Both walking along the beach, minding our own paths, stopping to examine the various stones and shells that our toes dosey doe’d with when whirls of saltwater nudged them over cooling sand. We occasionally crossed paths, and often complimented one another’s finds, exchanging cautious glances through the wind and spray, through sun and fog. Always laughing.
The laughter remained, and the brief gazes rested a little longer, until they became soft murmurs. Like in the twisted dome shells we sometimes found together, there was an echo between us, a hushed pulse that sang to itself.
After days of ankling through the shallows, we waded into the water, anticipating goose bumps whatever the temperature. Suddenly no longer bound to our footprints in the sand, we rode one perfect wave after another, rolling through each one until we found ourselves on the other side of a powerful crest, in a relative calm. We took it in, holding each other there in the deep, unsure of what to do next. Letting ourselves drift through sunbeams and bobbing tangles of seaweed, I held you close and laughed off the slime. You kissed my hand and let go, submerging yourself. I followed suit, and, head under, I felt myself swerve and twist through the rush of green and blue light that cradled and pushed me from all sides. I let my ears hear the roar of one world and the peace of another’s absence.
Popping back up with a grin, I saw you were suddenly across a distance, closer to the shore. You waved, but you were no longer laughing. I started back towards you, when a current suddenly drew me sideways. It was stronger than I expected, and I heard a murky shout. When I came back up I had to spin around to find you again. You had turned away from me, and were practically to shore. I could not see your face. I would have to ride the wide way back.