Read Part I here.
By Bettyann Moore
Resigned, peaceful even, Rhonda got ready to take in that fateful last breath. Something, though, was fighting against the powerful tow at her feet; her head hurt almost as much as her lungs did.
The next thing she was aware of were brown, concerned faces staring down at her. Her scalp hurt, but she couldn’t think why. Babbling voices assailed her. In the periphery of her vision a large, blond woman swathed in purple came clear.
“Oh my God,” she was saying, “he saved you! I never saw such … oh my God, thank God you had long hair! A second more … ”
The story came out as Rhonda lay there literally catching her breath. One of the skinny young men closest to her had seen her go under, but didn’t see her come back up. He reached for her outstretched arm, but battered by the ever-larger waves, he missed, once, twice, three times. Finally, he saw the bright red hair receding beneath him and snatched at it, grabbing enough to pull against the strong undertow.