'If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?' is a philosophical thought which always amused her. She knew she screamed as she sailed through the air. It wasn't audible to her. Free fall. Into what? Thrown into the abyss to get to what? The tunnel spewed her out. Whoosh! A welcoming warm water engulfed her. Swimming pool? 'Is this the end? Am I drowning?' Panic-stricken, she frantically tried to wriggle free standing upright. The reverberation she created in the water stuck with her long after she steadied herself. Constricted expression on her face must have alarmed the lifeguard. She saw the concern by the way he leaned forward. At first, she wasn't able to make out the words he uttered. Still dazed, she regarded him blankly
What just happened? Is she the same person? Did some part of her oozed out in a strange shape or form? Did she put herself in danger? Water park is playing tricks on her. Did she go too far putting herself out there for the day? Is her sister a bad influence on her? Hardly. They were both carried away connected to the inner child within thanks to the sparkling water accentuated by the wonderful weather. She couldn't determine if this move compared to things she had done in her life. No, nothing came close.
The lifeguard asked if she needed help. Sorting turmoil inside, yes, help would be nice. She would have loved to make sense of this intense feeling overpowering. Shaking her head, she looked at the water in bewilderment. She wished there's a revelation of some kind. The man directed her towards the exit. Precariously, she made her way slowly moving, pushing the water with her body. 'I bet the ones who swim find it easy to be in the rhythm of swimming when water touches them. Life changing leap is bound to open doors. Maybe acquaint her with taking a dip in the water? It will aid her to conquer aquaphobia.
Her sister. She spun around. The lifeguard frowned inquiringly. 'My sister! I have to wait for her. She should be here any minute now.' She pointed upwards to the mouth of the Ziggurat. 'You need to clear out of this area to give your sister safe landing. You may stand over there'. She positioned herself for the wait hoping for her sister to take the plunge. Will she? Will she not? They were nudging each other saying, 'you go first.' 'No, you.' 'Let me see how you do it and I follow.' 'No, you have seen how it is done. Just do it.' When the instructor at the entrance of the slide beckoned though, she stepped forward.
He explained the routine. As she listened, she looked at the tube which would carry her forward: 'get on the tube, lie down while holding the handlebar, cross your legs, hold the handlebar tight, cross one arm, push yourself with the other, cross the other and make sure your elbows are tucked in.' Did she look anything like the men who did it before her? What kind of strange noise came out of her throat? In the meantime, she watched the lifeguard as he progressed to giving thumbs up to the instructor who sent her to what seemed a bottomless pit. She smiled weakly relaxed claiming her wits back. Would it have helped if they knew about the ins and outs of the place prior to their arrival at Dubai Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark.
Leap of faith indeed! Disarming inhibitions. What was the tipping point which drew them to the plunge? How did they end up here? She tried to remember. The descent. How long has it been? Things unfolded so fast. Infectious excitement emanating from glistening bodies all around emboldened both of them. The place was pure melting pot. At this water park, one adventure after the other was intoxicating. She knew this one to be different whey they were asked to put the double tube they carried.
Lazy River and The Current! Exhilarating water rides laying back on double tube holding on to the handles their legs dangling in the water! The sisters squealed ecstatic floating over twists and turns! Electrifying adrenaline surged every now and then as they rode through the dark tunnels. Elevated levels of excitement gained momentum, their hearts soaring higher and higher. Bubbling continuously, dripping wet in their swimsuits, joined the single file of men and few women at the gate of the unknown.
The discussion floating around caught their attention. Men guffawing exchanging outrageous reactions they heard. It wasn't this but the strangled noise coming out whenever the instructor sent a person down what looked like an ordinary slide made both pee on themselves every now and then. No, they were unabashed. They held on to each other giggling nervously leaving the queue to confide. 'I just peed!' 'I did, too!' No trace of backing out detected. They were hooked. The hidden emotions of the sisters unleashed surprising as well as delighting them.
A sudden drop in the water jolted her back to present. It was her sister flailing about in a comical way. It was obvious the experience had shaken her. The expression spoke volumes. 'I looked like that!' exclaiming to herself. She can afford to witness what she went through some time ago all over again. Her sister acted in the exact same way. Amazing. The lifeguard approached to give a hand. He must have been puzzled. Two non-swimmers hitting the pool unceremoniously. No worry though. The sister managed to get out of the water by herself.
They looked at each other with fresh eyes. Sisters: one from their hometown on a month's visit narrowing the eight years gap with her carefree ways. The other is a resident of Abu Dhabi leading a quiet life raising two sons with her husband. An extraordinary journey they shared for the day. Lasting impression it will have for the rest of their lives. The laughter of happiness rang out in unison. Words surpassed to display the shift the leap provided. Hugging, they savored the therapeutic experience.