The Encounter: Madeline Longo

“ What time is it mom?” I said squinting my eyes looking out from the porch with the sun beating in my face.
“It’s just about 9:30. We need to go to the towel stand so we can get good seats near the water.”
I grabbed the sunscreen from the circular glass table on the porch outside and started to rub the white liquidy substance on my face. The palm trees rustled as a cool breeze brushed my face and went through my hair. My mom went to get our towels so that we could get beach chairs near the ocean. Luckily, the room we were staying in was really close to the water and we had a sliding glass door that led out to the beach. We decided to go swimming in the ocean, and I couldn’t wait because I wanted to look for shells and coral at the bottom of the water. I grabbed my goggles and raced my sister to the beach as I swung the floppy beach bag over my shoulder. Running as fast as I could over the rocky hot path that led to the beach I realized that I had forgotten my flip flops because I was in such a rush to beat my sister to the beach. I put my stuff down next to a chair with our towels that my mom had already laid down to claim our spaces. I ran down to the ocean and stuck my toes in the water. The sand as white and soft as a giant fluffy pillow , and the water was crystal clear with no seaweed. Both of my parents finally came down and we all went swimming.

I put on my goggles and tightened them. A huge wave came by and I quickly took a deep breathe and dove under. The cool water rushed against my body as the shells at the bottom of the water rubbed against each other like windchimes.
I saw nothing but a blur of sand every time I went under to escape a wave. The wave would just push me to the top as I would have to start kicking my legs to go to the bottom again. As I scooped my hands underneath the smooth sand it slid through my fingers. I finally came up for air and waited for the next wave. Then, I took a deep breathe and dove under. As tiny blue fish passed me, I noticed even more coral laying on the bottom. I scooped some into my hands and looked at them closely as I delicately dusted the damp sand off them. When I came up for air again, instead of hearing the waves crashing on the beach, I heard my mom screaming. I looked in her direction and she was jumping up and down in the water laughing as she looked over at me.
Then my mom yelled…
“I saw a huge school of large fish in the water!”
“Did you see them?”
“No I didn’t. What did they look like?” I said trying to stay calm even though I was kinda nervous for some weird reason.
“They were silver and really big.”
Trying to look through the water was hard, so I dove underwater and looked around. As I swam further and further, I noticed this blurry figure coming closer. I swam towards it until it was inches away from me, a huge long fish with silver scales swam swiftly past me.
As soon as I jumped up I spit water out of my mouth, salty and sandy. I coughed for air.
When I caught my breath I said,
“Mom I saw it!” “I saw one of the fish! It was silver and shiny and it swam fast through the water!”
I raced out of the water and plopped myself on the broiling hot sand to catch my breath.

“Wait, what happened?” My mom yelled from the ocean.
“I saw it…. the fish!” I’m not sure why but it really scared me. It took me a little while before I realized I okay and could go back in the water. Although till this day, before I go in the water anywhere, I still think about that fish.

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