It was funny to see my hair floating all around me as if there wasn’t a shred of gravity. I reached out my hand to touch a strand that was arcing slowly in front of me. Even my movements reminded me of astronauts in space. Swatting my hand through the air, I realized, it wasn't air. It was water, and I was under it. Panic washed through me like the icy water that surrounded my body. Fighting against it, I flailed my arms and legs wildly willing myself to the surface. It felt as though I was tethered by something; weighted down at my core. My lungs burned and I thought at any moment they might burst from lack of oxygen. Harder and harder, I fought against the cold murky water that engulfed me. It did nothing but anchor me further. I could feel the cold blackness misting into my brain, my nostrils flared and stung for just one more breath. Yet, somewhere inside, I felt peace; a still silence like I’d never felt before. I gave in to the inevitable and just as I began to inhale the icy cold water, my face breached the surface.
It was Ryder’s arms that reached out to me. He held me tightly against him. It was Ryder who stroked my dripping hair and calmed my quickening breaths. I breathed deeply his scent as he comforted me. He pulled back and cupped my cheek in his warm hand. His eyes took me in, all of me, washing over me like a warm ocean surf. Just as our lips gently connected, I felt the jerk of the tether that still gripped me. It pulled at my core and ripped me from his warm safe arms.
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