#87 Metro Beach

by Yong Takahashi

I hold my breath as my mother holds me under the water. This is not the first time we have visited Metro Beach. She has driven us here several times—each time she felt depressed or angry, unable to control her feelings.

I find it is best to close my eyes. I don’t want to see my mother’s legs struggle as she tries to steady herself in the sand. I hear her rehearsed speech, explaining why I deserve this. Perhaps the lack of oxygen is allowing me to slowly tune her out. Her chatter gets softer and softer as each second passes.

My arms cease to fight. I let my mind wander to my imaginary place, filled with dancing, ice cream and laughter. I wonder if I will be allowed to stay in this enchanted dream forever.

As I drift away from my reality, my mother yanks me out of the water. The sun shines warmly on my face. It’s time to breathe again. I gasp for air. I cough and the lake water gushes out of me. My throat is raw.

She holds me, patting my back. She promises we will never come back here. She tells me to forget what happened today. She will change. She will try to be happy again.

I won’t hold my breath.


Sam Knight said...

Oh my. I think you captured this perfectly. Not that I would know, but it feels right.

Anonymous said...

The last line gave me shivers. So much in this small story. This is fantastic.