At the age of fourteen I had moved from my hometown to live with my aunt.
It was a peaceful place with amazing beaches absolutely everywhere. A small town where everyone knew each other. I’d go out fishing of a weekend, driving with my cousin some days of the week and occasionally go surfing (though I was terrible at it).
One day my cousin had taken me to the beach. I was watching him and his friends surf the waves while I stayed closer to shore. I was on a body board to watch and learn from their skills from a distance. After some time watching I’d realized the water had pulled me out further and the waves were becoming intense.
I tried to swim back to shore but the waves kept pulling me further into the ocean. My board was ripped from my arms and I went under. I had enough time to take a breath and my feet could touch the ground for me to push off so I could raise my head above the water.
After catching my breath, a larger wave came in. That wave didn’t allow me to reach the sand under my feet, so I waited for the tide to be pulled back in so I could breathe. And it did, but the waves were coming in faster and harder, giving me less time to breathe after each wave. The force of the waves and the saltwater in my eyes kept me from seeing anything. My mouth was filled with the ocean water. This continued for several minutes. My body was getting worn out and I’d almost given up. With this wave coming, I wouldn’t have enough time to breathe.
And it came, my vision still taken from me, the force of this wave hit me like a moving vehicle. But somehow, as it hit me, I felt my board that had been knocked away from me, touch me. I grabbed it with the strength I had left and hoped that it would be enough. The wave shot me across the water with extreme speed. I felt my body lay on the shore with a heaviness in my lungs. I coughed up the water after the world had been dark for what felt like forever and I woke up to a nice warm beach.
I had drowned, but I was alive. I truly thought I would die that day. I’m thankful that I didn’t.