I walk across the beach, the warm sand sifting beneath my feet. The soles of my feet burn as each sun-tinted grain touches my skin. I curl up my feet, feeling the sand between each of my toes. I take a deep breath of the salty air and look up toward the sun, closing my eyes, letting the sun’s rays wash over my skin.
(Photo Credit: atlantisbahamas.com)
I walk toward the water, the sand growing cooler and spongier under my feet. I stop, letting my feet sink into the wet sand. I relax and let my weight fall, seeing how far down I can go.
I take another step forward and dip my big toe in the water. The salt is tingly on my skin, and I ease my foot in. The water is cold, but refreshing. I take another step. I ease in to my ankles, then my knees, then my waist. I stand in the water, feeling the current course throughout my body.
I take another step. The water is up to my neck. The waves crash over me, pushing me down. I am completely submerged. I try to swim to the surface, but I can’t tell which way is up. The water is colder now, too cold, and the salt is stinging my skin. I am tossed around as the violent, churning water surrounds me. My eyes burn as I search for light.
I am caught in a vortex of water, spinning around and around, unable to break free. The waves are choppy and the water is cold – the warm, soft sand only a memory from the past. Seconds feel like minutes as I continue to struggle against the water that holds me prisoner. The once clear, gentle, welcoming water has turned dark and cold. It pulls me toward its depths, holding me tight in its grasp.
(Photo Credit: brigadewakesurfing.com)
I am starting to run out of air. Lights flicker behind my eyelids as my lungs flutter from deprivation. I can’t breathe – I am being suffocated. I toss and turn as the water pulls me down, down, deeper, deeper.
I can just make out the bottom in the distance – a faint line of dark, jagged rocks. I am afraid of striking them, and I struggle even harder. I can see a light now, but I don’t know where it’s from. It could be the surface, or the light dancing behind my eyes. The light flickers, taunting me. Still bound by the waves, I struggle to move toward it. I’m afraid to get too close. I don’t know what the light means. I don’t know if it’s coming from the surface, or if it’s something far worse – I don’t want to go the wrong way.
I am beginning to lose consciousness. My vision is going blurry, the edges are starting to go dark. The waves are enveloping me, suffocating me, before I have time to choose. I have no strength left, and no more power to fight.
I force my eyes open and struggle to remove myself from the water’s grasp. I can’t move. The waves control me, pulling me down, down, down. I hit the rocks and the light is gone. I couldn’t decide.