A Broken Promise (500 Words)

We need a bigger boat!!

“Let’s take a boat ride to the Na Pali Coast,” he said. Uncle was arranging the activities for the family reunion and wanted us to experience the exciting escapades that the tourists enjoy. When we heard ‘boat,’ we thought the watercraft would be bigger. The boat was really a Zodiac—the same one the Navy Seals use. These watercrafts can reach speeds of 50+ miles. That’s what the safety video ‘boasted.’

Pumped up on Dramamine and adrenaline our ten-party crew of adventurers, boarded at the Zodiac at sunrise. Our intrepid Ohana spanned three generations, ranging from the ages of 6 to 68. A born and raised Kauai Girl, this is the first time I’ve ever seen the Garden island from the ocean. Surrounded by the majestic beauty of Kauai and wrapped in the company and love of my family, there were a couple times on the ocean that tears of joy filled my eyes. It was truly a magical experience until we stopped.

When I agreed to take the boat tour to the Na Pali Coast, I PROMISED myself I would not jump into the deep water. I can swim very well. You don’t grow up on Kauai without learning to be water worthy. But I have a fear of sharks and deep water. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I can’t even watch Shark Week without getting the heebie-jeebies and pulling my feet up on the couch, just in case!

Before the trip, I even had a nightmare about jumping in the water. I couldn’t move my legs to get back in the boat.  Floating helplessly, I could feel something moving below me, but I couldn’t see what it was.  Insert JAWS music here! I woke up in a cold sweat. I promised myself again that I would remain ON the boat at ALL times.

Then we arrived at the jump-off spot. Maybe it was the Dramamine. More likely it was that my cousins were doing it. I’m the oldest so darn right I’m going to do it, too. Everything is a competition in our family! I switch the JAWS music in my head to an Eminem anthem. I didn’t choose the music; it chose me. With the words of Marshall Mathers in my head and my heart pumping 100+ beats a minute, I move to the bow.

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment…

You own it, you better never let it go…

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow…

This opportunity comes once in a lifetime!!

I position myself on the bow, stand up on shaky legs, take a deep breath, and dive in. Splash! The second I hit the deep water I’m looking for the ladder, not frantically but I’m not lingering either. Didn’t realize I could swim that fast. I DID IT!! I conquered one of my deepest fears (no pun intended).  I just needed to break a promise to myself first.

Talk story

  1. Bamboo Buckaroo says:

    Dawn, aloha. Those larger gaps, the ones that look almost like tabs between some of the sentences, are those intentional?

  2. Dawn Ellen Kim says:

    Hi Bamboo Buckaroo, thanks for checking. I do have spaces between the lines of the song. They could also work like this if needed:

    You better lose yourself in the music, the moment…You own it, you better never let it go…You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow…This opportunity comes once in a lifetime!!

    I hope that answers the question. Thanks!

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