. Oh my God, this isn’t happening.. This isn’t happening! I can’t swim! But, the bottom is shallow, I think. I can lift my head out from the water if I can managed to stand up. Well, I’m not prepared for what’s going to happened next.

Inside the water, I instinctively flailed my hands to grab anything that can be grabbed, to no avail. But I can felt that the sands on my back was getting deeper and deeper. I panicked and lifted my head, tried to see what’s up ahead. The water was crystal clear, so I hoped I can see if there’s any rock wall nearby (so I know why my friend grabbed the rock wall now!), but in front of me is just dark blue. There’s nothing I can see in front of me inside a crystal clear water! And I’m being pulled into nothingness! I flailed my hands harder, and somehow I managed to start floating above. My head finally out in the water! At a flash, I surveyed where I was. I see rock wall, all the rock wall around me. The C-shaped wall! I saw my friends yelling for my name at the edge. I gasped for air, but within two seconds, I drowned again. I still felt being pulled down under the water! I can swim now, so I know that “pushing” yourself down into the water while you’re standing so that the water surface is one meter above your head is a little hard. But I WAS one meter below the water surface when I looked up! I need something to stand, I quickly thought. The bottom mustn’t be far. But why my legs keep kicking without touched anything? I looked down, and I saw only darkness. There’s NOTHING below my feet for at least 10 meters deep! I felt like I’m inside a bottomless ocean pit! Oh crap! I flailed my hands and feet as fast as I can, and at least I can pull myself against the water current. I suddenly see some people swimming in the surface above my head, so I instinctively grabbed his cloth and pull myself up. Or that’s what I thought. I can almost heard the person screaming, I think because he thought there’s someone – or something – grabbing him down. Now when I remembered that experience, I felt it’s very funny when I grabbed his cloth and he’s started to wail panicked and screaming. But at that time, it’s really a horrible feeling. My grab slipped off and I’m floating again inside the water, trying to grab anything that can be grabbed, when suddenly a strong hand grab my hand and pulled me. I can’t see who’s pulling me, as my face still underwater. “It wouldn’t work,” I thought. “How can you pull me, if you also can be pulled by me?” But to my surprise, that hand is strong, very strong. I felt my body started to move against the stream, further and further. Well, it’s not that far, actually. But with every water stream running amok around me, I felt like I’ve dragged ten kilometers. Suddenly my feet hit a solid ground in the water. Solid sand, to be exact. I immediately use my other hand to reached the ground to help my body move to higher ground, inside the water.

Finally I reached a place where I can sit with my face still above the water level. Turns out that the one who grab my hand is my friends which create a line by holding hands together, with the farthest person grabbing a tree. I just sat there, shocked, tired, and cried. The experience of having nothing below your feet but darkness inside the water was a very scary experience. But thank God it wasn’t traumatize me of water. Now I’m someone who likes to swim, a lot. Sadly I just don’t have enough time to do that. But today’s story is just to tells you a dramatized story when I was drowning, from a child’s point of view. It’s awesome for me to still have me here, alive and kicking.

Do you have any experience with drowning? Or any other “thriller” experience that you still remember clearly until now? Share it in the comments below.


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