For as long as I can remember, I have been safety conscious. I was one of those kids who never explored beyond our fenced backyard. I didn’t take the training wheels off my bike until I turned ten.
So, I have no idea why I took on the dive that almost cost me my life. It was a month into the summer holidays, two weeks short of returning to school.
On the day of my near demise, a group of us met up at Newport Beach and made our way across the burning sand to the swimming pool. I was wearing my new canary yellow bikini with underwire, which made my boobs appear more prominent than they were.
Max, one of the guys in our group, couldn’t take his eyes off me. That was until his mate Brad, a tall, skinny boy, with a caved in stomach and snow-white skin called out, ‘Hey guys, I reckon that no one in the group can dive into the kids’ pool.’
Suzi nudged me, ‘Bella, you’re an excellent diver.’
She was right; if there was one thing I was good at, it was diving. My hand shot up over my head.
I stood, readjusted my bikini bottoms and made my way towards the pool to size up the depth. I’d never attempted a dive in a metre of water before. My instincts told me to back away, but when I turned my head and saw Max’s sky-blue eyes on me, there was no turning back.
I wiped my hot sweaty hands across my bikini bottoms and shook them by my side until I felt the tips of my fingers tingle. I reached up and tied my long blonde hair in a tight knot, then took up my position at the end of the kids’ pool, my toes slightly over the edge.
No one encouraged me to abort the dive. I took a long, deep breath. The chatting stopped. I turned to Suzi to see her mouth agape.
I turned my focus to the crystal-clear water ahead and bent my knees. The words ‘belly flop’ went through my mind, a safe option with a slight sting, but as I sprinted off the edge, I dropped my head.
I woke to a nurse telling my father that I was lucky to be alive. They had been able to save my two front teeth, and later my nose could be straightened with surgery.
Soon after returning home from hospital, Suzie came around and told me that Max thought that I was pretty, but dumb to attempt the dive. I agreed.
Education is the key to understanding the importance of discussing organ donation with your parents.
By Bella M