Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
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why did I have to ean so far over

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Yes, that does sound better.

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Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

I Will Survive

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She had a friend.

This was one of the first stories I ever wrote when I began a creative writing course some 13 years ago. Mostly true, but re-arranged as a fictional story.

The swirling dark waters engulfed me as I tried to swim to shore.  I was getting weaker every moment as I struggled against the force of the raging sea and the blackness of the night.  

       “Has the time come? Is this how my life will end?

       Have I survived all those near death experiences just to have it all end here, my worst nightmare?”

      This was supposed to be a romantic South Pacific cruise, and having won such a prize, how could I refuse? I never considered that anything could possibly go wrong.  Why did I have to lean so far over the side of the deck just to capture a photograph of that special moment in time? And of course, I hadn't told anyone I was out alone so when I slipped and overbalanced, there was no-one to witness my disappearance. 2 comments

       “Keep swimming and keep calm.  Remember those times…”

       My thoughts went back to the time I was born.

       “It is a miracle”, said the midwife. “This child has seen death” as she quickly unwound the cord from around my neck and swollen blue face, starved of oxygen.  I was born prematurely on a cold winter’s night under primitive conditions, the chances of survival minimal. But survive I did.

       What about the time at South Melbourne beach when I was ten and enjoying a playful paddle in a rubber tube with my three younger siblings, when we all overbalanced and fell into the sea.  Of course being the eldest, I was the last to be saved, so my fears of the sea were all consuming. What about the time when I dived headfirst in shallow waters at the Preston Baths, and came up concussed because that’s how I thought one dived?  I could have killed myself.

      “Keep calm, don’t panic like you did all those other times.”

       I must have faith, like the time I went under the surgeon’s knife for major surgery.  Now that was a scary experience.  Cancer is an ugly word, but faith and prayer are so powerful in times of need. They said it was a miracle that I did survive. And the time I was moments away from choking to death for sampling a free sausage and no one even tried to help?  Was my life destined to end on a public footpath?  How undignified!  

       My movements were slowing, I was treading water, but my mind held on with stubborn hope.

       “Remember the Murray when the whole family nearly drowned?”

       It was to have been a pleasurable outing when we hired two canoes for a paddle down the river. It had all seemed so simple, even though I was terrified of the seemingly calm river.  Perhaps it was my fear of the water, but when we were caught in a rip and the canoe overturned, it was to each his own.  We somehow managed to cling onto an overturned tree for an hour, praying for a miracle, as the river was wide and not a soul in sight!  Throughout our terrifying ordeal we never gave up hope.  We were rescued and we survived.

       As my life flashed before me, my tired mind took comfort in knowing that I must keep on having hope.  I must keep positive and not forget the past.  Yes, someone will notice I'm missing and send a rescue party like they did on the Murray.  I don’t want to drown, as my work here is not accomplished.  There’s just so much I still want to do and my life is too precious to be wasted.  Isn't that why I've been so lucky in the past?  

       “How long have I been here?” What seemed like hours has only been about five minutes.

       I’m feeling more relaxed now, perhaps a little too much and I start to sink.  

       “Oh no!  This is the here and now.  Why is no-one here to rescue me?  Is my life to end like this after all?”

       All positive thoughts are now abandoned and sheer panic overtakes me as I feel something grab my arm.  I tried to pray, but start screaming instead.  

        “What’s the matter?  Wake up” said my sleepy husband.
        “You’ve had another nightmare!”

                                  * * *

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