Monday, September 24, 2007

Swim



This Week’s Theme: Pick an unusual phobia and explain why a character has it.




I am afraid to swim. I do not venture out into the water for fear of losing control and drowning. And I get scolded every time I stop at the edge of the water and hesitate before going in. I have no choice, I have to go in and swim.

My body is stiff from the tension I feel every time I venture out. I feel cold sweat all over my body that the tepid water cannot warm. And when the soft breeze blows, the goosebumps appear all over and make me look more awkward than before.

Now, I know it’s funny and some would find it difficult to understand. How a duck like me would be afraid to swim.

But I remember the reason, like it was only yesterday. It was a tragedy that from my memory never goes away. My father and I were swimming at the river, near the place where it joins the sea. I was playing and frolicking as happy as I can be and I didn’t notice that I have gone too far away from my father.

Suddenly, the tide of the current is much faster than my feet can handle and I found myself starting to lose control. I tried to swim away and go back to where my father was but the tide was too strong and soon my feet started to grow weary and I started to give up.

My father rescued me by trying to push me over to the side of safety. But this then put him on the path of the strong current. My father is a strong swimming and was a varsity player in his school but he was no match for the cruel force of nature. I shout and shout and cried until my throat is hoarse but my father was already carried over by the water to the sea.

Since then seeing the water reminds me of my father and how his brave effort has saved my foolish hide. I have always wished I can turn back the time and maybe swim faster and stronger so he didn’t have to save me then. I can still hear his shout as he struggles to stay on top of the water.

“Swim away son and get yourself to safety. Say goodbye to your mom for me.”

And that was all I heard from him then. He tried to say a bit more but the strong current of the water toppled him over. After the last strong wave, all I can see was the white churning water from where he used to be.

So now I am afraid of swimming in the water for it brings back memories that I’d rather forget. But my mother is a strong woman who cannot be denied. She said, “Son, your father will never allow you to blame yourself for what happened. He had to do what he did so you must follow his example. Swim like there is no tomorrow. Swim and make him proud.”

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