The cold air bites at her cheeks.  She looks out at the grey waters in front of her, rippling and swelling. So inviting.

Her body had grown weary from the land.  The past constantly pulling her to become one with the earth.  She had been tempted to fall, to give in to her mistakes and be absorbed by them, but she hadn’t.  She was strength.  A fierce determination led her to the sea and her limbs refused to fail her.  At the sand’s edge she’d taken off her shoes, wanting to feel every grain under her sore feet. She made her way to the waterfront leaving a trail of small footsteps that would be lost to the wind by nightfall. She stood at the edge of the water, watching as it brought lines of foam to her feet.

She sees a school of fish dart through the surf.  Surprise overtakes her as a warm tear rolls down her cheek, leaving a clean streak on her worn face. She realizes that she hadn’t cried for years. She smiles.  She wasn’t perfect; she was a body of scars. But she wasn’t beautiful because she was unbroken; she was beautiful because she refused to stay broken.  She steps into the surf and is shocked by the brilliant cold.  She feels clean. 

She stripped off her heavy coat and left it on the sand.  The further she made it into the water, the more her clothes seemed to melt off. She screamed as she collapsed into the waves.  She felt alive as the water rushed over her and ran through her hair.  She stood, looked back at the land, and then looked out towards the endless horizon.

She swims.