When I was a forth grader in China, I was always told by my teachers that I couldn’t go to swim where there was no lifeguard because we were still young. I always kept it in mind as my rule. One day, a day I was really out of control, and broke the rule.
It was an extremely hot summer. The sun was raised to burn up the whole continent. Rain had not been seen for a couple of months already. People were like chicken within an oven, wait to be driven crazy. 37 degrees Celsius was the common temperature at southern China. I myself was an active kid, wouldn’t just stay home.
One day, I was asked to hang out. First, we met each other at school as usual. We didn’t wear shirts due to the hot weather. As usual, we went to a store in the front of school to buy some litchi juice. I remembered that litchi juice was our favorite drinks because it was so cheap and tasty. After buying the supplies, we decided to walk around the countryside. That was what we usually did while we were all bored and didn’t know what to do. It was also a good way to resist heat because of the trees. We were walking through boundless fields where nothing can be seen except for green. We would like to feel the silence rather than talking a lot. Suddenly, silence was broken by a loud voice.
“River is over there, let’s go and swim.” a friend of mine yelled out.
“No, we can’t. We will be caught by our teachers.” I responded without any thinking.
“No problem, man. It is so damned hot now. The depth of the water is only like 6in. Nobody will report to the teachers, right?” he argued. I could see his desire to swim through his eyes.
I wasn’t sure what I should do at this moment. Soon after, they jumped into the river. I was still standing there and considering my rule. I looked at the sun and the water. Suddenly, there was an impulse came out of my mind. I closed my eyes and jumped into the water. By that time, I was still comforting myself by saying stuffs like “the depth of water is only 6in, it will be ok.” By that, I wasn’t feeling guilty anymore. Instead, we lie down and set ourselves in the water, like heated rocks in cold water. That feeling was so good for me by that time. Sun could not make fun of me anymore because my body was protected by cold water. And then we decided to play a game called capture. One person would be an eagle, the rest would be chicken. I chose to be a chicken. Then we started running. Running at the water was so different from the land. The water made my feet much heavier. Because of that, I was the first chicken to be caught. By that time, I had nothing to do except for waiting. Then I decided to splash water to them. As soon as they noticed what I had done. They stopped the game and splash water to each other. It was not sunny day anymore. The water we splashing water was like rain, dropped on our bodies. I thought it was the best rain I had ever met. It cooled down my body as well as my mind. After an hour, we all decided to leave.
The day after, we went to school. We were all called by our teacher. She had noticed what we had been done yesterday. I didn’t know for sure how she knew it. She was like a lawyer, kept asking us questions. I was just standing there like a piece of wood, without saying anything. Finally, the question period was over. I was thinking this would be ended up with it. But I was wrong, she needed us to hand copy a 10-page essay twice and turn it in tomorrow. She also set up a conference with our parents.
The following years, I still couldn’t figure it out how she knew it. Maybe I would never know, like a locked box stayed in my mind forever. Still, I didn’t think I was wrong about that because the depth of the water was only 6in. It wouldn’t be any problem for a forth grader. The punishment I paid for it was undeserved. Even so, every time I watch people play at the water, those little happy scenes will appear again in my mind.