Not Afraid to Swim – A Fable About A Woman Brave Enough to Move On.

A beautiful young woman accompanied a handsome man on an unpredictable yet beautiful journey. They stopped at a cliff overlooking the sea and spent a few afternoons enjoying small picnics of a piece of bread and cheese. One morning, they held hands, looked at each other, and promised to jump off the cliff on the count of three. They both closed their eyes. As she tried to jump into the sea, she felt the weight of his hand yanking her back down.

He bluffed.

He convinced her that it was a bad idea and that it was better to just stay and enjoy another picnic. He warned her that there could be sharks, rocks, and hard waves out there. When she looked out, things seemed to be fine but she doubted herself. She thought that perhaps he was right and turned her back on her own judgment.  She didn’t want to betray his trust or be a bad friend either. So, she stayed and endured another picnic with her friend.

She was beginning to get bored of the same thing every day and knew there was more out there for them to explore. Some days, she made more attempts to convince her friend to jump with her. She even sat at the edge and turned around to see if he would get up, but he wouldn’t budge. He remained true to his reasons, but every day, it became more and more apparent that his fears were irrational, maybe even intentional lies.

One morning, at the break of dawn, she realized that she was done with the small picnic under the sun. She wanted to see what was beyond the cliff but she would have to do it without him. She had to leave her friend behind and hope he could build up the will to follow her. There was simply nothing left to see. So, she got up and slowly walked to the edge.

Then, she closed her eyes, inhaled, and on the count of three, she jumped.

She felt herself crash into the cold water as it engulfed her body and filled her nostrils. She quickly lifted her head and wiped her hair to both sides of her face to regain her breath. It was shocking at first and she was very uncertain. She felt strange plants and sea life touching her legs. She questioned her ability to swim against a body of water long enough to reach land. She immediately began to regret her decision and thought she was better off on the cliff. But through her fear, she kept swimming.

As the sun rose, she looked under water and did not see any sharks. Instead, she saw some cute fish and pretty coral. She realized the water was safe and there were even shallow pools to rest in and tiny beaches with coconut and banana trees.

Whenever she rested on a beach, she wished her friend was with her but she hated the small picnic with the same bread and cheese every day. She reminded herself that it was easy for him to find her.

As she kept going, she started to meet other swimmers that eventually became her friends and they made their own picnics. Some brought watermelon, some brought bananas, some brought pineapple, and others brought mangos. They began to laugh and share stories about their own journeys. Many of them had left old friends behind but were happy to have met each other. They all continued to enjoy a beautiful feast on the soft sand and she didn’t miss the bread and the cheese anymore.

She knew he might wonder where she went but it did not motivate her to return. If he wanted her, he had to jump off the cliff and find her.

 

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