The sound of the ocean is synchronized with the pounding in my chest, and somehow the the coldness of the wind is a small comfort. I can feel my heartbeat in my throat and I lock the whimper in my vocal cords up as the traces from past events and our silent words are drifting away from the shore. Maybe I had forgotten that my promises are bound to be broken and the tide were nearby. Maybe I wanted to believe that I could trust myself for once, for you.
The arms of the ocean are wide open and begging for my embrace. Water was a childhood fear of mine, and partly, it still is, but somewhere along the road I got drawn to it.
I remember the times where you laid in your bed with your eyes closed and I would count your vertebrae with my lips, one after one. You’d smile when I kissed you in your sleep and you’d pull me in closer when my breaths brushed against your neck. There was something about you that I couldn’t put into words; the warmth of your body and the way you’d look at me when I told you that I have never learned how to swim.
I remember the time where you went looking for me in the dead of night because you were afraid that the ocean had tried to carry me away again. Your hair was a mess and you tried to hide the pearls forming in your eyes when you found me, and instead of yelling, you positioned yourself beside me and dabbed the leftovers of my insecurities away from the corner of my lips with the sleeve of your favourite woollen sweater. I could sense the hollow thumps of your heartbeat when your lips embraced mine, and your broken smile tried to hide the fact that you could taste the flaws I had tried to rid myself of.
Even though I still taste those flaws, I never saw you wearing that sweater again.
I feel the azure blue running through my veins and I choke on your echoes. I remember when I tried to get to the shore by myself, and you spent the night with your arms around mine and I pretended that I didn’t feel the tears you tried to hide from me on my shoulder. You told me that it didn’t matter if I could or couldn’t swim, as long as you were with me in the water to keep me safe.
Yesterday I saw you near the shore, with the wind carrying your golden locks and your lips tucked deep into the layers of the scarf I gave you on your birthday. Your eyes were more grey than blue, and I felt something sink in my chest when the water swallowed your callings of my name. The following hours were spent on watching you from afar, watching your head turn and your lips quivering. I could still sense those hollow thumps of your heartbeats; I guess the tide never took them away from you.
It’s been one year and forty-two days since the last time our bodies entwined and our minds tore apart. Maybe you wanted to see if I had tried to learn how to swim on my own by now.
Maybe you were ready to teach me how to swim with you.