I fell off a cliff today.
My leg slipped, and I felt hands trying to pull me back up. But all I saw were expressionless eyes and cold hands. So I let go and fell. I could see rocks jutting out, twigs and tree branches. I could just put out a hand, and try to let myself escape with just a few bruises, but the hand wouldn’t obey. So I told myself the twigs would have snapped anyways. I kept falling and hit the water below, hard.
Instinctively I took a large breath before going under. I found the water welcoming. I felt it engulf and wash over me with a sense of peace. Until I opened my mouth and gulped water. Until I realised I couldn’t breathe, but I wanted to. I tried to move my arms and legs but they got heavy and the water kept dragging me down. Down below the surface where I opened my eyes and looked around to see nothing. Looked below, and saw rocks at the bottom. But I hadn’t hit rock bottom, not yet. The fall had been too effortless.
The lack of oxygen was closing in, suffocating, pressing on all sides. I felt the sharp sting of tears pierce at my eyes, constricting my remaining air supply, gnawing at my own self-pity. And then I realised I was still waiting for someone to come and save me. I was waiting for someone, anyone who cared enough. I believed there would be enough ripples on the surface for someone to look into the depth.
And then I thought, ripples fade and soothe the surface. The water stays calm until the next storm. I had no breaths left to wait for someone to cause another storm. I knew how to swim, I just needed to remember how to send the brain signals to get my arms and legs kicking.
First thing to do was come up for air.