Swim. Breathe. Stay alive.
So thought the young boy who tossed and tumbled across the ocean, desperately trying to keep his head above the stormy Atlantic waters. And don't look back, he added. Don't ever look back.
What he really wanted was to forget. It was, he found, already starting to slip away.
Lightning flashed as another wave knocked him under. He screamed in fear, but immediately shut his mouth. A bit too late, as his burning lungs were all too glad to tell him. Kicking upward, he propelled himself to the surface and broke through, gasping for breath. His head spun, his eyes stung from the water and his limbs felt ready to fall off.
Get to land.
He turned around, examining the horizon in all directions. Dismay rose within him as he found no escape from his plight, only the dark sea stretching out forever...but what was that?
A dark mass stood out against the horizon. On it was a light - a faint light, yes, but still a light. And light meant warmth.
With the boy's new goal came new determination. Taking a deep breath, he focused on the precious light and began to paddle. Slowly but steadily, the light began to grow.
Swim. Breathe. Stay alive. Get to land, and then you may forget.
By the time he finally stumbled onto the beach, the tempest had ended and the sun was rising. He barely noticed his surroundings; he collapsed to the ground the moment he touched it, his strength now spent.
You did it, he thought as he closed his eyes. You're alive. You're safe. You can forget them.
And so he did.