Fear Of The Water

"What is depression like?" He whispered. "It's like drowning, except you see everyone around you breathing."

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Time and time again, she forgets. Nothing is ever on her mind but work, work, and more work. Every day she's stuck in that office making phone calls and writing until her hand's cramp and her voice cracks. That's my mom for you. She's a hardworking woman and I appreciate her for that, but sometimes I just wish that there was time she could set aside that could be spent with me and only me. Not me and the constant phone calls she receives on a daily basis. Just me. The only time we'd only spend with each other is when we're discussing a field trip, my grades, or money. This time it was about a party that one of my closest friends, Jace, was throwing. Jace was one of those friends that you took baths with when you were two years old and had sleepovers with without our parents thinking it was weird.

My mother trusts Jace but tonight, of all nights, it took a lot of convincing to go to Jace's party. It was difficult but after half an hour, I was grabbing her keys and heading outside to her red Sedan. I was excited, after 2 months of being in the High School for the first time, my best friend has already given me the opportunity to raise my popularity. Not everyone knew and even though they didn't, they've heard things about me. They knew that when I won school president last year in the ninth grade, I was able to create a new tradition called The Black Tie Ball, which is technically a party where you can get all dressed up with only one condition, you had to wear a black tie. Cain's had catered the event and my brother DJ'd, playing the hottest hits and the most recent outbreaks in music. It was like a prom but for ninth graders and there was no King and Queen, everyone was welcomed and no one was an outcast. But everyone knows that my father is the principal of Mountain View High. I don't get special privileges and he makes sure of it, but everyone shows some type of respect towards me. I didn't force anyone to bow down at my every command like any merciless teenager who knew she'd automatically get respect, I just went on like any other student. 

But tonight was the big night. Where everyone would forget that Miracle was the principles daughter and Jace was just a privileged friend. 

As I approached Hemmingway Street, I looked to my left to see if any cars were approaching the bridge that was centered between the ocean and the meandering streets. This bridge seemed to tell a story. The graffiti was fading but still seemed to look endless in all ways possible. Rust was rising from the bottom and soon it would cover the entire bridge and people will be unable to walk on it even though very few people step foot on it anyway. It could collapse in any moment but others never paid attention to the looming shadow anyway. There was only one car approaching the bridge but by the time I had stopped at the stop sign, it hadn't even made it to the intersection. The gray car in front of me was about to make a sharp left so I slowed my pace in the middle of the intersection but as I was about to fully cross, the car to the left of me began to speed straight towards my car so in a panic, I sped forward and before I could register what the hell I was doing, I hit the gray car. My head flew forward but the airbag pushed it straight back and as I looked up, I could see the gray car rolling and rolling until it disappeared from sight. 

Did I just do that?

No. This car is way too small to make that car roll over and...and...no. Not me. I didn't do this, I couldn't have. This all felt too real, it was like watching something on a screen for far too long and then being sucked in because you've memorized every detail of the same agonizing picture that lies before you. What do I do? What could I do in this situation? There wasn't a lot going on in front of me, at all. But there was a lot going on in my head. Unanswered questions and the hovering predictability of the impossible. None of this made sense. How could a 16-year-old girl be on her way to a party that would change her high school years into something she would never forget but then gets stuck in a situation like this? A situation that would surely not only ruin her plans for the future but, what she thought she could maintain in one night.

I breathe in and out trying to calm myself but there wasn't anything calm about this situation. Right now, I had no guidance. There was just me and two totaled cars. 

Staying in this car wasn't an option for me and I knew I had to check on the people in the car in front of me. The smoke hovering around me and the airbag were both blocking my sight of the car. I could only hope that they were okay. When I stepped out of the car, there was still a dark cloud of smoke. After a few steps, it's like I walked into a completely different world and nothing every happened. The sun was still setting and the sight was just beautiful. I could sit here and enjoy it for hours but it wouldn't be normal knowing that this wasn't just a simple collision crash. The car rolled over more than twice, I saw it.

I continued down the street but I didn't see the gray car anywhere. The car I had seen coming straight towards me was gone too. What the hell is going on? I ran a hand through my hair and turned in circles, looking everywhere, anywhere for a sign. I didn't even know what the hell I was looking for. Maybe an elevator in the middle of the street to prove that this was just sort of nightmare that I could get away from with a few steps and a press of a button. Then, out of nowhere, a loud noise that sounded like thunder and something heavy falling on cymbal came from the cliff. That's when I noticed it.

That's when I noticed the waging gap between two of the silver rails that kept people on the road and the scarf hanging from the sharp end. That's when I noticed a dirty hand, bloody, trembling, shaking, hanging on the edge of the cliff. And then another. I stood there in shock, watching as someone struggled to climb up the short but rocky cliff with smoke rising behind them. Little tips of flames could be seen. Quickly, I ran towards the desperate hands. But five feet away from them, five feet, they both disappeared. Like they gave up. Like there was no hope. Like something pulled them down. 

 

 

 

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