Friday, November 14, 2014

"A Bad Smell and Where it Came From" by Lavender Li

My goodness, that smell was horrendous. Even though most people like the smell of the ocean, I can’t stand it. Of course, my English teacher decided that “Ocean Breeze” was the perfect scent for the new air freshener. When I when I waltzed into class on that one dreadful Monday and smelled the salt and seaweed, I wanted to gag. How could anybody like this smell? I think the reason for the hatred of the saltwater odor goes back to my first grade summer vacation.

As normal, my family decided to go to our local beach for a week. It was the perfect weather, a deep blue sky and a sun that filled the beach with happiness and warmth. We have gone to the same beach every year, merely out of convenience. The drive up to the familiar setting only took about an hour, perfect for traveling with children. In the past, I have always enjoyed making sandcastles and digging holes in the sand. I loved the tide pools filled with critters vastly different from the ones in my backyard. The ocean was fun to splash around in, not daring to go any deeper than halfway up my claves. Last summer, I began to notice the older children at the beach go further into the ocean, especially with boogie boards. Always smiling and laughing, I thought it looked fun. I informed my mother of what I wanted to do; venture further into the abyss. Thinking I would forget, she shook her head and replied “next year”.

Now, one year and a remembered promise later, my younger brother and I decided that this was the day we learned how to boogie board. I dragged my mother over to the stand nearby selling the boards. She agreed to buy one for me and my brother to share. I thought this was fair, as we could always get another one later. Inspecting every board, I picked out one with a bright blue checkerboard pattern. Smiling with joy, I ran right into the ocean, not looking back for a moment. I took the blue board out to the open sea and tried to catch a wave, mimicking the older kids on the beach. Peering behind me, I saw a medium sized wave coming straight at me. Thinking this was the perfect wave, I kicked my feet as hard as I could to get momentum going. Next thing I knew, I was flying on the wave until I suddenly lost my balance, and was thrown violently into the ocean. Behind me, another wave was hurling toward me, tossing my under again, flipping head over heels like a gymnast. I gasped for air, breathing in the water instead. I felt my lungs fill up with the salty water, suffocating me. Fear engulfed me, causing me to panic. Somehow, I managed to find the soft sand beneath me and stand up. At this point, tears were streaming down my face as I waddled over to my mother, who was videotaping the entire experience. This was when I decided the ocean was the worst place to go. I was petrified of the sea ever since. The rest of the vacation was terrible as well. I refused to go anywhere near the water and sat silently on the beach, afraid the ocean will stand up and eat me, just like a bad horror movie. To this day, I still cannot stand the ocean, as it brings back memories. Even the smell causes me to panic. 

 It looks like English will be a long year. 

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