The sea took away my sister two days before I turn 17. She was 13. Naturally, because of the incident, I was banned to go near the sea, or any body of water for that matter. For several weeks, I myself, even told myself that it might take me time before I can really go to the sea.
I went to Baguio for college. It was someplace in the mountains where people choose to go down to the beaches in the lowlands for relaxation. When a semester ends, organizations has this thing of celebrating it, in La Union. I used to tell my friends how I really can’t hang out in the sea for a long time, but I kept going to those trips anyway. Of course, I never told my parents about those trips. At least not until few more years later, when I thought it’s no longer big a deal. I wasn’t reprimanded, but from time to time, I receive lectures on why I shouldn’t go to the beach, especially from my mother. I can’t really blame her, she was there when it happened. She once told me how her perspective of the sea changed when the unfortunate incident happened.
I managed to take my family to the beach a couple of years ago, which I thought was a good thing because finally, we can now face the monster. We were happy that day but I know we will never be genuinely happy at the sea the way we used to, before the tragic incident.
I never learned how to swim and I don’t know if I ever will because I have this eternal fear of drowning. I’d prefer to die in any way, just not drowning.