Wide open

I can’t say it was a pretty day. It was cloudy and cold on the beach; the water seemed to be turning to a hard turquoise green.

I stepped forward; Now 16, no life, no future, no nothing. The school uniform trousers got soaked, I decided to let go off my shoes and just let the ocean have them as an entry, It would swallow me for dinner soon enough.

I stepped ahead, the water now above my waist, soaking up the shirt, the tie and the blazer… I was used to this. Every Wednesday we got out early I came here, to this spot by the beach, just to not think.

I gave one last exhale and submerged. I pictured the landscape above the water, so desolate. The foamy water had now devoured every inch of me.  I had left no traces, nothing… Nothing would draw someone’s attention if they passed by. It was just a boring empty rocky plane beach now.

Underwater I decided to do it fast, in one swift motion, and just inhale as much as could. It would be painful… but I was not concerned about it. I was then out of myself.  I decided to open my eyes before I committed to it entirely, the ocean water roaring in my ears, smuggling any other sound. I opened my eyes, expecting it to sting as the salty liquid entered my eyes… But it didn’t.

I stared in to the infinite dark in front of me, unsettlingly dark.

Had I done it and failed to notice? had it been that quick? I realized that I was still underwater but the ocean had somehow stopped moving, I could hear it still, in the distance, much as if it was moving on the other side of a wall or across the hall instead of all around me.
I swam deeper; the water seemed to be so clam, only a small cold current I could perceive if i stood still. Slowly, the black water became tinted with blue and green, there was light coming. I started to feel the need to gasp for air, but the curiosity that filled me to know why ocean was now feeling like it did got the best of me.

I’m a good swimmer, I have done so my whole life, living only a few miles away. No one would think it was just an accident. Specially in a calm weather like today’s and particularly when the water had been this calm and silent.

I kept swimming… deeper and further away from shore; and then I saw it; Gleaming in the dark as if the water had allowed light in only to illuminate it. I saw it clearly ahead, lying on the sand, its hair waiving hypnotically, its eyes wide open and blank, its mouth partially shut as if about to say something. It didn’t look quite dead, except for the peeling flesh slowly coming off in the depths.

Against my better instincts, I got near… I had found many things below, shells, shoes, even a water resistant watch. And like another trinket, and suspecting i had indeed been sent to the depths of hell, I reached out to the bodiless head and grabbed it by the scalp.

Then out of nowhere, I felt a tug on my shirt from behind my neck, it dragged me up, and I was pulled out of the water.