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The Sailor and the Swimmer

This is the story of the sailor and the swimmer, who both knew the sea far too well.

 

The sailor first met the sea when he was young, too young, at an age where he should have been more captivated by life on the sand than what lies beneath the waves. And yet he was eager — no, anxious — to find his place among the vast blue and set sail. His friends were worried. “Please,” they said to the sailor, “learn to swim before venturing out into the terrible sea.” But this sailor was too drawn by the glisten of the horizon, by the sirens of the sea to listen to those on the shoreline. So he set sail, for the first time, into the pacific. 

 

The swimmer learned about the sea in books and movies as a young girl but never understood its appeal. She felt that it was too dangerous to be worth exploring. But her friends encouraged her to start swimming — “get out of your comfort zone,” they said — and so, like any other young girl would, she listened to her friends. So she started swimming, for the first time, by the shore.

 

 

The sailor, intoxicated with pride for his courage, wanted to test his limits. His friends had called to him from the shore to come back, that he had gone too far, but eventually he couldn’t hear them anymore so he just kept sailing into the vastness. Time dragged on, days had turned to weeks, months, years, and eventually he had come to know the sea as his only home, like life on land was just an imagination, a scene drawn up by a child playing pretend.

 

The swimmer grew strong and steady and could swim faster than all of her peers, but she longed for a change of pace. She fantasized of traversing the open ocean, for the water gave her strength, but didn’t want to go alone. All her friends all wanted to stay on shore and told her to stay with them, that she would be more safe there, but she wanted a challenge and so she began her journey into the sea.

 

 

The sailor sometimes found himself in rough waters, his courage keeping him afloat. But after decades passed on the water, he grew weary as he reached the center of the ocean. The sky was dark and waves loomed in the distance. He called out to his friends for help but they were too far gone to hear. The waves surrounded him until all he could feel was the blue swallowing him whole.

 

The swimmer found herself in rough waters, but her strength propelled her forward. As she finally returned to shore, she was gleaming with excitement and ready to tell her friends. But the beach was empty, her friends nowhere to be found. She went home and began to tell them about her great feat, but no one listened. All they talked about was the sailor on the news. “How terrible,” they said, “that a man would die so alone.”

 

 

The swimmer was exhausted and weary from the sea so she drew herself a bath. The aches in her muscles overwhelmed her and she fell asleep, so deep, that her head sunk into the water. At that moment she had not one bit of energy to spend, nothing to keep her head afloat. The faucet kept running as she drifted off and no one noticed as she drowned in the bath water.

 


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