bare feet beat against the maui grass, past tiki torches and hundred-year-old palms, matching the pitter-patter of raindrops falling against unruly hair gathered into a loose braid. I stand before the rolling waves, stare at the other two never-ending islands cloaked with grey sea-foam in the sky. between waves washing on sand and tips of rocks peeking up from the water, I see the ghost of footprints dashing across soft white sand. shadows of a familiar dancing girl sing with the whales. she jumps into the water; doesn’t even make a splash. she smiles back at me through reflections on crashing waves. turtles swim with her in circles resting their heads on her shoulder. she’s safe at sea, free from burdens. but she grows tired, gasps for breath that she never knew she was lacking. her hand reaches out to me, panicked eyes stare into mine, body slams against an invisible glass cage. I lean forward to touch misty fingertips. she clings onto me and emerges older, long hair unraveling to hang straight at her waist. a phantom voice calls to her and in a moment she’s gone. the beach is empty again and flickering city lights in the distance are the only clues I have. I smile and tiptoe away from the foreign memories.
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