Childhood Recollections

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A Splash of Deception

In the center of my cousin’s house garden, we looked like twins, jumping through the tunnels of that wooden play station and enjoying the surf on our favorite swings. When I am on top of the slide, thinking of the perfect moment to glide, he would be at the bottom, tying the rope as a sailing custom. Though I was barely two meters away, it felt like I was on the crow’s nest, shouting with a high-pitched voice of a 6 year old: “Beware of the sharks belooooow”. He would assure things are okay with a promising signal, by kicking those evil sharks just down beneath his tiny feet. “ayya, ayya, aya…

I would either come to his house everyday or sleepover so the fun would not fade away. This was our routine, a natural childhood vitamin. In the midst of our play, we would hear a voice echoing from the top window “slowlyyy, don’t hurt yourseeelves”. Those were secret messages signaling a pirate ship, but even though we would have the white flag stand out by that pole, each time we hear that voice, we would stay still, take a quick glance at each other and veer off our plan.

Between fractures of a second, at a blink of an eye, and with the sound of deep breathes, shadowing giggles, laughs and sweating bodies was a massive splash. Colorful sliced fruits on the table vanished and a carpet of greenery converted to dark blue scenery, settling at the center of suffocation, when my dearest cousin and best friend pushed my little body into the swimming pool. 

My thoughts lingered in the air; thinking how could a sunny day show this much darkness? Did my cousin just push this amount of water down my throat? Why? I moved my hands up and down, I saw the sharks he protected me from, I pushed my body, I let loose, but my mind kept knocking with existential questions. “Why? When? And who?”

These were the longest moments in my early years when my body got caged in water, fighting a volcano of bubbles, and clutching on tightly to an echo of loved ones shouting for help. Everything transformed from slow motion to fast speed, then again, from fast to slow motion, until our nanny rescued me.

In cultures where helpers are the less appreciated leaders, someone must have thought about how the weakest people, have often become our heroes. Yet, those whom we’ve always relied on and trusted may sometimes surprise us with a splash of deception. 

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