He is obviously drowning.

I bolt from the beach and splash through the surf,
Determined to save him.
He thrashes against the waves.

Now, I see him…now, I don’t.
I paddle, frantic.

As I near him,
He suddenly seems to become buoyant.
But instead of heading back to the safety of the shore,
He strikes out toward the horizon.

I watch, bewildered.

He soon begins to sink again.
Gasping and grabbing at the sky.

Panicked, I paddle.

I reach him.
I reach for him.

He bobs to the surface,
Then kicks, hard, propelling himself,
Out to sea.

Again, he succumbs to the surf.
Again, I attempt a rescue.
Again, he purposefully floats further away,

Until he’s nearly out of sight.
If I follow, I won’t have the strength
To get myself back to shore.

Before turning toward the coast,
I give him one more glance.
He smiles,
As he’s sucked beneath the surface.

Watching him disappear into the deep, I realize,
He never wanted to be saved.