The water felt tight against my skin, as if it was trying to squeeze me smaller and smaller as I swam further into its gentle course.

I curled my body around with each wave, letting the soft bubbles of air leave my nose in a single stream. They looked like musical notes dancing into the distance. A long symphony of my troubles and cares drifting away until they reached the surface and popped, one by one.

The water was the only place where my head was clear. There’s nothing to think about but the curves and curls of each surge. You know where you stand. You’re either sinking or you’re swimming.

Floating is a state of mind when you’re in the water.

I glanced at the gritty seabed as I glided across the rocks, reaching out my hand to touch the tips of each peak like a blessing. I’d passed these rocks religiously for the last nine months, mapping the way to the cove by memorising the height of the humps and the shade of the algae.

I’d got lost a few times in my attempt to navigate, scraping my stomach against the rock and swirling backwards into a whirlpool of salty seawater. The water was unkind to the naïve. I’d learnt the hard way. And I had the silken scars to prove it.

I drifted along the bed, tracing a finger in the sand and leaving delicate wafts of grainy water in my shadow.

I thought about all the times I’d reached another coast. Or found myself back at the very same beach I’d left hours before. The stars tricked me or the clouds left the sky an indecipherable smudge. Rocks merged into boulders and waves would spin me away from my course.

The ground suddenly inclined steeply and I let the current sweep me upwards and away from the sand. Thrusting myself towards the surface, I spread my fingers out and let the floating seaweed catch and coil around my wrists.

The water bubbled as I surfaced, and a gasp escaped my throat the second oxygen hit my lips.

Opening my eyes to the blinding rays glittering on the water, I started towards the cove.

My tail had got me here. At last.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Rosy is a creative writer starting to pull all the stories in her head out and into a collection. She’s inspired by simple images and single moments.

@RosyWrites x