A Fear of Water

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January 19, 2013 by Molten Art

By Audrina Surman

It is said that, on average, an emergency room in a large town receives about five-hundred and thirty-six patients an evening. Five-hundred and thirty-six of some of the most wide-eyed, distraught, panicked people you’d ever meet. And while those numbers may just be figures, each and every one of those five-hundred and thirty-six terrified visitors mean something to someone.

I wish she understood that, long before the argument, long before the yelling and the crying and the most painful slap I’ve ever taken to the face. Long before she made her decision to jump head-first into the last seconds of her life. I wish I could have seen her beautiful pale face against her bloated, purple lips.

They called me just hours later.

“In a fit of anger, she sank to the bottom of the pool. We had just enough time to see the water fill her lungs, and as she mouthed her last words, ‘I’m not asking to be saved’, we watched our salt tears fall into puddles and mix with the chlorine.”

While I sat on the phone, I filled up the bathtub.

She always told me, “Drowning is a little bit beautiful. It’s everything then silence, panic then peace.” And I’d wipe the tears from her chin.

The emergency room had five-hundred and thirty-eight visitors that evening.

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