When I was seven years old, I nearly drowned in a pond at El Dorado Park. There was a crowd of people crossing over the bridge during Chinese New Year's. Next thing I knew, I was in the pond for what seemed like a really long time, half-floating, half-flailing in all that murky darkness, the water churning in my ears like jello. I'm not sure if anyone jumped in to save me; I don't think anyone did. One moment I was in, the next I was sitting on the red brick walkway, my older sister hovering over me, arms folded (or unfolded, I'm not sure) and saying very softly - what I thought she had said at first - " Dry your clothes."
I had a thin, blue smock on and was bundling up the edges and wringing the water out when she said it again.
" What?" I said.
" I won't tell," she said.
I believe that I knew what she meant at the time because I had shrugged my shoulders. But as time ages, so does our brain receptacles, and the both of us - my sister and I - can no longer recall just what had really taken place on that bridge over the pond.
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