A River with Riptides

by: Sophia Jortner

It was in the middle of the summer and my family and I were on vacation. We were floating in the water, well now just me. All alone. No Bianca. No parents. No brother. My stomach drops and I start to panic as I float away down the river.

That year during the summer… our family went to Florida.  We had just came back from Seaworld and we really wanted to go the Seaworld waterpark since it was very new and it seemed very exciting. We had to get bathing suits since we didn’t bring any since going to the seaworld waterpark was so unexpected. We bought some and put them on.

After our mom told us “Are you girls sure you want to go alone it doesn’t seem really safe”. We really wanted to go on a ride now. Well at least Bianca did. Our mom was trying to reassure us exactly what we were getting ourselves into. She often did this and usually I would reassure her and say it would be all fine, but this time  and I thought the exact same thing as her.

I was really worried because I didn’t think that we should really do this considering we were only 8, but instead Bianca said “yeah, i’m sure it’s fine rides are fun.” I couldn’t disagree with her more. “What’s the worst that can happen” she had always said and she was always the brave one. However I didn’t want to let her down so I just said “yeah, it should be fine we have each other.” I was thinking the exact opposite.

So, we ended up going on a ride. Well it wasn’t exactly a normal water slide or ride. It was a ride that was a river. You start from an exit, then there is a shore and you from there go right in the river. I thought it was a ride that was safe and nothing bad would happen, but little did I know…

Before going on the river, we went to the get these vest so that it could help you float. When we were putting the vest on the worker also told us that there was two exits and one was A and the other is B. And we were exit A not B.  But of course I did not listen because excitement drowned out the sound of the speaker. And also because I depended on Bianca, who always payed attention when she needed to which was my first mistake out of the ones that were yet to come.

So, when we went on the ride I got to our exit so Bianca said “let’s go Sophia.” I must admit it was very fun even though at first I was very scared. After a few more rounds of going on the river we decided to leave and go back to our mom. But this was the hard part, getting out of the river.  I tried to go but the rapids on the river were  too strong for me only being 8…  So I kept on floating away while Bianca was busy walking up the shore. Somehow…  I hated it when this happened. That feeling in your gut when something bad was about to happen.

As soon as she turned back and saw me floating away an instant regret washed over me. I knew that if I wanted to leave the ride I had to ask one of the staff that were however I could just keep going around the river unti I am able to get out. But I was tootired too. So as I swam toward them and called for help I heard no answers in return. I tried to get a handle on the stone wall but my grip was too loose and I slipped away. I was nervous and tried to call for help but being only the age of 8 I started to go into full panic mode. I went around again and again until it felt endless. I was able to get a tight grip on the wall to push myself toward the exit. The exit that I left looked like a beach but as soon as I got to the exit I was heading towards it looks strange and unfamiliar. Instead of a beach it was a jungle. My heart sank to the floor and I immediately panicked. I wasn’t going back on that ride ever again alone. I was too scared, but I bet Bianca wouldn’t be and she would know exactly what to do right now. But I am Sophia and I have no clue.

So, I walked up to a worker who by the way smelled like chlorine and for some reason I got the courage somehow to say “um… I’m lost and I don’t know where any of my family is.” Somehow she seemed calm  despite the fact that I was about the ask her how she can be so calm when i’m lost. However I kept that in my head. She told me to come with her, so I followed feeling very sad and alone although there were endless people around me. As I walked past all the kids and all the parents on rides laughing and occasionally the sound of the water being splashed around I got really sad and really wanted to see my family even though it only had been 30 minutes without them. It felt like forever. When we finally came to the stand she told me to We finally came to the stand and told me to sit down.

This whole time I was thinking to myself. I went to a stand. For lost kids. for lost kids. I was thinking that I was never going to be found because nothing ever gets find in the lost and found and that is where I thought I was.

I was so nervous and the only thing I could ever think about was me never being found again. I had no idea what to do and that is when I started to go in FULL panic mode. I thought I was never going to be found. I started crying so hard and I still till to this day don’t know why I was so scared.

Maybe it was because I thought I wasn’t going to be found but all those thoughts disappeared when I saw a girl running over to me. I ran and hugged her. After that I learned to never depend on someone else and also to never panic because it only made it worse.


Even though I had gotten lost and had been all alone, I can say that I had one of the best twins ever. I made me realise how good of a twins she is when I was “lost.” I can say that I also have learned lessons that day that I still am grateful for up until this day. These lessons are the lessons that keep on giving.

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