“Mommy?” Krista rocked back and forth on her knees impatiently.
“Yes darling?” Amelia sighed, setting aside a stack of papers. The six year old Krista was as full of energy as ever, and she couldn’t ever seem to keep up.
“I’m going to dive to the bottom of the ocean.” Krista stood up and plugged her nose, smiling wide.
“Oh, are you now?” Amelia smiled, twirling her pen around her fingers.
“Yes. Um…” She fidgeted with her hair a little, “My train leaves in two minutes.”
“Oh, alright then.” Amelia laughed. “You have fun, then.”
“I will!” Krista zipped off into the other room.
“Mooooooom!” Krista’s voice ripped through the house like a hurricane.
“What is it dear?” Amelia threw the laundry into the washer and slammed the door.
“I never really went to the bottom of the ocean, did I?” Krista’s eyes had seen ten years of life and they were already getting weary.
Amelia forced a smile, “Of course you did honey. You believed you did, didn’t you?”
“Well, yeah…” Krista shuffled her bare feet around on the carpet.
“Then you did!” Amelia forced a smile, “Come help me with the laundry.”
“Mum, I need to talk to you.” Krista climbed through the window of the office quietly.
“Yes, sweetie?” Amelia pushed her work aside.
“I didn’t really go diving, did I? I really want to go.” Krista, this time was at least fourteen and ever curious.
“Maybe not.” Amelia sighed. “I know, let’s go to the beach this week, then you can go diving, okay?” Amelia winked at her.
“Hm… Alright.” Krista smiled and hugged her mom.
Five years later, the nineteen year old Krista stood at the edge of the crystal clear water. Her diving instructor was running last minute preparations through, but all she could see was the glimmer of the sun between the waves.
All the countless lessons in a pool.
The imaginary diving adventures.
None of it could have compared to this.
As she pushed into the depths, she saw the light fading away above her. It felt somewhat like dying, but peaceful.
As she passed by the colorful arrays of fish, and she gave an “okay” signal to her instructor, her feet fluttered on. Before she realized it, she was touching the bottom of the reef. Looking up, she smiled.
“I made it, mom. You did all you could to get me here, but I had to do it myself in the end.” She kicked off and as she broke the surface, she’d never felt so alive.
Later in the day, as she finished off her letter, she wrote on the envelope, “There’s nothing like the real thing, Mom. You have to see it yourself.”