My Sister's Story

My sister's story

It was the beginning of the summer holiday. As summers are very hot in Romania, our parents decided to spend the first part of our vacation on our aunt's farm which was located on the Danube, a remote area where one can rarely meet other people.

I remember fondly how much we loved boating and listening to the cheerful peeping of birds in the forest. I remember the weeping willow trees behind the house, the sweet and juicy berries that were hard to pluck because of the stinging nettles all around, the joy of ducks that were fishing on the beautiful Danube every morning, the enchanting evenings with the moon, and also about the buzzing and angry mosquitoes.

It was Saturday morning. My aunt and uncle along with my father went out to buy necessary things for the following week while my sister, my mother and I left the farm. My mother started to cook, and we played and enjoyed the tranquility of nature and the fresh air.

The sun was scorching and the whispers of Danube were so inviting that we could not resist trying our swimming skills. Our mother, who did not know how to swim, gave us her permission to wallow, but with the condition to stay on shore. At that time I was only twelve, my sister, Mihaela, four years older than me. She decided to ignore my mother’s words and go for a swim a bit deeper into the river.   She was less than a meter away from me when suddenly she was pulled down by the currents in the Danube. She looked like a feather in the wind, as she was desperately trying to get back to me, asking for help but she knew very well that there was little hope. I remember with horror how painfully my mouth was clenched; I could not make a sound, not even to shout for help. I also remember my mother throwing herself in the water forgetting that she could not swim, fighting the waves and howling like a tigress. "Help! Heelp! Heeeelp!” - the echo of her scream was returning in our ears like a boomerang....