Day 27 —Make up a near-death experience (unless you have a real one).
It was K’s birthday party, I think we must’ve been about 8 at the time. She had a swimming party, and so my family and I travelled the hour journey to where she lives, and I was excited because I loved swimming at the time.
K’s parents had hired the whole pool for us! It was great; there were giant floats that you could sit on, those “noodles” and in the middle a HUGE inflatable slide that you could swim to, climb up, and then launch yourself down the slide and splash into the pool.
We were all playing together, even though I only knew K and her sister, but that’s what kids are like. They don’t mind if they don’t know each other – they just make friends and play together.
A group of us were playing together making islands out of the big floats, and holding them together to make a bigger island that we could all sit on.
Suddenly, I plunged into the water. I remember the sounds of shouting and splashing just disappearing, and seeing nothing around me but a fuzzy blueness – the water of course. I struggled to get myself back above the water but I couldn’t. I was beneath the float island, and I was too disorientated to work out which way to get out. I thrashed around, trying to push the floats out of the way, but there were still children sitting on them, so they were too heavy for me to move.
I still remember the terror of thinking “I can’t get out, I can’t breathe!” I started to feel dizzy, having not enough oxygen left to breathe properly. I was gulping water in my panic, and I needed to get out – I needed to breathe properly again!
I thought I was going to die. No one had noticed that I was under the floats; I was 8 years old and I thought “I’m going to drown!” Eventually, I saw a gap in the floats – I could see the ceiling through the blur of the water. I aimed for it, and propelled myself above the water; choking and gasping for air.
In retrospect maybe this wasn’t a near death experience, but to an 8 year old it felt like it!*
*Parts of this story are true, parts are not – it said make one up, but I just edited one of my personal experiences 🙂