Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write a Coming OF AGE short story (11/20/14)
- TITLE: The Elusive Platform
By C D Swanson
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“Daddy, Andrew is bothering me again; tell him to leave me alone please.” I stood with hands on hips while eyeing my father willing him to do something to my big brother. “He’s an annoying bug, squish him or something, won’t you please?”
Daddy cleared his voice to keep from laughing and said, “Andrew, be in the car in five minutes, or we’ll leave without you…and stop bothering your sister.”
“Dad, I’m not doing anything, she’s nuts!” Andrew pushed me as big brothers do to little sisters, all in fun and love. He teased me mercilessly, but protected me with a fierce loyalty.
“Dad!” I groaned.
Daddy smiled, “Andrew…get going. In fact, everyone to the car, we’re about a half hour behind schedule.”
Before long we all piled into our car. My older sister, Josephine was away at our cousin’s house for the weekend. So it was just my parents and my annoying brother. I was at an age where I thought I could do it all without any help from adults. I longed to take chances, explore with uninhibited exuberance, and throw any or all consequences as like caution to the wind. I seemingly wanted to “break out” of the adult hold that seemed to stagnant my free spirit to do things that otherwise might be hampered by parental rules and regulations, which included the “oh—so— annoying—curfews” of which no one else seemed to have. Or was it my imagination?
The lake house in upper New York was picturesque and bubbling with energy as it sat perched on a hill overlooking the inviting tranquil water. In the middle of the glistening lake was a platform that could hold as many as twenty people. Only experienced swimmers would dive off that chunk of cement and come up on the other side of the lake. I always wanted to try that without anyone around, sought of like a passage of independence leaving my youth behind. I loved my parents, and sister and yes…even my annoying big brother. But, I had it in my mind that I needed no guidance or help from Daddy or anyone that day. Nope, I was determined I was going to dive off that platform all by myself today. I was staring at the same page in my book for the longest time, my mind thinking about my entrance into adulthood today, when I was jolted from my reverie. My book torn from my hands I heard a voice yelling, and realized it was me.
“Daddy! Mom! Will you please control your son, he’s such a toad!”
“Andrew, stop bothering your sister!” Mom turned around in the front seat to face us in the back, and with emphasis she continued, “Andrew, if you don’t behave from this moment on there will be consequences for your behavior.”
“Mom, I'm not doing anything! Sis is just weird!”
My father cleared his throat again before solidifying Mom’s
statement, “Andrew, you better heed that warning and knock it off.”
The rest of the trip went without incident. I dozed off and opened my eyes as we came to a stop. I opened the door and jumped out. I waited until my parents were unpacking in the lake house—and my annoying brother was off doing who knows what— for my perfect escape. I had my bathing suit on under my clothes to save time. Hopping into our row boat I made it to the platform rather quickly. Discarding my outer clothing I stood atop the platform. I heard my pounding heart thundering in my ears. I licked my lips and assumed the divers pose. Within seconds, I was in the cold water— a paralyzing cramp overtook me—I was being pulled under into a tomb of silence. ‘O God please help me, I’m sorry I disobeyed. Help me! I’ll never disobey again. Please help me.’ I felt a strong arm around my waist lifting me to safety. Taking a breath of welcomed air…I looked at my Dad’s handsome face before I hugged him tightly.
“Sweetheart, it’s okay. You’re safe now baby.”
“Daddy! I’m so sorry!”
From that moment on…I decided to stay “dependent” for just a little while longer…
A true story.
My Dad was everything a man of God should be and more. He died 15 years ago from an error on the operating table. I miss him to this day and treasure all of the moments I had with him as my dad, and as the amazing man he was. I look forward to seeing him again one day. I give many thanks to God for giving me such a wonderful kind and loving earth dad…I was truly blessed, as was everyone who knew him. "I love you dad, forever.”
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