Trudging through the waves. Lifting numb limbs from the sands. With the aim to leave behind the person he was before he makes it to the treeline.
His fingers dig into the sand that spills away from his hands. He claws at a hidden rock but the silt sweeps away and pulls his handhold from under his palm.
They want him to sink back into the depth.
Coral scrapes at his ankles and shins as punishment for leaving home, and an urchin desperately threatens him to move another step.
His limbs are numb and he can't feel the chill that waits for him in the morning horizon. His mop of dark hair clings to his neck and forehead as they break the surface, frightened and seeking comfort. Dripping locks dangle on lifelines before his eyes.
The full height of his body greets the atmosphere, clouds of breath floating like bubbles of air escaping.
His skin recoils and shudders at the foreign exposure, having shed his original layer during the riptide. He remembers the skin tearing silently as the ocean's hurricane howled around him.
Absently, he brushes off the leeching seaweed and thick swatches of kelp that tether him to the ocean floor at the sight of the edge of water. The wall of green flora dispels childhood fear for excitement.
Urging his muscles back to life, he treads through the sea with a renewed vigor, fighting the heavy tides until they are just light, helpless laps around his heels.