"to Be A Hero, You Only Need To Be Brave For A Very Short Time."

1982. Lake Macquarie. Australia

I am running furiously towards the water. There's a woman in the water, flailing her arms, crying hysterically. It's J.D a woman who's dating a guy in our group.On the beach there are a group of onlookers. Guys.
I am running. I am not thinking. It's feel as if  the entire event is playing out in slow motion. They watch me as I run.The guys are not moving. They are standing rooted to the ground. Stuck. There's a reason they're not moving. There are two reasons I am running.
One is because I didn't stop to think. If I had, I'd also be standing on the beach, stuck.

I hit the water. The rip tide carries me out fast. Within minutes I reach her. She grasps at me, pulling me down. I come up for air. She pulls me down. I come up again. This time I slap her hard in the face.She goes limp. I wrap my arm around her waist and swim behind her, I pull her close to me, to minimize the space between us. More space equals more water. More water equals more struggle. I grasp her hair with my other hand, pulling her head back to keep her face above water. I roll onto my back with JD on top of me I kick desperately with my legs. She feels like dead weight and if don't get her back to the shore, we will both drown.

By this time ,the guys snap into action. They reverse a 4WD up to the shoreline with a rope attached to the towhook. They throw the rope out to me. I catch it and drag her back to the shore. I collapse breathless on the shore. She is coughing up water, crying hysterically.

I have saved her life. She's a single mom with two kids. She's wrapped in a towel now and she's looking at me with an expression of speechless gratitude. I am in shock, confused. I feel humbled.I cannot accept myself as a hero. I suppress any feelings of pride. I go to my tent and lie there. Later I hear the guys talking about what happened. I feel too awkward to leave the tent.

I don't feel heroic. I know I have been cowardly before. I put it down to a moment when I didn't allow myself time to think. I was brave for a very short time. The other guys stopped to think. That's the only difference.

Reason 2 is Sandy. Sandy is an English nurse about 32 years old. Her hair is cropped short. Her body is tan,lithe and perfect, save for the fact that she has tiny breasts. I know this because she's butt naked, and has been since she arrived at the beach. She always does that and she flirts shamelessly. It's fun to watch Sandy from afar. A turn-on actually. Only today Sandy has a different agenda; Me. Today Sandy is going close-up.

 I am lying away from the our friends in a fairly secluded spot. She approaches me and lays her towel close to mine. I am sitting up wearing a speedo that leaves little to the imagination. She drops to her knees pushing her hips forward, her legs slightly parted, to creating an inverted V leading my eye straight up to her fiery, red bush. She is inches from my face.It's as if she's using her charms to compensate for her tiny breasts. And its working. She rubs tanning lotion on her skin and stares at me, challenging me. I think she's decided today is the day. I look around.

There's an elderly couple on the right. I am nervous. Actually terrified. I have never been with a woman of her age, someone so forward,someone determined to have me. We hear a cry from the sea. Sandy, turns her head. She sees what's happening and shouts, "Someone save her!"

Sensing an opportunity to escape. I run. Without thinking.

Later, much later, I think to myself, I could have had Sandy. With a little more courage.

penguinswon penguinswon
4 Responses Jul 26, 2010

If only we could experience "both outcomes" of the choices we face before we commit to a decision!

Hey...great storytelling!!!....think I was there that day....remember seeing a bloke in speedos..... :-)....saving a damsel in distress......

ahhhh, so you were thinking when you got up and ran...running from the pan and into the fire...

Ha! <br />
And I thought you were going to get all serious and contemplative on us!