Beneath the Surface

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They say the truth will set you free. But what if the truth condemns you?

Mia has felt like something is missing from her memory for the past two years. At 16, she was in a freak car accident. After being in a coma briefly, she woke with partial amnesia. The doctors said it was normal and she was likely to regain the memories she was missing.

Over the next few months, her missing memories did start to come back. She could remember the scary accident and even some things she'd rather not remember like getting rejected by her elementary school crush years ago.

Everyone was happy that this bright, beautiful girl was back to her normal self. Aside from a fading scar on her forehead from where she smacked her head, they thought she was as good as new.

But something was still bugging Mia. She had this nagging feeling that she was forgetting something. Mia confided in her family and friends, but no one could ease that feeling that something lurked just beneath the surface. Surely if she could remember every other important and trivial thing then this "memory" she couldn't quite grasp must either be her mind playing tricks on her or something not worth remembering.

"I just can't shake this feeling that there's something I'm supposed to remember," Mia expressed her frustration to her best friends Penny and Alex. Every time she said something like this, Penny and Alex would give each other a look and then assure Mia that it wouldn't help to obsess over it.

At 18, this phantom memory still haunts her, but less frequently. On a hot, August day, Mia and all her friends head to the lake to relax before summer ends. Everyone is swinging from a rope and jumping into the water. Laughter and the sound of water splashing fills the air. Mia takes the thick rope in her hands and walks back so she can get a running start.

"Yeah, Mia!"

"Come on! Show us what you got!"

Her friends cheer her on.

"Here goes nothing!" Mia yells and takes off running.

She squeals as the ground ends beneath her feet and she is swinging over the water. She lets go - the feeling of exhilaration bursting through her. She hits the cold water and images flash through her head. She swims up to the surface, gasping for air.

She glances up at her best friends while treading water. A look of horror on her face. A look of recognition on theirs.

She remembers.


Flailing arms.

Splashing water.


They let a girl drown in this lake two summers ago and vowed to never speak of it again.

The truth - the memory - she longed for to set her free could now condemn her to a life of silent torture.

Knowing what she must do, she climbs out of the water to call the police and free her soul from the burden of secrets and lies.

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