The boy stands there with pants rolled up, standing thigh-deep in the ocean. He's been there for an hour now, watching the waves come in around him.
It's almost sunset. Colors will be here soon, making this, beautiful, maybe even romantic. But he's always left too soon. And he's gonna miss the moment again today.
Bending over from the waist, he ducks his head under the water. The coldness snaps at him. If his mouth was open, he would have gasped, and sucked the green-gray salt-water into himself. Instead he throws his head back up, and water droplets fly chaoticaly from him. Salt's on his lips, making him thirsty and it stings his eyes. Maybe he cries.
But once again he's awake again, and he's gonna try to make it for another week. He'll be back here in seven days, repeating this little ceremony, communing with the ocean. Watching it being deep, dark, and powerful. He'll spend the other six days trying to be like that himself.
He turns to go, back to his car, his life, his friends and their troubles. All the little grains that he has to smooth out. The troubles he has to wash away. He does not understand that they add up. That they pull him down.
As he starts to wade back to the shore. His clothes, now soaked, cling to his frame and expose how skinny he is. This game, this life, its been wearing at him. Beating him dow. But he says he can take it. He says he's like the ocean. He believes he's deep, he's powerful, and these days, he's certainly dark.
He never sees it coming.
The wave, formed behind him, is bigger than most. It catches him completely unawares. It a second it crushes him. He hits the bottom hard, imprinting on the sand. Air bubbles pop up from him. He pushes up with his arm, but something has his feet. Then the wave's flowing back to the ocean, and its taking him with him. He tries to stroke once, twice, but it's no pointless. He's been beaten.
Above him, the surface of the sea doesn't change at all.
In the parking lot, His jeep sits locked. Waiting for the park police to find it. Inside, his cell phone rings. It might be someone calling to check on him. In front of the car is the path leading to the beach and the treacherous surf. To the left of the path, the yellow diamond warns: