Near Death
Written by Courtney Lusk in March of 2012

The cold dark water surrounded me and I couldn’t find the air. My mom’s last words jumped around in my head “Now stay on the top step while I go back and get towels.”

It was a warm summer nine years ago. My family was on our way home from our trip to Wisconsin and we were staying the night at a Holiday Inn in Minneapolis. We were bored in the room so we begged our parents to take us to the pool, they said yes.

  As we came closer to the pool you could hear the sound of kids laughing, the splash of water, and you could smell chlorine. My brother, sister and I became excited by the sounds and could hardly wait to jump into the cool water. We finally got to the pool and we saw that there were no lifeguards. My mom said that Christina, my sister, and I would have to stay with her and that Jimmy could go off and play, since he could swim. We walked on the cold stone floor over to the white plastic chairs. Then my mom told us that we could finally go into the pool but we could only go as far into the water to our tummies. We whined and asked why we couldn’t go farther. She told us that since we didn't have lifejackets we might drown and she didn’t want that.

 Christina and I walked over to the water and slowly walked in. We giggled and screamed as we walked into the water because it was cold. We played around for a while until my mom came over and told us that she forgot the towels in the room and to stay on the top step of the pool until she came back. From the other side of the pool I could see Jimmy playing in the water and having fun. I wasn’t about to let Jimmy have all the fun, so I walked over to the deep end and jumped in.

 There was a splash and I felt cold water all around me but I couldn’t find the bottom. I started to panic and I couldn’t breathe. I saw a girl next to me playing with a colorful beach ball when I resurfaced, I tried to call for help but no words came out and instead I swallowed some chlorine water. I kept thinking can’t anyone see me, why has no one come to my rescue, am I going to die? Then I saw it--a hand, my lifeline. I grabbed the hand; it was dry and wrinkly, and pulled me out with one jerk. Once out of the water I looked up and saw who saved me; it was an elderly man with white hair and bald in the middle. He had glasses and a smile on his face. He asked me if I was okay and I said "Yes" before running away without saying thank you. To this day I still regret not saying thank you to him, the man who saved my life.