One at a time, we climb down the stairs hanging off the side of the big blue truck in
which we have been curving around the island for the past hour. We walk over a
grass-covered dune and onto a beach of white sand. Our instructors tell us that we
cannot swim here, the waves are too strong. We can wade, but no swimming.
Rachel and Felissa run by me, stripping to bathing suits and bare feet; their brown and
blonde hair trails in the wind. They splash into the ocean. Others follow. It isn’t long
before they fall into the waves.
When I venture into the ocean’s grasp it pulls me out towards the depths with stifling
power then crashes me back to the shore. And again and again before I can escape its
fist. Water rushes into my mouth, the salt stinging as it scours through my nose.
Sprawled on hard, dry sand.
The roaring ocean
will not take me.