i feel it, i do: the rush of the water in between my toes, the salty air dancing underneath my nostrils, the hot summer sun warming my skin. i can sense his eyes on me too, staring curiously at the three inch scar on my left shoulder blade. i pray he doesn’t ask how me i got it; it’s not something that anyone needs to know. maybe i’ll tell him one day, but today is not that day. the clouds loom overhead. i feel it in my throat again, the anxiety is starting to build. ‘no, no, no,’ i whisper and focus my attention on the clouds to ease my mind. the ‘demons’, they’re dancing at the back of my throat again. i scratch my right arm with my left hand. why won’t they leave? the clouds float endlessly. i wish my thoughts were like the clouds. he puts his hand on my shoulder and my shoulder tenses up. he leans in, bringing his lips to my left ear, “go slow,” he tells me. i take a breath and relax my shoulders. i let my body down into the water, slowly. it envelops me and my mind stops racing. my thoughts become like the tiny bubbles of air escaping from my nostrils. the demons, they’re silent. with my eyes closed, i feel nothing but water and see nothing but darkness. i am calm.