I’ve never been one for spending time in the water. I hate pools, I stay on the sand at the beach, and I don’t partake in water sports. However, meeting you showed me how it feels to drown. You are that person that wears self-confidence like clothing. Looking back, I realize that it is all just a façade you use to hide the self-doubt and insecurity that leaves you feeling raw and naked. Like a toddler drawn to the edge of a pool when their parents are distracted, I was mesmerized by the image of you. You seemed so tranquil, pure, and mesmerizing. I had no idea of the danger that lurked in your depths.
I only put a foot in at first. Getting to know you was safe. We took things slow and I had no reason to feel anything but content. I remember the nice things you did for me, like bringing me macaroni and cheese when you knew I had hours of late night homework. I try to think of these things, but I get so mad at myself when I look back and see how I didn’t yet know what you were capable of.
Your kind gestures and placid appearance made me go deeper, and it wasn’t long before I realized that I had made a mistake. But by this time it was too late. Your concealed undercurrent pushed me further than I ever wanted to go. The ground that served as an anchor below me was swept from my feet. I could feel no bottom to the darkness you swallowed me with.
I remember my arms flailing, but there was no one to see. Your strength easily subdued me, and I guess I never stood a chance once you had me to yourself. I was closer to you than I had ever been with anyone else, but I found myself more alone than I had ever known. How could something that seemed so clear, pure, and inviting cause such searing pain? Tears carved warped paths down my skin as it turned shades of blue and purple.
The precious air left in my lungs escaped in ugly gasps. I kicked and shoved, but soon my body began to feel like lead. I sank below your soft surface and finally felt nothing. For you this was just a game, and you considered my stillness beneath you as a victory. I see now that this was just your way of making up for your shortcomings and self-loathing. I could tell that you were no novice at this. How can I feel sorry for myself when I know there are others whose dignity and pride you have taken and let get washed downstream?
It was a while before I reached shore again. Trying to move on required aggressively forcing you out of my lungs and watching you spill on to the ground to get absorbed by the soil. Each day I felt your presence less and less, and it won’t be long before you are nothing but a drop in my life. With wobbly limbs I have come out of your depths a stronger person, and I look forward to the day that I look you in the eye and show you this.