Maren was so glad to be back at Vagabond Pond. It was the place where she and her parents spent two weeks every summer. It was the place where misfortune had occurred that had changed her life forever.
Maren ran to the board walk as soon as she had gotten out of the car. She ran like the wind down to the edge of the water where the tragedy had occurred.
It had happened several years ago when Maren was six. She and her friend, Cici, had been down by the water. Cici took swimming lessons in the city and was able to swim like a fish. Maren on the other hand was afraid of the water and would not even wade in it.
Maren would watch as Cici dove into the clean cool water and begin her swim. Maren walked along side of Cici as she proceeded along the shoreline. Their parents lounged close by the pond, chatting and laughing.
“Why won’t you try to learn to swim, Maren? We could have such fun,” Cici asked.
“I am afraid of the water. It scares me.” I confided to her.
“You take baths, don’t you?” she taunted me.
I replied, “Yes, but that is different.”
I turned to look in my parents direction and before I knew it Cici was coughing and thrashing the water frantically. I ran to my parents and told them to come help Cici. I was shaking so hard I had to sit down.
Cici was gone before they could get to her. Everyone was frantic. That scene will never be removed from my memory. If only I had known how to swim and could have saved Cici.
Each summer when we got to Vagabond Pond, I would run down to the exact place where the incident had occurred. It’s like I was hoping so much that Cici was there and was okay. Every summer I was disappointed.
Mom and Dad were coming down the walkway towards me.
“Maren, will you ever quit looking for Cici?” my mother asked me.
“No, I will never give up the hope that it didn’t happen and that she is all right,” I replied.
“We got you a new doll just like it. What’s wrong with the new doll? Why don’t you drag it through the water on a rope like you did with Cici?”
I looked up in horror, “It’s not Cici.”
This is Addi's first doll, Cici. When Addi opened the christmas package, she exclaimed, "See, see!" And so we named her Cici.
This story is for Lauri. Sorry I could not save the original photo for this story. Perhaps you can fill it in.