When I was younger, about eight years old, my mother took me out on the beach one day. It's actually kind of funny that I can remember this, but the memory has always been clear in my mind; maybe it's because it was the first time I was near the pull of the ocean or maybe it's because it's the first time that I almost saw someone die.

I had been wandering off on my own to collect seashells and scruntinize the sand, the wonders of the shore awing my youthful soul. There were just so many things I'd never seen before and I wanted to take it all in; the seagulls flying around majestically, miniscule crabs travelling around the sand, and other beautiful organisms inhabiting the enviroment. You see, I was confined into the midland area of the United States, so maybe that's why I was so enthusiastic but exploring new things has always been a marvelous experience.

I found another pretty trinket to show to my mom, when in looking up I saw a boy around my age, if not a year or two older. His hair was a burning shade of red, long, wild and tangled, his pale skin reminding me of a ghost's... however what most perplexed me was his eyes. They contrasted his other features, being an extremely deep hue of what seemed to be dark brown... maybe black, even. What scared me, though, was the fact that his eyes were completely dull and devoid of emotion; I froze in my tracks, put in a trance by his allure.

I could tell that he was beautiful, like a carefully chiseled sculpture, but in a sad kind of way. He was searching around for rocks, his wet and oversized shirt clinging to his skinny form when he noticed my presence. He blinked at me for a second, then went back to gathering and I still stood there trying to think of what to say.

"H-H-Hi!" I finally squeaked after a few moments, "My name's Aleni, what's yours?"

I was disappointed when he didn't look at me again, but only checked each conglomerate for their weights. As he picked each up with his developing, tiny fingers, the sand seeped through the gaps, but his mouth opened with a quiet, scratchy voice following.

"It doesn't really matter anymore."

I stared at him again, pertubed that he would say such a thing. "Of course it does, silly! Everyone has a name, and each name matters, so that we all know what to call each other."

He shook his head, seeming to have found some good rocks. He put his hands in his pockets, fingering for something, and revealed some pieces of rope. My eyes widened as he started to tie the rocks onto his feet with careful precision, and I could see that the sharp edges were leaving him scratches.

It was only then when I noticed his condition. There were small scars on his neck, arms, and ankles, as well as his knees sporting many scabs. I could make out a mess of black and blues too- by his collarbone, the bridge of his nose, and I pondered on where this sad and beautiful boy came from.

"Under the sea, it doesn't really matter," he continued in another discourse, and I clasped my hands together while looking down at my own feet in attempt to be solemn, "And that's where I'm going."

"W-W-What?" I stuttered, completely mesmerized, "Really?"

"Yup," he hesitated, "...I'm going on an ocean floor adventure."

Then he smiled this smile that looked so blue, as blue as the ocean- one that didn't reach his eyes, and showed that he lost his two canines. We were at the age that everyone was growing their adult teeth, but judging by his little injuries I wasn't so sure if he'd lost them naturally. "I'm going to find Atlantis."

Being a little kid, I didn't know any better, so I looked up and smiled back at him with a smile that reached my eyes, unlike his. "That sounds like so much fun!"

He nodded. Then, waddling in small steps, he stared into the body of water that seemed to go on forever and ever. The sun was still high up in the air, making the water glisten and look like a magnificent world to explore. He started making his way from the shallow end to slowly deeper, shoulders beginning to submerge, and secretly I cheered for him. I thought that it was commendable, and wanted to chase after him, but alas I was such an innocent young girl who always needed mother's consent to do something.

However, that was when a girl who looked like she was twelve came in, just as beautiful with a hair a shade darker and browner as well as grey eyes, screaming for him to come back. He wasn't listening to her as he continued to walk forward, and she then ran into the water. She was taller than the both of us so when he was up to his nose in liquid, bubbling under the water in order to breathe, she was only surrouned up to her shoulders and grabbed him. After putting him in a vicious lockhold, I could tell that she was whispering punishments into his ear because of the grimace that graced his face.

They got out of the water, and she put him down, his feet dancing on the sand. She snared his wrist and started dragging him in direction of the crowds. He looked glum and she looked cross yet I could make out a troubled expression in her eyes. He glanced back at me, and I waved good-bye meekly, turning back immediately so he wouldn't see the tears coming out of my eyes. I regret the action because I wished that I could see what he had done back, but at the time I was afraid of him seeing me cry.

I was really young, so in retrospect I thought he was serious. Now, I can see that he was a kid who had seen the bad of the world and knew what he was doing, and by chance he encountered a girl his age who was still innocent and untainted by that same cruel world. To preserve her naivety, he made up an excuse that he knew she would believe, or maybe he had that excuse for a while just in case his plan didn't work. After all, he was a kid, and they would believe him.

His excuse worked on me, though, and I wept for a little until my mother found me and asked what was wrong. I told her that I met this boy who wanted to look for Atlantis, but someone tried to stop him and now he couldn't be happy. She thought me ridiculous and rolled her eyes as she held my hand, leading me back to our umbrella.

However, still the memory lingers in the back of my mind, and truthfully... At the time, thinking that people didn't want him to explore, or now, knowing that such a small boy wanted to take his life...

I don't know what makes me feel sadder.