"I've got your hand, go ahead," he said. I wasn't so sure. The water was clear but still the waves were coming. I moved into the ocean further, until the water was at my hips and then receding. It wasn't a particularly warm day and my exposed skin was prickling up. Our clothes were back on the beach by the tangles of dead seaweed. We wouldn't be needing them anymore.
"Come on, don't be afraid."
"I'm not afraid," I said.
"Yes you are," he smiled that jagged charming smile of his and I smiled back. Yes I was afraid. But not that afraid. This was my idea afterall. I put my free hand into the lapping water and it was warm. It was a different world under there that I could barely fathom.
"I've never done this before," I said and he looked earnestly at me.
"Neither have I." I was beginning to think he was a bit afraid too. But what could go wrong? The worst that could happen is that we could drown and then know nothing.
I turned back to the water and focused my mind. I pressed my thumb into his hand to let him know I was ready. I began to sink down, bending my knees and hips, and I released my feet from the sand and that's when I knew it would work. I sunk my face into the water and through and pulled on his hand.
And then we were through. There was no more water. I opened my eyes. We were in the air above a forest and there was light all around us. We did not fall.
"See?" I said, turning back to him.
"It's beautiful. How do we move?"
"We swim. Come on." And I dove down into the trees brushing the leaves with my hands. He circled around me and we laughed.
"What do we do now?" he asked.
"Explore I guess," I said.
I could see the wheels turning with him. I always could.
"What if we do it again?"
"So soon? Don't you want to learn about this place?"
"Sure but, I want to know it's not a fluke. That we can do it again."
"I guess that makes sense. But can't we stay here for a little while?"
"Sure, I don't mind."
We floated through the trees and began to forget the war behind us. All the gunfire in the village, and our friends hanging from ropes with the crows picking at their eyes. We forgot the emptyness in our stomachs and the long queues of gray-skinned looking people waiting for bread. We forgot the holes in our shoes and the blood on the pavement and the broken roofs and walls and windows and the foreign words yelled mockingly at us.
All the pain was gone now as we swam through the forest.