I Didn't Fall

She swam in darkness so thick she could barely breathe. It surrounded her, seeping between her bare toes, sliding beneath her fingernails. It separated each strand of hair, stained the blonde tendrils like ink. This place had no beginning and no end. She struggled for peace. She knew she deserved this, had earned her place. Still, a part of her yearned for escape…

Warm, wet sand beneath her; the sun hot on her bare skin. She caught a glimpse of blue sky and the worried hazel eyes of the man who held her before she rolled over and vomited.

Strong arms held her. Callused hands stroked tangled hair. She pulled away and glared at him.
“Why didn’t you let me die? Her words came out as a scratchy whisper.

“I saw you fall. I had to help.â€? His voice was deep and soft like velvet.

“I didn’t fall.â€? She hugged herself as coughs wracked her. The coughing turned into a dry heave. Through it, she managed to say, “I jumped.â€? Her knees made deep groves in the dark sand. The tide was going out.

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