We were at a family gathering of some sort. I was seven at the time, and I was the third or fourth oldest of all of us cousins. We were playing in the lake, grabbing the clay from the lake bottom and wiping it on ourselves like war paint. We were having a good time, laughing and splashing each other. My cousin Jeremy was to my left, my sister Katie to my right. Coye and Jasmine in front of me, Stephanie by them too.
I don't remember who's ideas it was, but we decided to try seeing who could hold their breath under the water the longest. I wasn't super comfortable with the idea but I felt that we would all be safe, we were in shallow water and we only had to stand up to breath air again. Before we started though, I saw Samantha. She was standing at the beach, she was calling me, asking me to come play with her.
I would give anything to go back and change my answer. I would give up my ability to run, I would give up my sight. I would have given anything to go back and say, ok I will play with you. Instead I told her to go back to the camp and I would go play with her as soon as I finished the competition with the others. She turned, and walked away down the beach. I turned back to the others, and we had our game. I don't really remember the results of the game, but what I remember next was someone standing up on the beach, calling to us asking if we had seen Samantha. I told her that I sent her back to camp and that I would play with her in a little bit.
She told us that no one had seen Sammy for a while. She didn't go back to camp like I had said for her to do. No one knew where she was, and she was only four years old.