A day at the Beach

A day at the beach

Rohan slowly took off his shoes, put on his sunglasses, and ran on the warm sand. He tiptoed into the water, cautiously as the wave washed his legs.
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Little Rohan was standing by the door with a bag on his shoulders and a hat on his head. He didn’t want to leave the house. “Mom… Do we have to go?”

“Yes, Rohan, we have to,” Rashmi replied as she picked up the car keys.

Rohan dreaded water ever since he almost drowned during one of his swimming classes. From that day onwards, he had developed a fear of water. Swimming pools, water parks, beaches, all used to give him nightmares.

Rashmi knew her son has to face his fears before it becomes worse. But as they drove to the beach, Rohan started making excuses. He opened his bag and pretended to look for something. “Mom, I think I left my sunglasses. Can we go back and get it?”

“Check again,” she pointed at the front chain of the bag.

“Yes, found them,” he looked disappointed.

When they reached, Rashmi found a good spot, opened her beach umbrella, and laid under its shade. Listening to the sound of waves ebbing and flowing, Rashmi felt at ease. “Why don’t you go play? I am right here,” she said.

Rohan looked at Rashmi with pleading eyes. “Mom, do I have to?”

“Yes, Rohan, go,” she smiled.

As the waves receded, he got up, rubbed his eyes and looked back. Her mother was standing up with a worried look on her face.

Rohan took off his shoes, put on his sunglasses, and ran on the warm sand. He tiptoed into the water cautiously as the waves drenched his lower legs. He looked back and waved at his mom, who was getting a tan. She waved back. Thinking the waves were calm, he stepped a little further in.

Suddenly, a big wave came and swept him off his feet. Rohan tried to scream but all in vain. He had swallowed a gulp of seawater. He panicked and tried hard to swim by moving his hands and legs rapidly. Only when his hands touched the sand beneath the water, he realised he was not drowning. He was so scared that he didn’t even realise that the water was only knee-deep.

As the waves receded, he got up, rubbed his eyes and looked back. Her mother was standing up with a worried look on her face.

Rohan enthusiastically ran towards her. He held her warm hands with his cold, wet ones and said, “Mom… come to the water with me. It’s so much fun.” Rashmi was elated. That day at the beach had ushered in a new beginning for her son. One where he was no longer afraid of water.

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