I can see him looking up, his eyes squinting into the sun, annoyed at my trembling knees. My mother is frantic beside him. Arms flying up, then down, then up again. Pleading with him to rescue me. She’s not ready. She’s too scared. She says. His tanned fingers curl around the rails. He raises his bare foot to the bottom rung. The thud reverberates to my toes, up my legs and through the tips of my fingers. Ringing with the sound of failure. I harden my gaze. Not today, lifeguard Ken. Not today. My wrinkled feet twist toward the end of the board. My fingers relax their grip and my arms pump, back and forth, sending drops of water glimmering through the air. With every fall of my running feet, a defiant beat clashes against the rough surface of the board. I run. With everything I have. Straight off the end. Straight into the unknown.