It was the summer of 2006, I was 12. My family was vacationing at the Bahamas: the last day, the last slide. This trip, I would soon find out, was one not likely to be forgotten. I heard screaming from inside and was itching to get into the action. I sat down on my tube and waited for the lifeguard’s ‘go’. I then pushed off into the rushing water and pulsing darkness below. My eyes adjusted and I screamed along with the others in the slide. As I gained momentum, I realized that there was a difference in the screams of the others. My screams were of joy, but theirs, of terror.
I sped down in the darkness and knocked over a boy climbing up the slide. We smacked into each other and my tube glided over him. I was soon about to find out why people were climbing up the slide. There was a blockade of tubes barring our way to the exit. I flew off my tube and got lodged underneath. The rushing water battered all around me, covering my head. I couldn’t breathe. The weight of the tubes crushed the remaining air from my lungs. I was slowly drowning. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. All I could do was lay there: in terror, in pain, and wait to die. My mind blacked out. I waited for the end to come. Then I felt a distant pain somewhere far away, and I was on my feet. A teenage boy had found me. I was saved! But this nightmare wasn’t even close to being over yet. The lifeguard kept sending more people down; and we were trapped.
I began climbing the slide as the others had done. I placed one shaky leg on either side of the enclosure and made it halfway. A man came knocked me back down to the pile of tubes. I fell down, got up and restarted. I cleared my head this time. I knew I had to keep calm; I prayed aloud to God with a fervent voice.
“‘God, help me! I can’t do this by myself, come on God, we can do this.’”
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