A Terrifying Experience

"If mum finds out that I'm going to the beach, I'll be in big trouble." I muttered to myself softly.

I crept slowly down the stairs and tried to walk casually into the kitchen. As I was walking towards the back door, mum asked without looking up from her "dish-washing", "Where are you going?" I answered back without hesitation, "I'm going to the garden to play." After I got out of the kitchen, I breathed a sign of relief. My plan had worked out fine so far. I scaled the fence and jumped onto the muddy field next to my house and started running towards the bus-stop at top speed.

Boys playing volleyball After half-an-hour, I was at the beach scanning the crowd for my friends, Jimmy and Bobby. After a while, I spotted them near a coconut tree. I ran towards them and got into my swimming trunk. For about an hour, we played volleyball happily.

Suddenly, Bobby hit the ball too hard and the ball fell into the sea. Just as Bobby was going to pick up the ball, the tide came in and carried the ball further and further away from the shore. I wanted to show off my swimming skills so I decided to get the ball for them.

I dived into the water and started swimming at a steady pace. After swimming for about ten minutes, I became tired but when I saw that the ball was only a few feet away from me, I put in an extra burst of speed. However, just as I was going to grab the ball, a very strong current swept the ball further away from me. At that moment, a string of weed tangled up with my feet and I could not swim properly.

drowning I struggled to keep afloat but it was no use. "If I had listened to mum and dad, this would never have happened," I thought silently.

Finally, after struggling for a minute or two, I had no more energy and got pulled underwater. I tugged at the weed which finally broke. I swam back to the surface, gasping for breath. I saw two young men in canoes, racing each other. I was exhausted but I shouted to the men for help. The two men, instead of helping me, ignored me and raced on. By the time, a lifeguard who was holding a life buoy reached me, I had already fainted.

When I woke up, I was in an empty room lying on a bed. It was not until a doctor came into the room that I realised that I was in a hospital. After a few minutes, my parents with half angry and half worried faces walked in. My parents scolded me for sneaking out of the house but were also glad that I was not seriously injured.

I will never forget that terrifying experience. Neither will I ever want to show off again.

Copyright by Huang YiZhong
Written in September 1999

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