By C.E. Pereira
Chapter 4 – Liza almost drowns
LIZA was always lost in her own little world. Being alone while her brothers were at school Liza was bored. So, Liza made up imaginary friends that became more real than what was happening in the present.
Then came the day when Liza was about four-years-old, she nearly drowned. It was bath-time and her Mummy had filled the baby tub with water. Liza was always happy during bath-time. She got to take her toys into the tub and splash around while her Mummy gave her a bath.
Mummy never scolded her when she splashed water over the sides of the tub. That day while Mummy was giving Liza a bath, Daddy called Mummy away. Mummy took Liza’s face in both hands to make sure that Liza was paying attention to what she was going to tell her.
“Liza. Liza. Look at Mummy”, said Mummy.
Liza looked up into her Mummy’s eyes and gave a cheeky grin.
“Mummy is going to see what Daddy wants.”
“You sit in you little tub and play with you toys. Okay, Liza?”
Liza turned her attention back to playing with her toys in the little tub. But being a child she got bored pretty fast. Still no sign of Mummy. So little Liza stood up and placed one of her toy on the ledge of the water tank.
These old colonial houses had water tanks made of cement in the bathroom. To little Liza the water tank was huge, reaching up to her eyes. The tap was turned on to fill up the tank.
Then, accidentally Liza knocked her toy into the big water tank. Standing on tip-toe she tried to look into the tank. Feeling anxious for her toy, she climbed onto the ledge of her little tub to peer into the tank. Her toy was at the bottom covered by about twelve inches of water.
Leaning over the edge Liza put her hand into the tank, trying to reach for her toy. It was an accident waiting to happen. She lost her balance and fell into the tank landing on her back.
Liza started to panic when she couldn’t get up. Each time she tried she slipped back under the water. She’d try again, her face going above the water, she’d gulped in air then slip again under the water.
Liza kept on trying and that was what kept her from drowning. Whenever her head was above water she managed to take in little oxygen. But she was getting tired, her arms and legs were beginning to weaken from all the trashing about and slipping.
Liza’s Mummy and Daddy suddenly felt that something was amiss. It was too quiet.
They couldn’t hear Liza talking to her imaginary friends. Both of them made a dash to the bath room. Mummy panicked when she saw the little tub empty. She heard the splashing inside the water tank. Daddy too heard the splashing, he leaned over the edge and pulled out his little girl.
Liza was gasping and clinging onto her Daddy in a strong grip. When her breathing was easier, Liza started to bawl and hiccup at the same time. It took a long time for her parents to calm the little one and themselves too.
Liza will never forget the terror of almost drowning. Till today, she is afraid of huge water tanks, even swimming pools. But surprisingly, she is not afraid of the ocean. She panics when water gets into her eyes or nose. She will never stand under the shower with her face upwards.
It could have been a tragic ending but Liza’s Guardian Angels were there protecting their little charge. Years from when this happened Liza will tell you her Guardian Angels were there that day, she is sure of that.
Cont: Chapter 5