In Retrospect

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
On the tip of my toes. At 5 years old. In my pool.

Submitted: March 20, 2008

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Submitted: March 20, 2008

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In Retrospect

By Landon 'Victor' Gray

I saw my life flash before my eyes. I know it sounds cliché, but it's exactly what happened. In retrospect, it's kind of funny. There really isn't a lot that could flash before my eyes, being that I was only five years old.

I had always been afraid of water, but usually I was only truly terrified when I saw the grin on my brothers face as he drew closer, to inevitably dunk me. I swear, back in those days, he had a problem with dunking people. He did it compulsively, and single handedly kept me out of many pools. I even recall being afraid to go into the water at the beach, and more afraid of my family going into the water. On the shore, I was safe hiding in an inflatable raft. But out in the water, anything could happen to my mom, dad, or siblings.

But the peculiar thing was, on the particular day I saw my life flash before my eyes, I was safely in our pool, with my brother no where in sight. In fact, my dad was in the pool with me. I can't be sure whether or not my mom was present, she might have been tending my younger brother; Christian. Despite these factors, I still was just unlucky enough to find myself in a perilous situation.

Now, I feel it is necessary to explain the certain shape of our pool in Alliance, Ohio, for the good of the story. It was nothing special, just a regular pool, with a three foot shallow end, and an eleven foot deep end. The point where the shallow end started into the deep end was a very sharp cut off. Usually, there were a set of buoys that indicated this drop off. On this particular, said buoys were most certainly not present.

I walked amidst the pool, as I had many times before, making sure I didn't go to far out to the deep end. My dad must've been talking with my older brother, whom as previously stated, was not in the pool. This left yours truly wandering unsupervised for just the correct amount of time to find myself at the sharp cut off. It was probably carelessness, I shouldn't have ever gone so close to the deep end. But, in my disregard for my lack of ability to swim, I ventured.

It started getting deeper. The ground beneath my feet was slipping away, rapidly. And it was here that I saw my life flash before my eyes. Picking up my brother from a birthday party back in Tennessee, getting a Coke from a general store, the fourth of July, my third birthday, my dog that was at this point most likely sitting comfortably in my front yard, all these things, flew passed in still-frame.

“Why didn't you just call for help?” The reader asks.

The answer to this question was probably the most frightening part. You see, I was just deep enough into the water that despite looking straight up, the water was just at the corners of my lips. Had I opened my mouth, water would have rushed in, filling my lungs and committing me to the depths of my backyard pool.

It must have been what some would call 'grace' that saved me. To this day, I'm not sure exactly how I managed to regain grip, and walk back to the shallow end. A feeling of exhaustion and relief came over me. I looked over at my dad, who was still sitting there talking to my brother. It was as though nothing had ever happened.

I must've had a deep respect for the tranquility of this moment, because I did not want it to change. I never really said a word, and to this day, I'm not sure my parents even know about this near death experience of mine. In fact, I forgot it completely, up until a few days ago. But I believe it was this that truly encouraged me to learn how to swim, and get over my fear of the water. And that point on, I've never given jumping in a second thought.

The End.


© Copyright 2017 Victor Gray. All rights reserved.

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