The Pull

I was washed away by the waves.

Washed clean and away.

The salt stung the sunburn across my shoulders.

The water was biting, a cold just south of comfortable despite the hot, hot day.

I had been wading, shallow, only up to my knees,

But the current was strong, pulling and tugging and forming a sink hole of sand around my toes.

It pulled me down, under.

To be part of the ocean but never one with it. It is too vast, too above it all (while below).

My face went under and my eyes squeezed shut too late.

The salt stung and scratched.

Kelp brushed my arm and I grabbed it, the oily skin clutched between my fingers, bending to my will.

I heard shouts from the shore as my head broke the surface.

I managed to plant my feet, rush forward slowly, my sprint held back in water like running through molasses.

A second wave, as large as the first came and I braced.

I did not go under.

I made my way to the shore, the pull of water up to my thighs now, then my knees, then my ankles.

The kelp still clutched between my fingers.

The sand was warm between my toes, sun kissed and a jarring juxtaposition to the cold water.

I broke free and sat down on the sand with a deep breathe, close enough to the shoreline to still feel the waves brush my feet like reaching fingers.

My friends rush to me, speaking hurriedly and panicked but I tune them out.

It seemed even the ocean would not fight to keep me

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