Fear saturated my very being, with the doctors’ orders echoing in my head, tainting my thoughts for the worse as my eyes reinforced my fear. The tumultuous waves resembled the arm of a violinist, vigorously delivering a musical piece with precision and aggression while still maintaining the tragically beautiful sound the music was predestined to make. The ominous, gray sky was a deep, foreboding bass conjuring deep primal fears.
The jet-ski rocked in the shore as it felt the weight of my brother, my sister and myself hopping on and my mind weighed heavy with the possible scenarios that ran through my head, oblivious to the excitement that saturated the air. “Don’t be a wuss,” was the primary thought iterating through my head at the time with the diligence of a computer program. The word wuss ricocheted in my mind, with each impact igniting a new thought, a new memory, an increase in anger. Coupled with shy and quiet, the word wuss was always used to describe me when I was younger amongst my siblings and cousins.
My frequent display of tears to articulate my frustration, anger, or sadness combined with my naturally reserved state when I was younger reinforced this belief. The stigma of me being a coward who had to be pushed excessively to try out new things stuck with me, and my fourteen-year-old self was determined to vanquish it from the minds of everyone, for it was erroneous. My caution was mistaken for cowardice. My need to know how, why and when something will happen and my need to analyze every probable outcome delayed my reactions and showed reservation.
It was a mere concoction of indecisiveness and caution and was a process bound to have my curiosity get the better of me and force me to try out something new. I had already jet-skied before, my siblings and I were veterans of the sport who were all addicted to the adrenaline rush it gave us. The only inhibiting factor was the fact that my toe had been broken and dislocated and the doctor explicitly told me to not engage in this activity. This contradicted the advice of my brother, a biomedical researcher specializing in orthopedics, and my sister, a medical student at the time, who reassured me it would be fine.
My natural skepticism had to question everything and only had two exceptions – my brother’s and sister’s advice. My mind had assigned them the position of being a storage of objective, sagacious wisdom that could rival any utterance of Socrates any day. After all, they were paragons of humans, they were who I hoped to be remotely like. Yet the exceptions were now being questioned as I was embroiled in a mental debate on whether I should jet-ski in these conditions.
The debate grew exponentially, becoming an internal cacophonous affair with arguments and rebuttals being conjured and refuted every passing second as I sat on the jet-ski with my siblings. The debate was soon composed of doing this for the sake of adrenaline, eradicating the stigma of cowardice from myself once and for all, and the probability of my toe fracturing again due to the pressure of the water. If my toe was to re-fracture again, I’d have to begin my freshman year prisoner to a boot that would limit my freedom and attract unwanted attention coupled with an annoyingly persistent sharp pain.
My mind churned out more possibilities in till I was soon greeted with the sudden roar of the jet-ski and the gentle caress of the water. The excitement and apprehension that saturated the area magnified with each passing minute, as if it was a beautiful crescendo of emotion matching the intensity of the turbulent waters ahead of us. The atmosphere in my proximity that was imbued with fear was now saturated with an odd mixture of elation and apprehension. On one hand, I was Caesar, crossing the Rubicon shouting that the die had been cast and effectively declaring war on my inhibiting toe and infuriatingly erroneous alleged public perception.
On the contrary, I was riding into battle unsure of the outcome and unsure of the probability of my victory. It was not panic that flooded me when I soon emerged from the water after being flipped over by the jet-ski, but rather a calmness. My sister and I, confident in our brother’s competence to control the jet-ski gave the green light on going full force into the obscenely turbulent deep waters, the area in which we were instructed by the instructor to not head to.
At first, the mighty jet-ski cut through the choppy waters with great vigor that exemplified its magisterial personality. It pierced the choppy waters with ease only leaving behind white foam, residue of its power. Yet the ocean ultimately conjured a wave so massive and a gust with such force that the once powerful, commanding jet-ski was brought to its knees as it flipped over in blind obedience to the strength of the waves. After emerging from the water, we stuck together as we waited patiently for the lifeguards to come to our rescue.
My toe was unaffected and my body relished in the cold, refreshing waters of the Atlantic as we were at the mercy of the winds and water, relying only on the buoyancy of our life jackets. The waves were big enough to submerge us often for a few seconds before spitting us out as if it was due to the unpleasant taste of the life jacket. I cracked jokes, with most of them being compromised of puns I made on the spot to describe our situation to ease the tension. We all laughed at how my sister had lost her slipper thanks to the jet-ski flipping over and tried our best to not have the water splash on our faces as we were afloat.
The waves had reached its climax and were like a grand musical closing ostentatiously displaying sheer vigor. Even the instructors, masters of the water, had difficulty reaching us and coming to our rescue. Eventually, the speed boat came to our rescue and we all slowly climbed into the boat. Small talk was exchanged between the instructor and my siblings, each remarking on the power of the waves and how terrible the conditions were for jet-skiing. I remained silent, however, with only one thought residing in my mind: I was victorious.